Different types of media qualifications are generally sorted by the type of media coverage, as well as the channel through which media is disseminated. News media professionals may be qualified based upon the training they have received in news gathering and reporting. On-the-job experience has traditionally been considered a reliable qualifier for journalists. Familiarity and expertise with news portals may also be considered as part of a reporter's media qualifications. Affiliations with professional journalism associations are still another qualification for a journalist.
Those who work in the media have often obtained academic preparation through coursework in journalism, usually at an institution of higher education. This training typically includes courses on the legal rights and responsibilities of those who gather news. For example, libel laws are common through the world, and while journalists are generally given more leeway under libel laws in reporting on a public figure, it is usually a different situation when it concerns a private citizen. Also, since copyright laws are usually taught in journalism courses, along with ethics, completion of a degree in journalism is usually seen as a valued credential. Obtaining a degree demonstrates at least some familiarity with the legal and ethical aspects of reporting news.
Among the different types of media qualifications, on-the-job experience is usually recognized for its value as a news reporting credential. Journalism courses often address how to track down good sources, or how to get a source to divulge compelling details. Even so, most reporters develop those intuitive skills through working on real stories. Often one of the most sought-after media qualifications is a successful record of producing breaking news.
Other media qualifications include a reporter's ability to interview high-profile subjects, or to cover stories with sensational aspects. Successfully producing news stories that jump off the page and capture a reader's attention may bestow enviable media qualifications on reporters and journalists. In online news media, popularity might be measured by the number of times a reporter's story is referenced by other media sites or linked to by readers.
Depending on the particular tasks required, media qualifications may also include a demonstrable expertise in handling various aspects of media technology. For example, a webcast news channel may require a reporter to know how to handle website coding. Likewise, a television station's camera operator will generally have credentials that show he is able to successfully manage live broadcasts on location.
Professional memberships are another way to gain media qualifications. For example, many journalists are paying members of journalism associations. A membership in a journalistic society or professional association for news reporters may also convey a reporter's dedication to the exemplary practice of his or her profession.