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Top 10 News Director Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best certifications for aspiring news directors in the industry.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are an important part of the job market for news directors. Having certifications in broadcast journalism, public relations, and other related fields can help you stand out from other applicants. It shows potential employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the role. Additionally, having certifications can open up new opportunities and help you stay ahead of industry trends. Certifications also demonstrate your commitment to professional development and continuing education, which is highly valued by employers.

This article reviews the top certifications for News Directors and explains how they can help advance a news director's career.

What are News Director Certifications?

News director certification is a way for news directors to demonstrate their professional qualifications and commitment to the highest standards in journalism. News directors are responsible for ensuring that news coverage is accurate, timely, and relevant to their audience. Certification helps them stay current on industry trends and best practices, as well as demonstrating their knowledge of the field to employers and colleagues. It also provides continuing education opportunities that can help them develop new skills or refine existing ones. Additionally, certification can open up career opportunities by providing access to exclusive job postings, networking events, and professional development resources. Ultimately, news director certification helps ensure that newsrooms produce quality reporting that meets the needs of viewers and readers alike.

Pro tip: When seeking news director certification, make sure to research the certifying body thoroughly. Ensure the certifying organization is credible and recognized by other media outlets in your field. Also, be sure to check the requirements for certification, as well as any recertification requirements that may apply.

Related: What does a News Director do?

Top 10 News Director Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to News Directors today.

1. Certified Broadcast News Director (CBND)

A Certified Broadcast News Director (CBND) is a professional designation awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary for successful broadcast news management. The CBND credential is offered by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and it is designed to recognize and validate the expertise of broadcast news directors.

To become certified, applicants must first complete an online application, which includes providing evidence of experience in broadcast news management. After submitting the application, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as managing staff, budgeting, ethical considerations, media law, and technology. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost to take the CBND exam is $395 for NAB members or $495 for non-members. There are no additional fees or costs associated with becoming certified once you have passed the exam. After passing the exam, you will receive your CBND certificate in approximately 4-6 weeks.

2. Certified Professional Broadcast Manager (CPBM)

Certified Professional Broadcast Manager (CPBM) is a certification program offered by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the area of broadcast management. The CPBM program covers topics such as station operations, financial management, personnel management, regulatory compliance, and marketing.

To receive the CPBM certification, applicants must complete an online application and submit their resume for review. Once approved, applicants must complete a series of online courses and pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of the subject matter. The entire process takes approximately three months to complete.

The cost for completing the CPBM program is $995 USD. This fee includes access to all course materials, exam fees, and a one-year membership in NAB's Certified Professional Broadcast Managers organization.

3. Certified Broadcast Journalism Executive (CBJE)

Certified Broadcast Journalism Executive (CBJE) is a professional certification program offered by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). It is designed to recognize broadcast professionals who have achieved a high level of excellence in their field. The CBJE designation is awarded to those who demonstrate mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in broadcast journalism.

The CBJE program consists of three parts: an online course, a written exam, and an oral examination. The online course covers topics such as news writing, reporting, editing, production, and ethics. Upon successful completion of the online course, candidates are eligible to take the written exam. This exam tests knowledge in areas such as media law and regulations, news gathering techniques, and journalistic ethics. After passing the written exam, candidates must pass an oral examination before receiving their CBJE designation.

The cost for obtaining a CBJE certification varies depending on the institution offering it; however, most programs will cost between $500-$1000 USD. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with taking the exams or attending any required workshops or seminars.

In terms of time commitment, it typically takes around six months to complete all three parts of the program. However, this timeline can vary depending on how quickly you complete each part and whether or not you need to retake any portions of the exams.

4. Certified Broadcast Network Executive (CBNE)

Certified Broadcast Network Executive (CBNE) is a certification program designed to provide broadcast professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage, develop, and operate a successful broadcast network. The CBNE program consists of three courses that cover topics such as broadcast technology, network operations, and business management. The courses are offered online or in-person at various locations throughout the United States.

The CBNE program takes approximately six months to complete. During this time, students must complete all three courses and pass an exam for each course. Upon completion of the program, students will receive their Certified Broadcast Network Executive certificate from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

To get started on the CBNE program, you must first register with NAB and pay a registration fee of $100. You will then need to select your desired course location and choose which classes you would like to take. Once you have registered and paid for your classes, you can begin taking them at your chosen location or online.

The cost of the CBNE program varies depending on which courses you select as well as where they are being taken. Generally speaking, most courses range between $500-$1,000 per class but may be more expensive depending on the location and instructor.

5. Certified Radio News Director (CRND)

A Certified Radio News Director (CRND) is a professional designation awarded to individuals who demonstrate a mastery of the radio news industry. The certification is offered by the National Association of Radio News Directors (NARND), an organization that promotes excellence in radio news.

The CRND certification program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical assessment. The written exam covers topics such as broadcast writing, reporting, editing, production, and management. The practical assessment requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in producing a news segment or program.

The cost of the CRND certification depends on whether you are taking the exam for the first time or if you are renewing your certification. For first-time applicants, the fee is $250 USD; for renewals, it is $150 USD.

The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on how quickly you can prepare for and pass both parts of the exam. Generally speaking, it could take anywhere from two months to six months to complete the process.

In order to get certified as a CRND, you must be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of experience working in radio news or related fields such as journalism or broadcasting. You must also submit an application form with supporting documentation such as transcripts and letters of recommendation from employers or colleagues.

6. Certified Television News Director (CTND)

Certified Television News Director (CTND) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of television news production. The program is administered by the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE).

To become certified, applicants must pass a written examination that covers topics such as newsroom management, personnel management, budgeting, programming and legal issues. Applicants must also submit a portfolio demonstrating their experience in television news production. The portfolio should include samples of work from previous jobs or internships.

The CTND exam typically takes 3-4 hours to complete and costs $250 for NATPE members and $300 for non-members. After passing the exam, applicants will receive an official certificate from NATPE recognizing them as an officially Certified Television News Director.

The CTND certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by successfully completing additional coursework or passing another examination.

7. Certified Radio Program Director (CRPD)

A Certified Radio Program Director (CRPD) is a specialized certification offered by the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). The certification is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of radio program directors. It provides employers with assurance that their program directors have the necessary technical expertise to perform their job duties.

The CRPD certification requires passing a written exam that covers topics such as programming principles, station operations, FCC regulations, and music selection. The exam is administered by SBE at designated testing centers throughout the United States. Candidates must meet certain prerequisites before taking the exam, including having a minimum of two years' experience in radio programming or production.

The cost for taking the CRPD exam is $125 for members of SBE and $175 for non-members. The fee includes a study guide and other materials needed to prepare for the exam. The exam itself takes approximately three hours to complete.

In order to obtain the CRPD certification, candidates must pass the written exam with a score of 75% or higher. Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates will receive their official CRPD certificate from SBE within four weeks after passing the test.

8. Certified Television Program Director (CTPD)

Certified Television Program Director (CTPD) is a professional certification program designed to provide television professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage and direct television programs. The CTPD certification is offered by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), which is the same organization that awards Emmy Awards.

The CTPD certification requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in television production, directing, or management. Applicants must also pass an exam that covers topics such as production planning, budgeting, scheduling, personnel management, and legal issues. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

To get certified as a CTPD, applicants must submit an application form along with their resume and proof of experience in television production. Once accepted into the program, applicants will be required to pay a fee of $495 for the course materials and exam fees.

After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official CTPD certificate from NATAS. This certificate can then be used as proof of expertise when applying for jobs in television production or directing positions.

9. Certified Digital Media Manager (CDMM)

Certified Digital Media Manager (CDMM) is a professional certification program designed to help digital media professionals gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage digital media projects. The program is offered by the Digital Media Management Association (DMMA) and provides a comprehensive overview of the entire digital media landscape.

The CDMM program consists of four courses that cover topics such as project management, content strategy, analytics, and marketing. Each course is self-paced and can be completed at your own pace. It typically takes about 8-10 weeks to complete the program, depending on how much time you can dedicate to it each week.

To get certified, you must first complete all four courses and pass an online exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certificate in the mail. The cost of the CDMM program varies based on whether or not you are a DMMA member; non-members pay $1,495 while members pay $995.

10. Certified Social Media Manager (CSMM)

A Certified Social Media Manager (CSMM) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in managing and developing social media strategies. This certification is administered by the Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMi).

It takes approximately two to three months to complete the CSMM program, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying and preparing for the exam. You must also pass an online assessment before taking the exam. The cost of the CSMM program varies depending on which package you choose, but typically ranges from $299 - $499.

The CSMM program consists of seven modules: Introduction to Social Media Marketing, Content Creation & Curation, Measurement & Analytics, Paid Advertising & Promotion, Community Management & Engagement, Strategy & Planning, and Professional Practice. Each module includes self-paced video lessons and assessments that cover topics such as creating content strategies, understanding analytics tools, running effective campaigns, and more. Upon completion of all seven modules and passing the final assessment with a score of 80% or higher, you will receive your official CSMM certification.

Do You Really Need a News Director Certificate?

No, you do not need a News Director Certificate to become a news director. Having a certificate may help you stand out from other candidates for the position, but it is not necessary.

News directors are typically experienced journalists who have worked in various roles within the newsroom and understand the ins and outs of running a successful newsroom. They must be able to manage staff and resources, develop content strategies, and ensure that all stories meet journalistic standards of accuracy and fairness. Furthermore, they must also be able to create an environment that fosters creativity and collaboration. These skills are best developed through experience rather than through formal education or certification programs.

That said, if you are looking to gain additional knowledge or hone your skills as a news director, there are several courses available online or at colleges and universities that can provide you with the necessary tools. These courses often include topics such as media law and ethics, broadcast journalism techniques, digital storytelling tools, and writing for television and radio. Additionally, some programs also offer specialized training in areas like social media strategy or data journalism.

Ultimately, while having a News Director Certificate may be beneficial for certain positions or organizations, it is not required in order to become a successful news director. The most important thing is that you have the necessary skillset to lead a successful newsroom.

Related: News Director Resume Examples

FAQs About News Director Certifications

1. What is a News Director Certification?

A News Director Certification is an industry-recognized credential that verifies a professional’s expertise in the principles, practices, and procedures of newsroom management and broadcast journalism.

2. How do I obtain a News Director Certification?

To obtain a News Director Certification, you must pass the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Certified Broadcast News Manager exam. The exam is offered by the NAB every year and consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as newsroom structure, personnel management, ethics, and legal issues.

3. What are the benefits of having a News Director Certification?

Having a News Director Certification can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs in the broadcasting industry. It also demonstrates your commitment to staying up to date on the latest newsroom trends and practices, which can be beneficial in advancing your career.

4. Is there an expiration date for my News Director Certification?

No, your certification does not expire; however, it is important to keep up with any changes or updates in the broadcasting industry so that you remain current with industry standards.

5. How much does it cost to obtain a News Director Certification?

The cost of taking the NAB Certified Broadcast News Manager exam varies depending on location; however, most exams cost between $100-$200 USD.