Animandel - Local community newspapers still hire reporters without degrees when the situation is appropriate. Many newspapers like to encourage high school students who want to pursue journalism, so they will give these students a position as a correspondent.
Usually, students will be given a specific assignment, like covering a ballgame or a school event. Students will be given a deadline and then expected to complete their story and turn it in on time. This is great experience for the kids and the newspapers get some cheap or free labor. In most cases it is a win-win arrangement.
Some of these young reporters go on to college and get degrees, but in other instances they latch on the papers they are working for and gain more and more experience and never seek a degree. However, I agree with the article in that the degree will give you many more options. Most mid-size and large newspapers will not consider an applicant without a degree for a full-time permanent reporter's position.