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What is a News Anchor?

Also known as: News Presenter, Newscaster, TV News Anchor, Television News Anchor, Anchor, News Analyst, Broadcast News Analyst.

News analysts are often referred to as news anchors or newscasters, whether broadcasting via television or radio. A news anchor has an insatiable need to learn and educate others to the issues that continuously change and shape the world, whether locally, nationally or internationally. The news anchor may comment or provide professional insight on complicated issues that are reported in the news. Sources that are analyzed for commentary or reporting are gleaned from many different media sources, including print and Internet agencies.

What does a News Anchor do?

The news anchor is responsible for interpreting happenings locally, nationally, and internationally for a wide audience. This entails keeping at the forefront of news that has an impact on the viewing audience. Commentary is often provided to help people understand how the news affects their daily lives.

Newscasters conduct interviews with people who impact media happenings from around the world. Interviews help to open a discussion or clarify issues that influence the news or media happenings.

An interview can help broaden the audience's understanding of a particular issue or begin a discourse on an issue important to the audience. One of the skills necessary in interviewing others is the ability to put people at ease. A reputation as being fair-minded and unbiased is also important in interviewing skills.

What is the workplace of a News Anchor like?

Workplace and workload depends on the size of the broadcast station for which the newscaster or anchor works. Smaller stations require that a news anchor report on sports, national, international, and local news. The news anchor may be responsible for writing his or her own news copy, operating the control board, and conducting investigative journalism. Larger stations have separate newscasters for each section of the news, and personnel are made available to assist in researching and writing news stories.

A large portion of the workday is devoted to reading news articles and searching out items of interest to the viewing or listening audience. Interviews must be prepared for and may involve reading the works of the person to be interviewed. In some cases, the news anchor may be responsible for contacting the people to be interviewed.

Sometimes the workplace is a hotel room in a strange part of the country or world. In some cases, the broadcast journalist must be willing to travel at a moment's notice in order to cover urgent news matters. The news analyst must be able to work while on the move, adjusting to differences in culture quickly.

How can I become a News Anchor?

A bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism is usually required. However, experience is also important in landing a job as a news analyst. Volunteering to report for the college newspaper or starting a newscasting blog or vlog on issues important to a specific audience are a couple of ways to build a following and to begin building a reputation in newscasting. Another option is to submit articles to the local newspaper on current events. Experience can also be gained through a paid or unpaid internship at a local television or radio station.

A news anchor job is not one for the shy or faint of heart. An ability to be persistent and pursue a story even in the face of adversity is also an important character trait.

Usually, a person who can’t seem to satisfy his or her own curiosity about a subject is very well suited to a job as a news anchor. Curiosity is perhaps one of the key ingredients necessary in a person’s becoming interested in working as a news analyst. It helps to have a hunger to know and better understand the important issues that affect people in their everyday lives. A curious person is insatiable in learning about the world around them; coupling this with the penchant to share that knowledge is very important.

Prospective newscasters should also be able to articulate and present complicated ideas in a short period of time. A desire to read and analyze major news happenings is an important trait for anyone who wishes to become a news broadcaster.

A working knowledge of political systems and their impact on a constituency is important to a person who wants a career in newscasting. A pleasant speaking voice is important for radio broadcasting, and a neat and trustworthy appearance is important in television broadcasting.

The ability to convey complicated matters to an audience from various educational backgrounds and ability to grasp complex issues also helps. The newscaster must be able to edify while keeping the attention of a broad range of viewers.

Travel is often a requirement for news anchors to report on a subject as it occurs. A sense of adventure and willingness to travel abroad are important traits for a news anchor. Pursuit of a story may require traveling to exotic and less than exotic places to make the news personal to an audience. The willingness and ability to be able to travel is important in broadcast journalism, as is the ability to quickly absorb information and provide unbiased information.



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Further Reading

  • So What Do You Do, Brian Williams, Anchor NBC Nightly News?

    Williams knew he wanted to be a news anchor by the ripe old age of eight and began boning up for the big time by staging imaginary newscasts from his living room in Elmira, New York (He also published a weekly newspaper using his father's shirt cardboards).

  • A Day In The Life Of A TV News Anchor

    Being a television news anchor is a demanding job. When she’s not on the air twice a day, CTV Saskatoon’s Chantel Huber rolls up her sleeves and gets right in the trenches with her coworkers – culling stories from the newswire, the internet, CTV affiliates and the previous night’s newscast and rewriting the content into her own style of broadcast copy.

  • Dream Job: News Anchor

    The lights shine brightly, the director gives the cue, the theme music swells to a climax, and Jonathan Mann tells the camera, "Good afternoon from the CNN Center; our top stories today...." It's a line he repeats every weekday as a news anchor at CNN International.

  • How Much Does A TV Anchor Make?

    An anchor personality is also referred to as newscaster. He is responsible for delivering news to a local, regional or national broadcast audience on radio or TV.

  • 8 Essential Skills For Anchors (& Any Journalist) Covering Breaking News

    The best news anchors and “live” reporters make their work look easy, but it isn’t. Beyond voice, looks or delivery, the best possess what I call “skills without script.”

  • How To Become A TV News Anchor

    At the networks the TV news anchors present the news. You know the people -- the ones sitting there behind a desk (or in the field) telling you what’s happening in the world that day.

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