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Business

How to Become a Television News Anchor

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 26, 2020 • 3 min read

The news anchor, also known as a news presenter or newscaster, is the “face” of the news. Anchors should be unbiased news reporters and have the responsibility to objectively deliver the news. Television news anchor jobs are highly competitive, and you must have both the knowledge and personality to succeed in the field.

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What Is a News Anchor?

A news anchor is someone who presents the news, either on local or network television stations. News anchors are usually on-camera behind a desk, and present breaking news stories and information regarding current events to the public. A news anchor must be well-spoken and presentable, regardless of what disaster or tragedy they have to report on. The news can sometimes be overwhelming and emotional for the audience—however, it is not the role of the news anchor to provide their own personal commentary or opinion. They must deliver the facts of the matter to those who need them.

What Does a News Anchor Do?

A news anchor’s job description includes delivering local newscasts or news coverage at the national level. Anchors often report from a teleprompter, but also take in any sudden information their news team may feed to them if a breaking story or event occurs. A news anchor must remain calm and deliver news to the public in a professional and efficient manner, regardless of what the content may be. News anchors also introduce the in-studio and in-field reporters who provide information about a current story or deliver interviews with professionals, witnesses, and anyone else of interest who can contribute to telling a complete story.

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How to Become a News Anchor?

News anchor jobs are highly coveted, and many who obtain those positions stay in them for a long time. If you want to lead a news broadcast as an anchor, you should have a bachelor’s degree and work experience to prove you have the skills to think on your feet and lead a live television show.

  1. Earn a degree. A bachelor’s degree program like broadcast journalism or mass communications can help you develop a knowledgeable background in your field. Classes like public speaking or speech courses that can help you become a more polished professional. While it’s not necessary, a master’s degree may also give you an advantage when trying to land on a prospective employer or media outlet’s radar. Attending a college or university may also grant access to the school’s local news station, where you can already start gaining experience.
  2. Hone your skills. Some anchors are required to write news stories themselves. Great TV news anchors are articulate and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Many start out as news writers for their school newspaper, or major in a relevant field. Regardless of your background, putting in the hard work and continuously focusing your craft to sharpen your writing and presentation skills will make you a valuable asset for any news channel.
  3. Gain work experience. Gather internship experience or find a trainee program that can properly develop you as a TV news reporter. Get your foot in the door by applying for part-time or entry-level positions at a smaller news station or local media outlet. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the sooner you get experience under your belt, the sooner you can be on your way to becoming a household name. You should also watch other anchors on television to see what it takes. Observe the different tones, mannerisms, and delivery of morning news anchors, and watch how that differs from anchors delivering evening newscasts. Prepare yourself for all aspects of the position so you can be ready to jump on any job postings you come across.
  4. Create a resume tape. A resume tape for a news anchor is like a demo reel for an actor. A resume tape is a montage of segments highlighting all your strengths as an anchor. It shows how you report breaking information and handle interactions with others on-air. Potential employers want to see how you react on your feet, how you deal with a crisis (like from the news producer or the news itself), and if you have the character it takes to be a full-time anchor.
  5. Be ready for long hours. Since the news is on a never-ending cycle of daily content, news anchors work long hours and must often meet crazy deadlines to produce quality news broadcasts. This job type requires stamina and endurance in order to make it in the industry, you must be hungry for new stories and ideas, deal with the unpredictable nature of the news, while also meeting deadlines on time.

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