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How Do I Become a News Anchor?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A person who wants to become a news anchor usually needs to attend journalism school and acquire practical experience in broadcast media. News anchors present the news on television and radio, and they need excellent speaking voices and communications skills. Television stations also tend to prefer attractive news anchors, so it is important to pay attention to personal appearance to have the best chance at a good career.

A degree in journalism, mass communications or a related field is strongly recommended for a person who wants to become a news anchor. While in school, it can also help to take advantage of internships at television and radio stations, or in newsrooms at newspapers, if broadcast internships are not available. Graduates who have some experience in the industry can be more appealing to potential employers and might find that more starting positions are available to them.

Graduates can apply to a station to get on track to become a news anchor. Broadcast media companies rarely hire people directly out of college to become news presenters. Entry-level positions can place people in positions to do research and support the broadcast. Over time, they might be able to record segments and can start to develop skills in front of the microphone or camera. As they prove themselves, they can take on more complex subjects and might start doing live recordings and breaking news updates.

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With sufficient experience, an employee can apply to become a news anchor when a position opens up or a company wants to start a news program from scratch. This might require transitioning to a different company if a station does not have opportunities available. Co-anchor spots might be more likely at first, to give the employer an opportunity to see whether an employee is capable of anchoring a show. A skilled news anchor might be able to request his or her own show and can play a more active role in developing programming and deciding what to cover.

The work required to become a news anchor can be considerable. Journalists need to be able to respond quickly to breaking news, and they might work at odd hours and in uncomfortable settings when pursuing news items. It can help to join a professional organization or union to establish connections and references. Job listings might be private, in which case professional memberships can help journalists find out about positions that are not advertised to the general public.

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