Newscaster  What They Do

Just the Facts

Broadcast News Analysts Career Video

Insider Info

dotNews anchors are the people you see on TV who are explaining the events of the day. They are the hosts of a newscast.

Anchors usually work in the studio, but sometimes they go on location. They introduce the reporters' stories and try to keep the audience's attention.

Audrey Desrosiers is a news anchor. She says she's lucky to be able to work both behind the desk and on location. "I like reporting, because I like being out there and getting in the thick of things and asking the questions and getting the story. But I also like being at the anchor desk because it's just fun," says Desrosiers.

dotAnchors must be prepared to be either night owls or early risers -- some rise as early as 3:30 a.m. to start the day. Late-night anchors, especially those on 24-hour news stations, are awake when most of the world is asleep.

dotTop anchors can earn big money, but getting to that point usually means starting small. Your first few experiences as an anchor will probably be volunteer jobs in high school or college.

dotThe key is being believable, someone that people can relate to. While appearance has long been important, recent preferences and public opinion have turned away from movie-star looks.

Desrosiers has talked to several news directors about the role of appearance in TV journalism. "They want someone that will not necessarily blow you away, but somebody that's pleasing to the eye," says Desrosiers.

dotA news anchor needs impeccable communication skills, a smooth voice, a TV presence, news judgment and experience. Competition for the job is about as tough as it can get. According to Desrosiers, competition is fiercer amongst women.

"It's very hard to get into this field out of college because there's a lot of people. Especially for young girls -- there are a lot of females wanting to get into the business. And they look more for males now, because there's just a surplus of females that want to do it. I know in my journalism class we had about 15 people, and I'd say about 11 of us were female," she says.

"I think it's easier for men to get jobs, but a lot of the guys want to do sports," says Desrosiers.

dotTo get to the top, you have to be willing to pick up and move to where the bigger markets are. If you're looking for fame and money, you may have to put family life aside.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Read the day's events on camera

  • This is a competitive field
  • You need a smooth voice, a TV presence and good news judgment
  • Start by studying journalism