How do I Become an Anchorman?

T. Webster

If sitting behind a desk, looking sharp and reporting the latest news on television sounds exciting, you might want to become an anchorman. This career can take you anywhere from working for a small television station to being the star of a national or international news network. This fast-paced career includes compiling, writing and then reading news stories over the air. In larger news networks, other reporters might be involved in gathering or writing reports that are read by an anchorman.

An anchorman usually gets news experience as a field reporter first.
An anchorman usually gets news experience as a field reporter first.

A college education in broadcast journalism will provide you with the foundation needed to become an anchorman. Generally, television journalists need at least a four-year degree to enter the field. While in college, it is wise either to obtain an internship at a local station or work at your college television station. You also will need a tape of your on-air work before a station will consider hiring you.

A news presenter, or anchor, may work on radio.
A news presenter, or anchor, may work on radio.

Unless you have strong connections and exceptional talent, you might have to start off as a news reporter in a smaller or local market before you can become an anchorman. Reporters who have a strong on-camera personality, have a high level of accuracy and can handle important stories under strict deadlines are often groomed to become news anchors. If you break important stories, you eventually can work your way up into big city markets or national news stations.

Remember that you must stand out and be exceptional for this to happen. If possible, go beyond the minimum requirements of the job. Try to come up with story ideas that are important or unusual and really stand out.

Education and experience are not the only things you will need to become an anchorman. A well-groomed, professional appearance is mandatory. You also must enjoy being in front of the camera, have a clear speaking voice and be able to gather and express your thoughts quickly and accurately. An uncanny news sense and an ability to find a story also are important skills to have for this job.

Understand that competition is fierce for news anchor positions. Many people want to be in front of the camera. Fewer people have the exact look and mix of skills that television stations are seeking. Several factors led have to a general decline in the availability of reporting jobs, including lower advertising revenues and the popularity of the Internet as a news source.

Some trained journalists have broken out of traditional markets and started their own news programs via the Internet. Doing this requires the same set of skills as a traditional anchorman. Many online news sites report on complex issues and always use facts and documents to back up their statements.

Your quest to become an anchorman can be glamorous, but it likely also will involve working many long hours. Sometimes the situations in which you work will be less than ideal. As a new employee,for example, you likely will be expected to work holidays and weekends.

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