Be a Credible News Presenter

Edited by Jan Margery Castillo, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 2 others

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The news anchor, field reporter, breaking news reporter and the host are among the news presenters we see on TV. They relay information to the public in a clear, objective and transparent way. A news presenter basically represents the TV program's vision, mission and core values. To many, being a TV personality is a prestigious job. A career that many students want to pursue, communications student or not. Sure it has perks, but like any public personality, they generally get some criticism and online bullying too.

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What is a News Presenter?

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News presenters are those you see on television who deliver the news. They are the field reporters, news anchors, TV hosts, and any broadcast journalist that you see on TV reporting. The types of news varies from straight news and features to sports and live event hosting. They are network representatives, but are powerful in such a way that what they deliver are important issues that concern the country.

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News Presenter Prerequisites

One does not become a news reporter, anchor person or TV host overnight. They get a college degree in a specialized field of study. Here are the prerequisites before one can become a news presenter:

  1. 1
    Broadcast Journalism Degree.
    A specialized education in broadcast journalism is often a requirement in order to be a part of the media. Several universities offer courses for this line of study.
    1. You can choose to have a major in broadcast communication, journalism, film or advertising. This is an enjoyable and challenging course because all the activities and school requirements are meant to polish the students' skills in various broadcasting fields.
    2. The school is already a training ground for aspiring reporters, directors or advertisers. Expect to have a difficult time when meeting university requirements and deadlines because that's how it is in the real world.
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  2. 2
    The internship is the period where you get first-hand experience in broadcast journalism. Either the university chooses where to assign you on your on-the-job training, or you choose where to apply. It's better if it's the latter because you'll get to experience how it is to search for jobs. Aside from the freedom, you also are trained on how to answer questions in interviews and sell yourself.
    1. You can work on a TV station or a radio station. A newspaper company would also be fine, but it's just that you won't get the privilege to see the actual national or local newscast. Nevertheless, it is during your internship where you can apply all the theories and practices you learned in the university.
    2. Be hungry for knowledge and experience by asking your boss, the producers and the reporters questions you've been meaning to ask.
    3. It's also the perfect time to observe what they do. Always make a mental note of things you see because you will eventually be doing those things when you get the job.
    4. Get the contact details for your boss and everyone else in the newsroom. Befriend them and do your best during your internship. This way, it will be easier for you to apply at that particular TV station when you graduate.
    5. Even if you are not on duty, offer to help, especially when there are special events that your station needs to cover. This will give you a plus point.
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  3. 3
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    Whether you are still a student or already working as a news presenter, you must have the drive to attend as many seminars as you can. Broadcast journalism is a growing industry too, there are different styles of reporting that are evolving and you don't want to be left behind. Remember that even though you have been in the industry for a long time, there are still many things you need to know and learn.
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  4. 4
    Enroll in training programs even if it's going to cost you. It's like adding another degree to your craft.
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How to be a Credible News Presenter

Credibility is one of the most important characteristics that news presenters need to have. You need to be believable and trustworthy. The audience will watch a certain news program over the other because they believe them more or they think the program and the news presenters are more credible. As a reporter, you need to work on how to be credible and keep that image for the rest of your career life.

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The following are some guidelines on how to build credibility when reporting in front of the camera:

Physical Attributes

  1. 1
    Dress well.
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    A news presenter works on national television. The whole nation is watching, so keeping a pleasing a personality is a plus.
    1. Choose prim and proper tops, blazers and dresses. This does not necessarily mean you need to wear all black and solid-colored clothes. It's alright to wear prints but keep it subdued and fit for certain occasions or weather.
    2. Dress according to the headlines. If the nation is mourning over a sensitive issue, wear dark and solid colors. But if the mood is celebratory, wear bright colored blazers or prints.
    3. Avoid tops with plunging necklines. This will lessen your credibility.
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  2. 2
    1. Wear natural looking makeup. Even though you are in front of a camera, it does not mean you have to wear heavy makeup like that of celebrities playing for a role. Your objective is to look credible.
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    2. Avoid smoky eyes.
    3. Keep your hair style simple.
    4. Wear lipstick that stays on longer. When working in the field, there's a tendency that your makeup will fade. Make sure that at least your lips still have color.
    5. Accessories. Do not wear catchy jewelry because the audience might shift their attention to your diamonds instead of what you are reporting.
    6. Eye contact. Keep your eyes facing the camera as if you are talking to a friend. The viewers know when you are reading the script. The motion of your eyes tells that you are reading. Make a few head gestures too and blink from time to time to avoid being obviously reading.
    7. Posture. A reporter that has a good stance is more believable. There is also a sense of authority when you see someone with good posture.
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  3. 3
    Substance of the report.
    After working on your physical appearance, the core of credibility relies on the meat of your report.  
    1. Well-researched report. You cannot inform the audience with shallow reports. Check all the facts and the necessary information, no matter how minute the detail is. It's necessary that you as a reporter know the story well.
    2. Accurate information. Double check facts. Know the exact number of survivors of the plane crash, the exact designation of an official you are about to interview, the correct pronunciation of words, names and places, the exact time of arrival of the President from a trip.
    3. Get information from the authorities or experts. Do not invent or input your own opinion when reporting. Ask and quote the right people. This will build the audience's confidence.
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  4. 4
    Be Sensitive.
    Be careful when reporting because everything you say is being recorded and may be taken against you.  
    1. Don't be biased. Always get both sides of the story. The audience needs to know both side of the argument. Also, the people or groups involved in the issue need to air their own version of the story.
    2. Avoid racism. Always research beforehand because the idea you have in mind might hurt a particular race or religion. Avoid derogatory words.
    3. Handle sensitive topics carefully. There will come a point where the news presenter will face a somewhat awkward situation brought on by sensitive topics. Learn how to handle them well by not taking sides. Know when to stop asking and learn how to divert the topic to a more lighter issue.
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  5. 5
    Reporting style.
    1. Match the tone of your voice to the mood of the story or issue you are reporting. Make your voice cheerful if the story is celebratory and make your voice low and emphatic when the news is a tragic one.
    2. Avoid dead air. A silence of more than three seconds is already dead air. Fill it with ad libs if necessary. Just make sure you are mentioning something that is related to the news.
    3. Avoid too much opinion. There are times where you can converse with your fellow newscaster on air about your comments on the news. Share sensitive comments. You may also use a bit of humor, but make sure you are not stepping on someone's feelings. Limit your opinion too to avoid mistakes.
    4. Ask intelligent questions. Most of the criticism a new presenter gets are the questions they ask to subjects.
    5. Do not ask something that's obvious.
    6. Ask open-ended questions. Your task is to get information from the person involved. You need to get them talking to get the answers you need. Questions answerable by yes or no are fine, but should be limited.
    7. Follow-up questions. Listen carefully to the answers of your interviewee because you need to formulate follow up questions. Think about what the viewers want to know. Be curious and inquisitive. The art of questioning is learned through experience and by watching veteran reporters handle interviews.
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  6. 6
    Aside from giving truthful reports, you also need to be honest in case the news team encounters a technical glitch. Apologize for the inconvenience and give a temporary solution or sensible diversion or news. If you are not able to get the other side of the story because the people concerned don't want to comment, then tell the viewers so. You need to be transparent to earn credibility.
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  7. 7
    Social media presence.
    Keep your social media profiles neat.  
    1. Avoid posting racy pictures of yours or anything that might be taken against you. You are a public figure and the least thing you want to hear on the news is yourself.
    2. Be careful with your posts. Post or tweet relevant issues or links to your network page or programs. When posting a statement or opinion, again, make sure you are not stepping on someone's feelings. You don't want to be a subject of cyber bullying.
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Innate Qualities of a News Presenter

  1. 1
    People person.
    A news presenter can associate himself with all types of people. He is sociable, friendly, talkative and smart. But anyone who is driven to succeed in this field can learn how to talk to people. It only takes exposure and confidence. If you are the shy type, enroll in a personality development course or training to develop confidence and skills in how to deal with people.
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  2. 2
    Knowledgeable and passionate about history and current events.
    A news presenter does not only deliver news. Many times, multitasking is required. They could do interviews with people who are in the news. They could host a talk show or discuss the current news through an editorial. Thus, it is a must that they are interested in the history or the reasons why current events are happening as they are. There should be reasons why the present situation came into being. You should have the character of curiosity in you to be able to delve into the facts of the news.
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  3. 3
    Well-modulated voice.
    Some people are gifted with beautiful well-modulated voices. It seems like they are really meant to work as announcers on TV or radio. However, if you are not blessed with a good speaking voice, you can always practice. Read and memorize tongue twisters, or practice with a speech therapist.
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  4. 4
    Good looks.
    Most reporters are good-looking and have pleasing personalities. There are many ways to enhance looks, one of which is to wear makeup properly and wear clothes that will suit your body type well.
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Perks of Being a Reporter

  1. 1
    VIP treatment and invites.
    Once you are invited to an even or conference, you are given the privilege to be in front of the room with reserved seats because you are a representative of your TV station. You are also invited to press launch, press con, media events, concerts, national events and more.
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  2. 2
    A very credible and famous news presenter sometimes gets an opportunity to be an ambassador or certain brands or companies. Some even become commercial endorsers.
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  3. 3
    News presenters go to different places nationwide and even outside the country. It's a privilege because all expense is paid by the network. You don't only get the free chance to travel and see beautiful places but you also get to meet many people of different culture. Most of all, you are paid.
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  4. 4
    Once you appear on TV on a regular basis, the audience become familiar to you. Your good reputation and credibility is also a plus point. Don't be surprised if people ask to have photo op with you in public, or if you see a good article write up about you. However, you should also be responsible with your actions and comments because people can make a big deal out of it.
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  5. 5
    Free Wardrobe.
    Some news presenters have their own clothes, shoes, salon,skin care sponsors and other free stuff from several sponsors.
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Being a news presenter is not just about the prestige and glory. It is a very demanding job that requires you to be available, energetic and at the top of your game most of the time. If you are not feeling well, you cannot simply miss work because it would be difficult to find a replacement. Moreover, if you are a host and you are having a personal struggle or predicament, you need to leave everything off at home and still put a happy and positive aura in front of the television. However, these downsides depend on the person's perspective. It may affect him or not depending on how he sees it.

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Categories : Business & Management

Recent edits by: Jonathan, Eng, Lynn

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