A commenter is someone who provides commentary on events, current issues, the news, or a specific subject of interest. Commentators work around the world in a wide variety of settings. Many work in broadcast media, offering commentary over the radio or on television, and some may also contribute to print media with written commentary. Some commentators become very well known; Edward R. Murrow, for example, was a famous broadcast journalist and commentator.
One area in which commentators are commonly used is sports events, where they may be known as sportscasters or color commentators, depending on the type of commentary they offer. On the radio, a sportscaster describes the action so that people can follow along at home. On television, color commentators provide facts and information, commentary about the game, and material which they think might be interesting to viewers at home.
Commentators may also have regular columns, broadcast or printed, in which they can talk about a variety of issues. Political commentators, sometimes known as pundits, are very common, and tend to approach politics from a particular perspective. A conservative commentator, for example, would discuss political developments from a conservative point of view. Commentators can also comment on global issues, economics, social policy, and so forth.
A commentator may also opt to analyze and discuss the news, artistic media, and other subjects of interest. Commentators who discuss the arts tend to be more rare. In all cases, a commentator often makes guest appearances in venues where he or she does not normally appear, because commentators are recognized as authorities on the topics they cover. For example, a radio station might invite a well-known economic commentator to do a guest spot discussing a current economic issue.
Working as a commentator is hard work. These professionals must keep up with constant news developments while working on their columns and material, which are often prepared beforehand. Being a commentator can require travel, and the need for constantly fresh material. When a commentator is preparing something every day for years, it can start to get challenging to bring new material to viewers, listeners, and readers.
Someone who wants to become a commentator can approach the career from a number of perspectives. Some start out with training in journalism and related fields, while others may opt to train in their area of interest first, and then learn commentating skills. Sometimes commentating is a second career; some athletes, for example, go on to become sportscasters or color commentators after their athletic careers are over.