A news anchor or news presenter is a professional who specializes in presenting news in the broadcast medium. Television, radio, and webcasting news services all use anchors to provide news and commentary. This position is considered extremely high profile, since the person is the face of his or her station. Newscasters often compete for top slots as anchors, and prominent ones may command hefty salaries and other benefits.
In the very basic sense, a news anchor simply reads the day's news. Many anchors may also add commentary to their readings, and some act as reporters or journalists, actively seeking out news and writing their own stories. In some cases, this person may conduct interviews or report live from the field for important breaking news. These broadcasts may be recorded or live, depending on the station; if live, an anchor has to be extremely confident and self assured, as there are no re-dos in live broadcasting.
Working as a news anchor can be challenging. People in this job have to respond to breaking news rapidly and professionally, offering comment, interpretation, and information for viewers or listeners. Nearly all undergo voice training, in which they learn how to modulate their voices and speak with minimal accents so that they can be understood by most people. In the television medium, this person must also be very aware of his or her personal appearance, and some anchors spend a great deal of energy on personal grooming to ensure that they look their best.
It can also be very exciting to be an anchor. High profile presenters often get to interact with famous people, and they may be on the ground for historically important events. If a news anchor is deemed important enough, he or she may get a separate news show, allowing the anchor more reporting leeway so that topics of interest can be pursued. Members of the general public also often look up to people in this profession, since they are considered valuable sources of information.
To work as a news anchor, most people study broadcast journalism in college, while also taking a broad spectrum of classes so that they are well educated in science, humanities, and history. If someone knows that he or she wants to specialize in a niche like science reporting, a greater focus on the niche interest might be required. While in college, a prospective anchor typically seeks out work in the medium of the choice, with the goal of working his or her way up the food chain to the anchor position.