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Moderator vs. Host: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

If you’re interested in working in television or online media, you may be wondering what the difference is between a moderator and a host. Both roles are important in keeping a show or channel running smoothly, but they have different responsibilities. In this article, we’ll discuss the duties of a moderator and a host, the similarities and differences between the two positions and what you need to know to pursue a career in either field.

What is a Moderator?

Moderators are responsible for keeping discussion forums, chat rooms and other online communities organized and functioning smoothly. They work to keep the conversations on topic and civil by enforcing community guidelines. Moderators also help new members get acclimated to the community and can answer questions about how to use the site or participate in discussions. In some cases, Moderators may also create or edit content for the community. Moderators typically have a deep knowledge of the community they moderate and are active participants in the conversations.

What is a Host?

A host is a person who presides over a television or radio program, a meeting or an event. They are responsible for introducing the show or event, keeping the program on track and keeping the audience engaged. A host may also be responsible for interviewing guests, moderating panel discussions or managing audience questions. In some cases, a host may also be responsible for writing or producing the show. Hosts typically have a strong personality and excellent public speaking skills.

Moderator vs. Host

Here are the main differences between a moderator and a host.

Job Duties

In addition to greeting guests and introducing programs, hosts may also be responsible for maintaining a comfortable environment. This can involve adjusting the lighting or sound levels as needed, ensuring that there’s enough seating and taking care of any technical issues that occur.

Moderators have a more specific job duty, as they’re primarily responsible for keeping conversations on track. This can involve reminding speakers of their time limits, asking questions to keep audiences engaged and intervening if there are disruptive audience members.

Job Requirements

There are no specific educational requirements for moderators and hosts, but many of them have a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, journalism or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree as well. Moderators and hosts typically start their careers working in smaller markets before moving to larger ones. They might also work their way up from an assistant position to a lead role. Many professionals in this field gain experience through internships.

Work Environment

Moderators and hosts can work in a variety of environments, depending on the type of event they’re hosting. For example, if you’re moderating a debate or panel discussion, you may need to travel to different locations to host these events. You might also work with other professionals who help plan and execute these events, such as producers, directors and camera operators.

A host typically works in an environment that’s similar to a restaurant or bar. They often work during regular business hours, but some hosts may work late nights or weekends. Depending on their job responsibilities, hosts may have to lift heavy objects, clean up after customers or perform other physical tasks.


There are several similarities between moderators and hosts in terms of the skills they use on the job. Both need to be excellent communicators, as they need to be able to engage with their audience and keep them interested. They also both need to have strong organizational skills to keep track of the discussion and ensure that it stays on topic.

However, there are also some key differences between the two roles. Moderators need to be more impartial and objective, as their job is to facilitate discussion and ensure that all voices are heard. Hosts, on the other hand, can be more opinionated and take a more active role in the discussion. Additionally, hosts typically have more knowledge about the topic being discussed than moderators, as they are usually experts in their field.


The average salary for a moderator is $54,034 per year, while the average salary for a host is $30,491 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the type of work you’re doing, your location and your experience level.


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