Career Development

What Does a News Anchor Do?

Find out what a news anchor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a news anchor.

News anchors are the faces of local news broadcasts. They’re responsible for reading scripts and delivering stories to viewers, often in a fast-paced environment where every second counts.

News anchors must be able to read from a teleprompter with confidence and clarity. They also need to have strong interpersonal skills—they’re on camera most of the time they’re working, so they need to be able to connect with their audience through body language and facial expressions as well as words.

News Anchor Job Duties

News anchors have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Interviewing guests to discuss news topics or other important issues that affect the community
  • Conducting research to help them prepare for newscasts and reporting on stories
  • Covering breaking news stories as they occur, such as fires, floods, crime scenes, and natural disasters
  • Writing, editing, and producing news stories for broadcast on television or radio
  • Reporting on accidents and other emergencies as they happen, often through live broadcasts on television or radio
  • Interviewing guests about their careers and achievements to add interest to news stories
  • Reporting on local government activities, including city council meetings and hearings
  • Presenting news stories on television or radio, often announcing the topic and introducing guests or speakers
  • Reporting on major events in the community, such as city council meetings, school board meetings, and charity fundraisers

News Anchor Salary & Outlook

News anchors are typically paid based on their level of experience, the size of the market they work in, and the company for which they work.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $100,000 ($48.08/hour)

The employment of news anchors is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

An increase in the number of cable and online news outlets is expected to lead to more jobs for anchors. However, some traditional television stations may reduce their staffs as they consolidate or close down operations.

Related: News Anchor Interview Questions and Answers

News Anchor Job Requirements

A news anchor typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: News anchors are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or another related field. These programs typically include courses in broadcast journalism, broadcast writing, broadcast ethics, broadcast law and broadcast production.

Training & Experience: News anchors typically receive on-the-job training to learn the technical aspects of their role. They may shadow other anchors or reporters to learn how to report and present stories. They may also receive training in the use of the equipment they will use on air, such as teleprompters and video editing software.

Certifications & Licenses: News anchors don’t typically earn certifications. They might, however, become members of professional organizations to demonstrate their commitment to the industry and to furthering their knowledge.

News Anchor Skills

News anchors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: News anchors communicate with producers, directors and other members of the news team. They also communicate with guests and sources during live broadcasts. Strong communication skills can help you collaborate with others, share ideas and solve problems.

Knowledge of current events: News anchors should have a strong knowledge of current events to be able to report on them accurately. They should be able to research and understand the details of a story and explain it to their audience. This requires extensive research skills and the ability to stay up to date on current events.

Public speaking skills: Public speaking skills are necessary for news anchors because they often have to present live on-air. This means they have to be comfortable speaking in front of a camera and a large audience. Public speaking skills can also help you to be more confident when you’re interviewing guests or presenting news stories.

Confidence: Confidence is another important skill for an anchor to have. You should be able to speak to the camera with confidence and authority. This can help you to build trust with your audience. You should also be confident in the information you’re presenting. This can help you to be more persuasive and engaging.

Ability to read from a teleprompter: News anchors often read from a teleprompter, which is a device that displays text. This is a necessary skill for an anchor because it allows them to read a script without having to memorize it. Anchors must be able to read from a teleprompter quickly and clearly.

News Anchor Work Environment

News anchors work in studios or offices, usually in a large city. They may work for a television or radio station, or for a network. They usually work a regular schedule, although they may be required to work overtime, on weekends, or on holidays. News anchors may be under a great deal of pressure to meet deadlines and to be accurate in their reporting. They may also be required to travel to cover stories.

News Anchor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how news anchors work. News anchors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital News Anchor

The rise of the digital news anchor is a trend that is quickly changing the landscape of broadcast journalism. As more and more people get their news online, news anchors are needed to provide a face for the stories that they read.

This trend is creating new opportunities for those who are well-versed in digital media. News anchors can now reach a wider audience by posting videos on YouTube or creating content for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

More Use of Social Media as a News Source

As social media becomes a more popular source for news, news anchors will need to develop skills in this area.

News anchors will need to be able to use social media to find breaking news and share it with their audience. They will also need to be able to interact with their viewers on social media platforms, which can help them build trust and loyalty. In addition, news anchors will need to be able to create content that is both informative and entertaining for social media users.

Greater Focus on Investigative Reporting

Investigative reporting is becoming increasingly important in the news industry, as it provides readers with information that they cannot get from other sources. This is why investigative reporters are often highly valued by news organizations.

As investigative reporting becomes more popular, news anchors will need to learn how to report on these investigations in a way that is both accurate and engaging. They will also need to be able to identify investigative stories and pitch them to their editors.

How to Become a News Anchor

A news anchor career can be a great way to start your broadcasting career. It’s important to have the right skills and experience before applying for this type of job. You should have excellent communication skills, be able to read from a teleprompter, and be comfortable on camera.

You should also have some experience in reporting and anchoring. This could include internships or volunteer work at local TV stations.

Advancement Prospects

News anchors typically advance in their careers by moving to larger markets. As they gain experience and a reputation for dependability and good work, they may move to larger television stations in larger cities, where they will have the opportunity to work with more experienced reporters and anchors and to cover more high-profile stories. Some news anchors may eventually move into management positions, such as news director. Others may move into public relations or other related fields.

News Anchor Job Description Example

The news anchor is the face and voice of [CompanyX]’s news programming. He or she is responsible for delivering the news to our viewers in an accurate, objective, and engaging manner. The news anchor is also responsible for conducting interviews with newsmakers, researching stories, and working with the news team to develop story ideas.

The ideal candidate for this position will have experience as a news anchor or reporter, excellent on-camera presence, and superb writing and communication skills. He or she must be able to think on their feet, handle live breaking news situations, and be comfortable working in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Present the news on-air in a clear, concise, and accurate manner
  • Write and edit news stories for broadcast
  • Research and develop story ideas
  • Conduct interviews with newsmakers
  • Work with producers and directors to ensure the best possible presentation of the news
  • Stay up-to-date on current affairs and the latest news stories
  • Adhere to journalistic ethics and standards
  • Deliver the news in an unbiased and objective manner
  • Present the news in a calm and professional demeanor
  • Be able to think on your feet and improvise when necessary
  • Be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Be able to work flexible hours, including overnight and weekends

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field
  • 5+ years experience as a news anchor or reporter
  • Proven on-air experience with excellent delivery and presence
  • Strong writing skills with the ability to ad-lib when necessary
  • Excellent news judgment and knowledge of current events
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Flexibility to work various shifts, including nights and weekends

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field
  • 7+ years experience as a news anchor or reporter
  • Experience with live broadcasts
  • Anchoring experience with a major network or affiliate
  • Significant experience with investigative reporting


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