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What Are The Qualities And Skill Of Broadcast Journalist

Posted on 06 June 2011 by Aakanksha Shahi


1) To always be ready for anything- on and off the set.

2) To be forever optimistic.

3) To be good natured and patient.

4) To be flexible and adaptable to change at a moment‘s notice.

5) To be able to put on a happy face when you are not up to it.

6) To be able to look and sound fresh and cheerful for the nth take, even when it is not your fault.

7) To be ready to take harsh professional and personal criticism, identifying that which is justifiable and valuable.

8) To be ready to listen and take direction.

9) To be creative and able to make suggestions, not demands.

10) To be able to be relaxed and appear to be so when not.

11) To be able to be prompt and quick.

12) To be able to be calm and composed at a time of emergency while reading out the news.


1) To be able to ad-lib and fill in to time.

2) To be able to make sense of poorly written scripts.

3) To be able to sight-read.

4) To be able to make scriptwriter‘s words sound like your own.

5) To make a complicated text or concept understandable to your viewers.

6) To be able to summarise a piece of text or interview with confidence and clarity to the camera.

7) To be able to judge time and to have a good mental clock.

8) To be able to learn lines quickly.

9) Not to be distracted by a directors instructions, out-of-vision activity or technical


10) To acquire a wide general knowledge so that you have an understanding, show genuine interest and can speak with coherence on a variety of topics.

11) To acquire and practice good vocal skills.


Consciously or unconsciously, the viewer always reads the attitude of a news anchor/reader. It is important that the anchors energy, body language, eye contact, vocal inflection etc are easygoing and comfortable. He must be careful to impart only those opinions and attitudes that are meant to be communicated and are not controversial. While shows are different, a news bulletin must always have one form of presentation and i.e. unbiased.


Television is a visual medium and without doubt the first impression must be a lasting one if an anchor fails to make an impression and get it right in the first go then the viewer will automatically switch off. While beauty holds weightage it is even more important for an anchor to present his image right.

Body language

Even the smallest of the gestures are picked up by a television camera and hence it is important the way and anchor conducts himself in front of it. Mini-signals such as twitching of the lip, slow blink of the eyes, fiddling with the fingers are noticeable and the anchor must be careful of what they might suggest.


It is important that the anchor looks formal and not as if he is lounging in a café while presenting the news or a show on TV. A good posture gives appositive physical image.

Walking and Talking

Many times an anchor has to conduct a story in the field and may not be behind a desk for the shoot. It maybe a live event or it may be an interview. When the cameras are focused on the anchor he must even more careful of how he conducts himself as well as the show. He has to practice to be natural and not clamp up, trip or walk awkwardly. When an anchor is talking directly into the camera it is very important that he holds eyecontact.

This sends a message of confidence and reassurance. It doubles the level of conviction and authority and tells the viewer that the anchors are working from the same script- literally and metaphorically.


A TV makes one look 4-5 kgs heavier on screen. Hence it is very important for the anchor to wear the right clothes to give a perfect appearance.


A TV news anchor must use his voice effectively. Because it is distilled over the airwaves and because the anchor is being heard from a box across the room, he needs to give a little bit morevolume, a touch clearer diction and more variation and inflection than usual.

It is not only what you say but also How you say it

A voice is too sensitive for most people to be able to disguise true feelings. Ideally, a skilledanchor must be the master of his own voice, recognizing how and when to use it effectively.

Having the ability to gain a higher variety of notes and inflections gives the anchor the greater freedom to express his feelings or to convey an opinion- or to detach himself from an emotive subject to be able to present the facts without any bias.

Visualizing always helps one understandwhat kind of tone he must use while presenting a certain piece.


There must be genuine interest within the anchor to show the energy that he wants to portrayon the screen. Else the viewer will be too bored to listen.


An anchor must find a fine balance between speaking softly and intimately and shouting. Each news item requires a different vocal approach and attack.


Some words or points need to be stressed on and the anchor must take note of these words or points.


Speed of delivery of the item depends upon the programme subject. He must be careful not to be too fast or too slow and must try and keep it as conversational as possible.

Diction and Articulation

It is very important for the viewer to be able to understand what exactly the anchor is saying.

No beautiful voice, varied pitch or volume will make a difference if the anchor speaks with no clear diction. Some anchors either speak too fast or gabble their words or they speak too slowly. Some even slur and subsequently become incoherent. Clarity comes from clear, firm, consonants and open vowels.


There are certain standard pronunciations that must be checked and rehearsed before the anchor goes on screen and makes a mess of it. All unusual names must be checked with the person concerned and all difficult words must be checked in the dictionary.

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