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A news presenter – also known as a newsreader, newscaster (short for "news broadcaster"), anchorman or anchorwoman, news anchor or simply an anchor – is a person who presents news during a
news program News broadcasting is the medium of broadcasting of various news events and other information via television, radio, or internet in the field of broadcast journalism. The content is usually either video production, produced local programming, l ...
on TV,
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use ...

radio
or the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. They may also be a working
journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...

journalist
, assisting in the collection of news material and may, in addition, provide commentary during the program. News presenters most often work from a
television studio (MDR) A television studio, also called a television production studio, is an installation room in which video productions take place, either for the production of live television and its recording onto video tape or other media such as SSDs, or ...

television studio
or
radio studio A recording studio is a specialized facility for sound recording Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, Mechanical system, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice ...

radio studio
, but may also present the news from remote locations in the field related to a particular major news event.


History

The role of the news presenter developed over time. Classically, the presenter would read the news from news "copy" which they may or may not have helped write with a news writer. This was often taken almost directly from
wire service A news agency is an organization that gathers news News is information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s ...
s and then rewritten. Prior to the television era, radio-news broadcasts often mixed news with opinion and each presenter strove for a distinctive style. These presenters were referred to as commentators. The last major figure to present commentary in a news broadcast format in the United States was
Paul Harvey Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for ABC News Radio. He broadcast ''News and Comment'' on mornings and mid-days on weekdays and at noon on Saturdays and ...

Paul Harvey
. With the development of the 24-hour news cycle and dedicated cable news channels, the role of the anchor evolved. Anchors would still present material prepared for a news program, but they also interviewed experts about various aspects of breaking news stories, and themselves provided improvised commentary, all under the supervision of the producer, who coordinated the broadcast by communicating with the anchor through an earphone. Many anchors also write or edit news for their programs, although modern news formats often distinguish between anchor and commentator in an attempt to establish the "character" of a news anchor. The mix of "straight" news and commentary varies depending on the type of program and the skills and knowledge of the particular anchor.


Etymology of "anchor"

The terms ''anchor'' and ''anchorman'' are derived from the usage common in
relay racing
relay racing
, specifically the
anchor legThe anchor leg is the final position in a relay race. Typically, the anchor leg of a relay is given to the fastest or most experienced competitor on a team. The athlete completing the anchor leg of a relay is responsible for making up ground on the r ...
, where the position is typically given to the fastest or most experienced competitor on a team. In 1948, "anchor man" was used in the game show "
Who Said That? ''Who Said That?'' is a 1947–55 NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ...
" to refer to
John Cameron Swayze John Cameron Swayze (April 4, 1906 – August 15, 1995) was an American news commentator and game show panelist during the 1940s and 1950s who later became best known as a product spokesman. Early life Born in Wichita, Kansas, Swayze was the ...
, who was a permanent panel member of the show, in what may be the first usage of this term on television. The ''anchor'' term then became commonly used by 1952 to describe the most prominent member of a panel of reporters or experts. The term "anchorman" also was used to describe
Walter Cronkite Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist who served as anchorman for the ''CBS Evening News'' for 19 years (1962–1981). During the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the mos ...

Walter Cronkite
's role at the
Democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...
and
Republican National Conventions The Republican National Convention (RNC) is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1856 by the United States Republican Party. They are administered by the Republican National Committee. The goal of the Repu ...

Republican National Conventions
, where he coordinated switches between news points and reporters. The widespread claim that news anchors were called "cronkiters" in
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
has been debunked by linguist
Ben Zimmer Benjamin Zimmer (born 1971) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the ...
.


Criticisms

Anchors occupy a contestable role in news broadcasts. Some argue anchors have become sensationalized characters whose identities overshadow the news itself, while others cite anchors as necessary figureheads of "wisdom and truth" in the news broadcast. The role of the anchor has changed in recent years following the advent of satirical journalism and
citizen journalism Citizen journalism, also known as collaborative media, participatory journalism, democratic journalism, guerrilla journalism or street journalism, is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, ana ...
, both of which relocate the interpretation of truth outside traditional professional journalism, but the place anchormen and anchorwomen hold in American media remains consistent. "Just about every single major news anchor since the dawn of the medium after World War II has been aligned with show business," says Frank Rich, writer-at-large for New York Magazine, in a polemic against commoditized news reporting, "reading headlines to a camera in an appealing way is incentivized over actual reporting".
Brian Williams Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is an American journalist at MSNBC MSNBC is an American news broadcasting, news-based pay television cable channel based in New York City. It is owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group#NBCUnivers ...

Brian Williams
, an anchor for NBC Nightly News, evidences this lapse in credibility generated by the celebration of the role of the anchor. In early 2015, Williams apologized to his viewers for fabricating stories of his experiences on the scene of major news events, an indiscretion resulting in a loss of 700,000 viewers for NBC Nightly News. David Folkenflik of NPR asserted that the scandal "corrodes trust in the anchor, in NBC and in the greater profession", exhibiting the way in which the credibility of the anchor extends beyond their literal place behind the news desk and into the expectation of the news medium at large. CBS's long-running nighttime news broadcast
60 Minutes ''60 Minutes'' is an American television news magazine '' 2512'', a monthly news magazine published in Réunion. A news magazine is a typed, printed, and published magazine, radio or television program, usually published weekly, consisting ...
displays this purported superfluousness of anchors, insofar as it has no central figurehead in favor of many correspondents with similarly important roles. Up-and-coming news networks like
Vice Magazine ''Vice'' (stylized as ''VICE'') is a Canadian-American magazine focused on lifestyle, arts, culture, and news/politics. Founded in 1994 in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Cana ...
's documentary-style reporting also eschew traditional news broadcast formatting in this way, suggesting an emphasis on on-site reporting and deemphasizing the importance of the solitary anchor in the news medium. In her essay, "News as Performance", Margaret Morse posits this connection between anchor persona newsroom as an interconnected identity fusing many aspects of the newsroom dynamic:
For the anchor represents not merely the news ''per se'', or a particular network or corporate conglomerate that owns the network, or television as an institution, or the public interest; rather, he represents the complex nexus of all of them. In this way, the network anchor position is a "symbolic representation of the institutional order as an integrated totality" (Berger and Luckmann 1967, p. 76), an institutional role on par with that of the president or of a Supreme Court justice, although the role originates in corporate practices rather than political or judicial processes. ..ref name=":2">
Despite the anchor's construction of a commodified, aestheticized version of the news, some critics defend the role of the anchor in society, claiming that they function as a necessary conduit of credibility. The news anchor's position as an omnipotent arbiter of information results from their place behind a typically elevated desk, wherefrom they interact with reporters through a screen-within-screen spatial setup. A criticism levied against the role of anchor stems from this dynamic, insofar as anchors simply "... regurgitat or reproduc the report of others...", differentiating them from the productive occupations of journalists and on-site reporters. However, journalism professor Elly Alboim articulates the pro-anchor position by characterizing the anchor's nightly presence as a necessary way to build familiarity and trust between the network and its viewers: "People tend to want to believe and trust in television new and start, really, from the anchor". Beneficial or not, the anchor fits snugly into the "
personality cult Personality is defined as the characteristic sets of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors. While there is no generally agreed upon definition of personality, most theories focus on mot ...
" engendered within American society that encourages celebrity that demands a hierarchy of authority, evidenced by the negligible change in ratings following implementation of new anchors in broadcast lineups. The identity of a particular anchor seems to influence viewer perception less than the presence of an anchor in general. Finally, the role of the anchor correlates with the analogous, authority- and information-bearing positions already well-established in
American politics The United States is a constitutional federal republic, in which the president of the United States, president (the head of state and head of government), United States Congress, Congress, and United States federal courts, judiciary share Separat ...
, and the benefits it confers upon the political realm elucidate the compatibility between these two systems of information. Once again, Morse outlines this relationship between the anchor and the larger context in which they operate: " nce there are few other organs for inclusive and substantial discourse on social and cultural values in American life, the responsibility for interpreting the world and posing a political course of action and a social agenda falls on a very limited number of public personas, including such news personalities and the president". She levies a criticism against the anchor in this case, claiming that by decreasing the number of people responsible for delivering the news, American viewers receive a bottlenecked stream of information about their surroundings. The choreography and performativity involved in the construction of the news broadcast dramatizes political processes, but in doing so, exposes its flattening of
subjectivity Subjectivity in a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the sum ...
and insistence upon itself as the final word of truth. More specifically, "the news media may do 'an important social good when using the techniques of dramaturgy to make governance more interesting to people than would be the case otherwise.' At the same time, however, 'there is an important difference between drama and democracy, with the former requiring spectators and the latter participants.'" In contrast to perceptions of the news as a one-sided relationship with its viewers, some believe that the news works in conjunction with its audience to produce the most efficient picture possible of the world. Tom Brokaw, in speaking about his experiences as a news anchor for NBC, explained how news stories for the length of their duration tend to feed off viewers' demands, and that news is inherently a "populist medium", and that " ople are not going to turn to television networks for a historically accurate and detailed description of what happened."


See also

*
List of news presenters This is a list of news presenters by nationality. List of news presenters by nationality American news anchors * Roz Abrams, formerly of CBS News, American Broadcasting Company, ABC's ''Eyewitness News'' * Christiane Amanpour, CNN * Ernie Anastos ...
* 24-hour news cycle *
Broadcast journalism Broadcast journalism is the field of news and journals which are broadcast Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or gen ...
*
CNN effect The CNN effect is a theory in political science and media studies which states that global television networks play a significant role in determining the actions policymakers take and the outcomes of events. History The 24-hour news cycle, 24-hou ...
* Electronic journalism *
Electronic news-gathering Electronic news-gathering (ENG) is when reporters A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or pro ...
(ENG) *
Journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audience and purpose. ...

Journalism
*
Local news In journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audie ...
*
Media event A media event, also known as a pseudo-event, is an event, activity, or experience conducted for the purpose of media publicity. It may also include any event that is covered in the mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (com ...
*
News broadcasting News broadcasting is the medium of broadcasting of various news events and other information via television, radio, or internet in the field of broadcast journalism. The content is usually either video production, produced local programming, l ...
*
News program News broadcasting is the medium of broadcasting of various news events and other information via television, radio, or internet in the field of broadcast journalism. The content is usually either video production, produced local programming, l ...
*
Sports commentator In Broadcasting of sports events, sports broadcasting, a sports commentator (also known as sports announcer, sportscaster, or play-by-play announcer) gives a real time (media), real-time commentary of a game or event, usually during a live televi ...


References


External links

* {{Authority control * Broadcasting occupations Journalism occupations Mass media occupations * Reporting specialties *
Television terminology {{CatAutoTOC Terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as terminology science. Terms are words and ...