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What does a News Analyst do?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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A news analyst, also referred to as a newscaster or news anchor, is a broadcast journalist who works for a television or radio station. He or she hosts a news show and verbally relays current events to a viewing or listening audience. This person may introduce video or audio clips from reporters who are live at the scene of a developing news story. The length of time an analyst is on-air can vary greatly; for example, some analysts can have half-hour time slots once a day, while others have five minute segments every hour for eight hours.

Depending on the location and size of a broadcast station, the duties of news analysts jobs can differ significantly. One who works for a small, local broadcast station may be responsible for additional duties compared to another who is employed at a large, national broadcast station. Local broadcast analysts may be required to research and write the news copy they reads on-air, as well as report on weather and sports. National broadcast anchors generally only read news reports that are researched and written by other journalists, and will have meteorologists and sportscasters to cover weather and sports.

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The nature of the television or radio news program that a news anchor works for can also affect his or her job duties. At times, a news analyst may also interview guests on his or her show. Additionally, he or she might host and mediate a panel discussion, such as a political debate with several participants. To have a successful career, a person will typically have to possess some subjective qualities; for instance, he or she needs a pleasant voice and likable personality for radio broadcasting, as well as a groomed appearance for television work. Other qualities needed to perform this job successfully include having a proper grasp on his or her language, clear pronunciation and diction, and a wide range of knowledge on politics, business, sports, and other current events.

A newscaster must know how to read news in a specific time frame to ensure all news gets delivered within a show’s allotted time. He or she also improvises and makes quick decisions, such as how to handle equipment malfunction or to deal with interviews that turn uncomfortable or problematic. News careers have the potential of long hours and strict deadlines due to the development of major news stories, so a news analyst may have to be on call to deliver a news story with little notice or no preparation. Generally, these careers are available anywhere in the world that has broadcasting; however, jobs at national broadcast stations are the most competitive for analysts to obtain.

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anon953373
Post 7

They're more like a curator.

Ana1234
Post 6

@gravois - It's difficult and mostly what you'll have to do is either work your way in sideways, by getting jobs that are closer and closer to what you want, or by trying to break in directly by doing an internship.

It's almost impossible to get even an entry level job at a major news station without prior experience, but you can hunt around for jobs that are perhaps less popular, but still on the network, or jobs that are in smaller areas.

Or you can get your experience with an internship, which is still difficult to get. Good luck either way!

clintflint
Post 5

@indigomoth - It's not only the individual shows you have to worry about. Even standard news is going to have one spin or another on it. It shows up in the people they interview, the facts they include or omit and so forth. I don't think it's possible to have a truly neutral news service, much as people think that would be the ideal.

The one good thing is that with the modern age, it's easy to gather a lot of news about a subject. By gathering as many different views as possible, you can try to get an accurate picture. I prefer to do that, rather than trust any particular news analyst, whether they have their own show or not.

indigomoth
Post 4

I feel like the term "analyst" is a bit of a misnomer in some cases. I mean, often the person up there is just reading off what they have in front of them, rather than actually "analyzing" anything. It's the folk behind the scenes who decide what to transmit and how to spin it.

That's not always the case, of course, particularly when a person has a show that is built around their own personality. But I don't trust them to really tell the truth, to be honest. The Daily Show gets dismissed as a comedy, but I think it is just as accurate as many other shows. It's just honest about its dishonesty.

gravois
Post 2

How can I get a job as a news analyst? I have a degree in journalism but I was focused mostly on print journalism and do not have a lot of experience in front of the camera. I know that this is a very competitive industry with a limited number of jobs. How do I break in?

BAU79
Post 1
I think the term news analyst gets applied a little to liberally these days. There are so many "news analysts" who are really just ideological blowhards who watch the days headlines and then spin them to reflect their own personal opinions and worldview.

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