What does a Newscaster do?

Cassie L. Damewood

A newscaster reports the news to the public through radio or television station broadcasts. She may work alone, but normally works in conjunction with field reporters and other studio broadcasters to cover a variety of topics and subjects. Her job may be with a small, local station or a major station that broadcasts over a wide range of national and international networks.

On-air newscasters commonly rely on teleprompters.
On-air newscasters commonly rely on teleprompters.

A television newscaster traditionally reads the news off a teleprompter, a video monitor that scrolls her script at a natural pace. In a radio station setting, the newscaster may read from a monitor or hard copy documents. In both cases, taped reports from remote reporters are normally interspersed into stories to add variety and the drama of providing the most up-to-date facts.

A newscaster reports the news to the public through radio or television station broadcasts.
A newscaster reports the news to the public through radio or television station broadcasts.

Computer skills are normally required for this position. Leads on breaking stories are frequently transmitted to news stations via electronic communications. A newscaster also commonly uses a computer to check facts and updates on news stories.

Meteorologists are a part of most newscasts.
Meteorologists are a part of most newscasts.

In smaller venues, a newscaster commonly reports on hard news as well as sports, weather and human interest subjects. Larger stations normally have broadcasters and reporters in each of those areas. Occasionally a newscaster will report on a subject out of his or her area of specialty for the enjoyment of the audience as well as to broaden her areas of expertise.

A newscaster will introduces stories covered by reporters.
A newscaster will introduces stories covered by reporters.

Before the news is broadcast, the broadcasters typically review the content of the program with the director and producer. This solidifies the focus of certain stories and ensures everyone is in sync. Feeds with field reporters are also normally checked for clarity prior to air time.

A newscaster reports on breaking stories, such as vehicle accidents.
A newscaster reports on breaking stories, such as vehicle accidents.

Success as a newscaster ordinarily requires a pleasant speaking voice that is equally soothing and authoritative. If the job is in the television industry, she is generally expected to have a warm and inviting demeanor that appeals to a large demographic. Maintaining composure under pressure is normally required to be a popular and respected newscaster.

Newcasters may put together special reports on issues such as public health.
Newcasters may put together special reports on issues such as public health.

A good command of language is usually required for this position. Using proper grammar and sentence structure enhances a broadcaster’s professional image. Being able to pronounce foreign names and places with ease is generally considered an asset for this job.

This position customarily requires a bachelor’s degree in media communications, broadcasting or journalism. A considerable number of broadcasters work as paid or unpaid interns at local radio or television stations to gain hands-on experience and establish media contacts. In some cases, a broadcaster may first work as reporter to hone her broadcasting and reporting skills.

A newscaster may have her own makeup artist on set.
A newscaster may have her own makeup artist on set.

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Discussion Comments

Markerrag

@Melonlity -- I haven't seen much of that either. The times I have seen a newscaster filling in for sports, weather or anything else has been on the weekends when you have a bit of a crew in training on hand while the regular folks staff the station during the week.

In those cases, the newscasters seemed to be mostly in training and perhaps had to take on other roles to get some experience.

Melonlity

I have yet to run across a market small enough where there weren't separate people around to broadcast news, sports and weather. You always have at least those three and sometimes more people on every newscast I have ever seen. I have never run across a station where the newscaster had to wander over into sports, weather or anything else. They have always stuck with news and other people have taken other roles.

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