Why are television news presenters called anchors

News reporter - News presenter

Person presenting news during a news broadcast

A news reporter - also known as a news reporter , news reporter (short for "news channel"), Anchorman or Anchor woman , News anchor or just one anchor - is a person who presents the news during a news program on the television, radio or on the Internet. You can also be a working journalist who will help with the collection of news material and also provide commentary during the program. News presenters mostly work in a television or radio studio, but can also present news from remote locations related to a specific important news event.


The role of the news presenter evolved over time. Classically, the moderator read the messages from a "copy" of the messages he may or may not have written with a message writer. This was often taken over almost directly by Wire Services and then rewritten. Before the television age, broadcast news often mixed news with opinion, and each presenter sought a distinctive style. These moderators were called Designated commentators . The last major figure to present commentary in a news format in the US was Paul Harvey.

With the development of the 24-hour news cycle and dedicated cable news channels, the role of the anchor evolved. Anchors continued to present material prepared for a newscast, but also interviewed experts on various aspects of breaking news and provided improvised commentary under the supervision of the producer, who coordinated the show by communicating with the anchor through headphones. Many anchors also write or edit messages for their programs, although modern message formats often distinguish between anchor and commentator in order to determine the "character" of a newscaster. The mix of "direct" messages and comments depends on the type of program and the skills and knowledge of the anchor.

Etymology of the "anchor"

The terms anchor and Anchor man derive from the usual use in relay races, in particular the anchor leg, where the position is usually assigned to the fastest or most experienced participant in a team. In 1948, "Anchor Man" was used on the game show "Who Said That?" To refer to John Cameron Swayze, who was a standing panelist on the show, in what may be the first television use of the term. The Anchor term became then commonly used until 1952 to describe the most prominent member of a group of reporters or experts. The term "moderator" was also used to describe Walter Cronkite's role in the Democratic and Republican national conventions, where he coordinated the move between news points and reporters.

The widespread claim that news anchors were called "cronkiter" in Swedish was debunked by linguist Ben Zimmer.


Anchors play a controversial role in news broadcasts. Some argue that anchors have become sensational characters whose identities are overshadowing the news itself, while others cite anchors as necessary figureheads of "wisdom and truth" on the news broadcast. The anchor's role has changed in recent years following the rise of satirical journalism and citizen journalism, both of which shift the interpretation of the truth outside of traditional professional journalism, but the place that anchormen and anchor women occupy in American media remains consistent . "Virtually every major newscaster since the post World War II medium was focused on show business," says Frank Rich, general author of New York Magazine, in a polemic against reporting standard news headlines to a camera in an engaging way beyond actual reporting Brian Williams, an anchor for NBC Nightly News, testifies to the loss of credibility caused by celebrating the role of the anchor. In early 2015, Williams apologized to viewers for making up stories about his local experiences at major news events That indiscretion resulted in the loss of 700,000 viewers for NBC Nightly News. David Folkenflik of NPR alleged that the scandal "corroded trust in the anchor, in NBC and in the bigger profession" and showed how the anchor's credibility is overpowering its literal place behind the message out and in anticipation of extending the news medium in general. CBS's long-running nightly news program 60 Minutes shows this alleged redundancy of the anchors, unless it has a central figurehead for the benefit of many correspondents with similarly important roles. Up-and-coming news networks like the documentary coverage of Vice Magazine are also doing without the traditional formatting of news programs. This places the emphasis on on-site reporting and emphasizes the importance of the single anchor in the news medium. In her essay "News as Performance" Margaret Morse establishes this connection between the anchor persona newsroom as an interconnected identity that connects many aspects of newsroom dynamics:

Because the anchor doesn't just represent 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, it represents the complex relationship between them all. In this way, the network anchor position is a "symbolic representation of the institutional order as an integrated whole" (Berger and Luckmann 1967, p. 76), an institutional role that is in no way inferior to that of the President or a Supreme Court. although the role stems from corporate practices rather than political or judicial processes. [...]

Despite the anchor's construction of a commercial, aestheticized version of the news, some critics defend the anchor's role in society, claiming that he or she acts as a necessary conduit for credibility. The newscaster's position as the omnipotent arbiter of information arises from his or her position behind what is usually an elevated desk, from which he or she interacts with reporters through a screen-to-screen facility. One criticism raised against the role of the anchor arises from this dynamic, insofar as anchors simply "... regurgitate or reproduce the report of others ..." and divert them from the productive occupations of journalists and differentiate. Site reporter. Journalism professor Elly Alboim, however, articulates the pro-anchor position by characterizing the anchor's nighttime presence as a necessary way to build familiarity and trust between the network and its viewers: "People tend to believe in television and trust him and really start off the anchor ". Beneficial or not, the anchor fits right into the "personality cult" of American society, which encourages celebrities who require a hierarchy of authority, as evidenced by the negligible change in ratings following the implementation of new anchors in broadcast positions. The identity of a particular anchor seems to affect the viewer's perception less than the presence of an anchor in general.

Finally, the role of the anchor correlates with the analogue, authority- and information-bearing positions that are already well established in American politics, and the advantages it gives to the political arena illustrate the compatibility between these two information systems. Once again, Morse outlines this relationship between the anchor and the larger context in which they operate: "Since there are few other organs for an inclusive and substantive discourse on social and cultural values ​​in American life, responsibility for interpreting the world and the establishment of a political course of action and a social agenda depends on a very limited number of public figures, including such news personalities and the President. "She criticizes the anchor in this case, claiming that by reducing the number, American viewers the people who are responsible for delivering the messages have a shortage of information about their surroundings. The choreography and performativity associated with the construction of the newscast dramatize political processes, yet reveal the flattening of subjectivity and the insistence on oneself as the last word of truth. In particular, "the news media" could "be doing an important social good by using the techniques of dramaturgy to make governance more interesting than it otherwise would be for people." At the same time, however, "there is an important difference between drama and democracy." , with the former requiring viewers and the latter requiring subscribers. "Contrary to perceiving the News as a one-way relationship with its viewers, some believe that The News works with its audience to get the most efficient picture of the world. As Tom Brokaw of his experience Speaking as a newscaster for NBC, he explained how how long news tends to feed on the demands of viewers and that news is inherently a "populist medium" and that "[p] people will not contact television broadcasters for a historically accurate and detailed description of it n get what happened. "

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