Becoming a news anchor is something that sounds and looks absolutely glamorous but, take my word, you don’t know half of it. It isn’t easy to be caught in the studio for hours being told new things that you have to speak every minute because something happened somewhere. There are moments when you don’t know anything more than the people shelling peas in somebody else’s kitchen but you need to use your presence of mind and knowledge to play along and make the best of what you’ve got. And just to add to the misery there are lights and camera on you all along, and if there are other people on your show they can be quite unpredictable as well.
Dealing with all of the above in one go needs way more than just good looks and a good accent, anchors are usually the smartest people in the channel and the most popular too. They are daring, witty, smart and well-informed.
Work on your General Knowledge
More than wanting to get into a good journalism college, you will have to work on your skills. Read everything related to general knowledge that comes your way. Read every newspaper, book, article. This will help you get the right exposure and will open your mind to various new things. Apart from this, start watching the news as much as possible. This will help you get a hang of how journalism and anchors work.
Choosing what you want to study
If you are somebody who has been focused since the time they got out of school, well then you could start with BMM and once you’re done with your graduation, you could choose to specialize in whichever field you choose. BMM is a course which is available in almost all the reputed universities today, like – Delhi university, Mumbai university, etc. The fee is just a basic Rs 30,000 per year or less, there is a selection criteria, and the exposure you get is priceless.
Even if you took your own sweet time to arrive at the decision of becoming a news anchor, it is not too late. There are courses in journalism that can be taken up after any under-grad stream by just fulfilling a basic criteria of minimum percentage and passing the entrance test. These courses are highly regarded in India and give you the entry in the field of journalism. A few colleges that offer these courses are XIC in Mumbai, IIJNM in Bengaluru, ACJ in Chennai, IIMC in New Delhi and many more. The post-graduate courses are mostly 10 months long and mostly have good placement drives.
Specialization or working your way up
Once you’re done with your post graduation, there are two ways of getting started. You could either take up the first desk job that comes your way and work your way up and become an anchor. The first pay could range from Rs 25,000 to 35,000 and will take you around 3 to 4 years to become experienced enough to become an anchor. Otherwise, one could specialize from universities abroad and then apply directly as an anchor. The first option is better because it will give you an experience of the news world and by the time you become an anchor, you will know the media like the back of your hand. And, one could always go for specialization later in life.
An anchor’s salary is easily above Rs 50,000 per month. It could be as settled as a 9 to 5 job, or as unsettled as the war zone where they are sent based on their forte and capability. Anchoring, contrary to what everybody believes, takes a lot of brains, effort, knowledge and sacrifices and if one is aiming to get into new anchoring, they should always be prepared to face new challenges.
Image Courtesy : IndiaTVnews