TV anchoring and reporting in the age of social media

Media is often perceived as a glamorous industry, but it takes a lot of hard work, research and professional training to become a successful TV reporter

The UPES School of Modern Media organized an enlightening interaction on ‘TV anchoring and reporting in the age of social media.’ Professor KG Suresh, Dean, School of Modern Media, UPES, moderated the session. The panellists on the webinar were Ms. Alka Saxena, Senior Television Journalist and Anchor, and Mr. Himanshu Shekhar Mishra, Editor (Government Affairs), NDTV India. They discussed the changing rules of TV anchoring in the times of social media, along with the niche skills one needs to become a successful TV anchor and reporter. They also took questions from modern media aspirants, their parents and educators. Excerpts of the discussion:

Q1 Many students are attracted towards media for its glamour quotient. How much and what kind of hard work does it take to be a successful media professional?

Ms. Alka Saxena: Journalism is a position where you get privy to information before the world gets it. You get to play an important role. Mostly, people aspire to become an anchor or the front face, but you must know that an anchor is a multitasker. There is a lot of hard work that the host of the show has to put in copywriting, gaining knowledge about what is happening on social media and in preparing and practising to deliver the content in an appealing manner. You should be thorough with your subject and extensive reading is highly recommended. Any mistake you make on screen is unpardonable.

Q2 How does the reporting style varies with the variation in language?

Mr. Himanshu Shekhar Mishra: Language skills make the core of reporting. The ability to adapt to various languages is an essential skill that we seek in a reporter. If you can write in Hindi as well as English, it enables you to reach out to a larger audience. Every journalist should try to learn as many languages as he/she can. Regional channels are also thriving well, and there is a lot of scope for budding reporters.

Every journalist should try to learn as many languages as he/she can

Q3 How does social media help anchors: Is it an enabler or impediment?

Ms. Alka Saxena: Social media platforms keep us abreast with the latest happenings around the globe. The information helps us in creating interesting content for our viewers. But being on social media brings its own challenges such as trolling, abuses, hate mails, cyberbullying etcetera. It is a double-edged sword. So, while it is imperative to use it, one should remain cautious about their words and actions on such platforms.

Mr. Himanshu Shekhar Mishra: Social media is an enabler; it helps media professionals to get the pulse of the people. It has given a platform to all world leaders to connect with their followers directly via platforms like Twitter and YouTube. People are now accessing news at their convenience. It is about how active you are and what kind of engagement you are having. It is also important to have the right systems in place to handle any kind of mismanagement.

Q4 What are your tips to become a successful anchor?

Ms. Alka Saxena: Studio life is different from what we read in books and classrooms. There, it all depends on your presence of mind and your smartness to tweak the content as per the situation. Energy matters but maintaining your calm is equally significant. Subject knowledge, of course, is paramount but your cumulative knowledge on general subjects also helps you to strike effective conversations with your guests on the show. So, aspirants are advised to strengthen their research acumen and ability to deliver promptly.

Also read: Future media newsroom and classroom

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