What do newsreaders do when they're not reading the news?

I presume it doesn’t involve dousing themselves in Sex Panther, drinking copious amounts of Scotch, randomly playing Jazz Flute, or harmoniously singing Afternoon Delight- at least, not for the the most part. :wink:

Seriously though, what do Newsreaders do during the working day when they’re not reading the news? Or do they really get to rock up to the studio two hours or so before the evening news, read up on the news, get their makeup done, read the news for 30-45 minutes or so, then head off for the day?

Anyone know?

What the hell is a newsreader?

Maybe you call a newsreader a news broadcaster.

The person who reads the news on TV or the radio… what else would they be? :confused:

I think it depends on whether they’re journalists themselves or pretty people paid to read the autocue.

The hosts of Newsnight spend their off-air time writing, researching and preparing for or filming interviews. Same goes for the hosts of Today on Radio 4.

The news persons at the station where I work spend their days going out to get stories and interviews. Or they spend hours on the phone with people asking questions. Sometimes the sujbect of a story will come in to be interviewed. Following this, they write the stories and edit the interview clips in preparation for broadcast. They always have several stories in the works, which require many days of research and writing to finish. Often they are rewriting and polishing what they have right up to airtime. Being on the radio takes up the smallest portion of their days.

Given the copious amount of references in the OP, one might say it’s the same thing as an Anchorman.

Yes, it’s a confusing term. Unlike “anchor”, whose meaning is self-evident.

Software for viewing and posting to the Usenet computer network, which makes the title of this thread somewhat confusing.

That aside, all newsreaders (the human kind) I’ve known have been journalists too, so they do what all journalists do and if it’s their turn in front of the camera, they read the news too.

The people I know who don’t have any reporting responsibilities generally read wire service material during breaks in syndicated or other programming, but they are responsible for making sure the program goes on as scheduled.


Funny you should ask that. I just spent some time at a local English-language station helping them with some things.

The female newsreaders would need anything up to 2 hours before the broadcast to get their makeup done by a professional. Between 30 and 45 minutes to do a dry run just to make sure the foreign names and places came out right. Maybe an hour checking with the people that compile the news from the wire services to see what was going to be included. So, for a 20 minute news broadcast the newsreader would take about 3 or 4 hours just getting ready.
As I mentioned, this was not CNN or anything, just a local broadcast station.



Consume alcoholic beverages.


On a board I used to frequent there was a guy who was always writing about giving under-the-desk foot rubs and other sub/slave services to various newsgals. I know it sounds ultra lame, but he was actually a really funny writer, and some of the scenarios were actually quite erotic.

I can’t speak for network correspondents/anchors, but at the local level anchors (those meat puppets who sit behind the desk and read the news) spend their non-air time reading the wire services/newspapers and writing scripts. Larger markets require less of this since they can hire writers; smaller markets need their personnel to wear more than one hat. Anchors, as a rule, don’t report in the field. This is not universal, however.

Reporters/correspondents work in the field. They generate, research, and conduct the field work required to put a story on the air (interviewing, writing, voicing their track). These folks spend their non-air time on the phone, in the field, writing, voicing and sometimes consulting on the editing of the piece.

Anchors have been known in the past to spend less time in the office (usually in the form of a long lunch) but, it’s a leaner, meaner business now and most stations have a bottom line they’re trying to maintain. The high priced help have to do more since there are fewer people working behind the scenes.

Also, the anchors record promos that air between programming to entice you tune at 11 (10 central). Sometimes, there are live promos as well, particularly when there is breaking news.

Yeah, I’ll say. I was all “WTF do you think it’s doing? It’s sitting quiescently on my hard drive waiting for me to launch it. Did you think it was doing lunch with Photoshop? Flirting with iMovie?”

If you have Agent, it’s spying on your porn folders.

I went to a talk given by one of these women a couple years ago. Apparently she still needed to do a fair amount of “reporting live from the scene of this car crash/ crime/ community event.” She also enjoyed getting the chance to interact with people who had an uplifting or touching story for a human interest feature. And as she explained it, it was clear that getting your hair, makeup and outfit done every day for people who pay your salary and have a critical eye is not the same as having a spa day every day.

They go into temporary hibernation mode to save battery power.

In a large market where I work their day is sometimes easy, sometimes harder. There can be a lot of downtime which allows for a long dinner break or some chill time.

However anchors are also expected to give up weekend days, nights, or any other normally ‘off’ time uncompensated for charity events, news promotions and other work related appearances. Also on air talent is held to a high standard of off-air behavior; their lives are very much dictated by the needs of the station.

Don’t get me wrong, folks on the top tier are very well compensated for their troubles, but it is a misnomer to believe life is easy or without hardship. But then again I have yet to witness any portrayal of my industry to accurately indicate how it really works. Amazingly, IMHO, Groundhog Day is about the least incorrect.

And any decision that can affect your appearance is in the control of your employers, including whether and when you are going to get a haircut or if you’re going to undergo quasi-medical procedures like tooth-straightening.

One local anchorwoman told me that she was given permission to get “invisible” braces to get her teeth straightened, but once they were in, the station changed its mind, and she had to get them taken out immediately.

It’s a pretty pathetic profession really, and has little to do with giving people information they need in order to make critical decisions in a democracy.