Journalism: Broadcast media and Television Presenters
For many generations, the print media was the leading forms of media in the world. Modern civilization was found in this type of media. Traditional print media became the backbone of society, especially the elite. But when broadcast media came into play, everything changed. Television was now the new center of attraction. Even though it was first accessed only by high-class societies, advancement in technology soon made it accessible to all. Today, there is a television in almost every homestead. Broadcast media has overtaken the traditional newspaper. And when the new media – the internet, came into play, people thought perhaps TV and radio would no longer be useful. But that was not to be since today, and we can see many television programs running from mobile devices. You don’t need a huge TV screen to watch your favorite shows.
Broadcast media is a branch of journalism that uses voice and images to pass information. Unlike print, broadcast focuses on the current issues. This is why most TV and radio scripts are written in the present tense. This is, of course, the exception of documentaries, features, screenplays, and similar items. The bottom line is, broadcast media is all about telling stories through images and voice. A camera is a primary tool in the industry. It enables the media personnel to create the stories and present them in a way that attracts the viewers' attention.
One of the most significant careers in broadcast is television presenting. This is a role that requires proper skills and talent to achieve their goals. A television presenter uses their before-camera skills to tell appealing stories. It goes beyond just making a good TV script, having a good face and voice.
What does TV presenter do?
There are different shows in the TV industry. Anyone can stand in front of the camera and entertain the viewers. But television presents fronts and presents factual TV shows. Note that all TV shows can be entertaining in nature, but some shows are accurate, whereas others are features and stories. As a journalism student, it is crucial to understand different aspects of stories for TV. A presenter can be involved in the following program types:
These are factual stories based on research. A documentary script is written as shooting the video because you don’t know what to expect in the field. From there, the presenter can include voice over and background music as they desire until they make their items presentable and exciting for their audiences.
- Children television.
A presenter, in this case, can be either a child or an adult who understands children’s needs. Children's programs are filled with simple, fun illustrations and are much shorter. The presenter needs to understand the children's language, voice tone, and expressions to keep them entertained. Most of these programs use entertaining tools to present information.
- Game shows.
Game shows are very popular with television. The presenter works with a one on one audience from the studio or a direct one from home. In any case, the audience is actively involved; hence, the presenter must know how to keep them engaged.
- Current affairs programs.
Reporting news as they unfold is perhaps the most challenging program for a TV presenter. One needs to employ all their journalism skills, including voice, posture, body language, and movements. It is not about what you learned in school but experience and skills. You must capture the attention of a live audience and give them the news as they unfold. Therefore, the choice of words and modes of the presentation should be done very carefully. The use of present tense and active voice is highly encouraged to make the viewer feel the story is about them.
- Reality TV shows.
The Oprah Winfrey show has been the largest television reality show in the world for many generations. In this type of entertainment, the presenter interviews quests in front of a live audience. The subject may vary from personal things to topics affecting a state of a nation. This program is mostly organized and run by a single person.
TV presenting is a highly competitive career. Many people qualify, but only a few are chosen because the spots are limited. What may set you apart is your excellent communication skills and willingness to work long hours. But you have to go through a rigorous audition and complete a screen test. It is all about the skills you have that other people may not possess.
What do you need to become a TV presenter?
The simplest answers are, there is no specific qualification required to become a TV presenter. However, many people who become presents may have begun their careers somewhere else. For instance, some work as runners or media researchers for TV shows. Some join the industry after working as actors. Other presenters may upgrade to television after serving in other areas of the larger media industry like journalism or media research. Hence, they may already have a degree.
But then, you will need to have a degree and or broad knowledge of the media industry, especially in the broadcast. And most importantly, one must possess the right kind of skills and personality. As indicated above, there is a high competition for jobs in the industry; hence your persistence, determination, and competency will give you a higher chance of success.
When applying for a TV presenter job, most employers ask for a showreel
- a short film showing your presenting skills. You can practice your on-screen abilities from any age until you become a professional. Experience is critical in this kind of job. Hence, the way to articulate words, your choice of phrases, your posture, and everything your show before the camera should tell without a doubt that you are the best candidate. You should check the university guidelines for qualifications to study journalism. This should tell you more about the requirements you need. However, we can never emphasize enough, growing your skills through experience.
Author: James Hamilton