Week 5 Concept

The Differences Between Being A Broadcast News Anchor, A Reporter, And A Producer

According to my understanding of Critical Thinking In Communication:

  • A broadcast news anchor is the person who the audience sees reporting the news on the television screen,
  • A reporter is the researcher or field correspondent (backpack journalist) who actually does the legwork,
  • And a producer is usually the organizer; which, in the context of a television broadcast, can also be synonymous with a reporter because the job involves a lot of research.

I like to think of them as different filters in a system of information.  The reporter travels, does research, and types or records a report which is then passed to a producer.  The producer checks the research, does additional research, and decides whether or not to pass the report to the news anchor.  The news anchor, in turn, decides how to portray (bias) the information to the audience.  How something is portrayed is a combination of the producer’s choices and the news anchor’s personal “spin” on the topic.  An excellent example of a star news anchor would be Tom Brokaw, formerly of NBC Nightly News and currently an NBC News Special Correspondent.

(The photo was courtesy of http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1885660,00.html).


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