Independent Television special correspondent and news anchor Mahmuda Moumita talks about the career prospects of a news anchor
TBS: Why did you take news anchoring as a career?
Moumita: Even though I studied anthropology, I was always interested in journalism and I consider news anchoring an integral part of journalism. My journey in the media officially began in 2009. But I was involved with the media for years as a part-timer.
As a journalist, I worked as a field reporter and at the desk, and gradually became a news anchor. Many people in Bangladesh take news anchoring as a hobby. I strongly condemn this. You need to be a newsperson to be a news anchor and I had that in me, which helped me become a news anchor.
TBS: What are the essential qualities required to be a news anchor?
Moumita: First of all, the most essential quality of a news anchor is to know the news that you are about to read. You must have proper knowledge and understanding of the news you are going to present. Secondly, you should have the confidence and etiquette, along with the parlance while presenting the news. You should also know how to present it in style.
You should have a command over what you are doing. Unless you have these qualities, you cannot deliver the news, especially when it comes to questioning a reporter live. You should have the skill to deliver the news with confidence so your audience trusts you.
TBS: News anchors have an enviable skillset when it comes to proper pronunciation. Where can aspirants learn correct pronunciation from?
Moumita: In this case, I rather like to emphasize conversational skills. In terms of reading, you don't need to act or overdo it. All you need is spontaneity. When you pair spontaneity in pronunciation with a confident body language, everything works out fine.
Now, if you want to learn pronunciation, there are many places in Bangladesh you can go to. You can also learn it from the internet. Besides, you can follow prominent news anchors who have excellent pronunciation. Most importantly, you should have enthusiasm.
TBS: Who should pursue news anchoring as a career in the first place?
Moumita: Only a newsperson should be a news anchor. Having said that, young people with interest in journalism should choose news anchoring as a career option. If you take this profession as a career out of hobby, you may not survive in this field for long.
Sometimes, the physical beauty of an anchor is prioritised. This often attracts aspirants who take this as a hobby. In my opinion, this should not be the practise.
TBS: What is the career prospect in news anchoring?
Moumita: In the Bangladesh perspective, news anchoring as a career path doesn't last long. But in the global perspective, you will find many older and efficient news anchors. This culture hasn't grown in Bangladesh because our news anchors are often not newsmen.
This field will be established as a sustainable career option when we will stop prioritising physical appearance of news anchors.
TBS: What are the scopes of learning as a news anchor?
Moumita: There are plenty of scopes to learn as a news anchor. As you are presenting news every day, you come to know about the many new developments both nationally and globally. By appearing on television over and over again, you can both learn newer skills, acquire in-depth knowledge about news and repeatedly presenting news strengthens your skills at the same time.
TBS: What is your advice for aspirants who want to take news anchoring as a career?
Moumita: Take news anchoring as a career only if you have the enthusiasm to become a proper journalist. Don't take this as a career if it just a hobby for you. Presenting news is a part of journalism. So keep this in mind. Choose news anchoring as a career only if you want to become a newsperson.