The early mornings, the daily commute, the office politics, the annoying colleagues, the hangovers on a Friday – bet you’d do anything to get your old job back wouldn’t you? Whilst this can’t happen due to the unfortunate reality of being given your marching orders by your last employer, you could always look for an alternative career.
Have you ever considered becoming a TV newsreader?
You’re pretty much guaranteed to be on telly every night and you might also get to do cool stuff like Children in Need and Comic Relief. If sitting behind a desk at nine o’ clock in the evening reading from an autocue sounds like it could be a giggle – here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:
1. Do a bit of work experience
Any type of relevant work experience will help you to convince prospective employers that you are serious about becoming a newsreader. If you have the opportunity to edit your local football club’s fanzine – do it! All experience is good experience and it’ll help you to get accepted onto a good journalism degree course at a reputable university like Wrexham Glyndwr or The University of Bolton*.
2. Get a job as a reporter first
It’s important that you get to grips with the basic principles of reporting before you launch your career as a news reader. As glamorous as she looks today – even Louise Minchin did the rounds chasing ambulances and sitting in boring parish council meetings where they have long meetings about whether to build a stile on a National Trust thoroughfare.
3. Remember that you’re a journalist
Just because the likes of Joanna Gosling and Victoria Derbyshire happen to have their faces on television, it’s important to remember that they are journalists rather than celebrities. Their job involves a lot more than simply being famous. If you’re going to make the grade as a newsreader therefore, you’ll need to be au fait with the writing and editorial stuff that goes on behind the scenes before the bit where you say, ‘tonight at ten, a woman in Basingstoke claims her son has been turned into a fish finger.’
4. Be prepared to put some graft in
At the end of the day, whether you’re a professional toenail clipper or a newsreader, it’s ultimately all about hard work. The success you enjoy will be a direct result of what you’ve done to create it so bear that in mind when you have to get up at 3am every morning after being offered a seat on the sofa sat next to Charlie Stayt.
5. Be presentable
It’s no good reading a story about a riot that’s taken place at a Hell’s Angels convention if you look like you’ve just come from the very event you’re reporting on. The days of Angela Rippon hiding behind the collars of her blouse are long gone so you’ll need to make sure you’re well turned out for work every day. It’s all about respect for the audience at the end of the day. Why watch the news if it’s just as aesthetically pleasing to sit down and have a chat about current affairs with a tramp holding a newspaper?
6. Age is just a number
People go grey at various ages. It’s rumoured here at The W1nners’ Club that our publisher Darcus White actually started to lose his hair when he was 18 – although that maybe because he had a jheri curl when he was younger. The point is, it’s not really important. If it was all about looking young and sprightly, do you honestly think Jon Snow would still be on telly these days?
7. Make ample time for yourself
Being a newsreader can be an adrenaline-fuelled job when a big story breaks. You’ll naturally develop a sense of awareness for events in the world around you and as a result it may sometimes be hard for you to switch off and relax. It’s important however that you try to make time for relaxation. Perhaps taking up a sport or active hobby of some kind might help you to relieve the stress of living from story to story in an always-on world of 24 hour news.
8. Try to stay professional
Whatever mood you may be in, it’s important that you don’t relay your state of mind to the millions of viewers that are watching you at home. The last thing anybody wants to see when they are munching on their dinner at 6pm is your furrowed brow and frown lines. It’s therefore important that you stay professional enough to hide your emotions when you go live on air – whether you’ve just had a row with your partner or not!
9. And finally…………believe in yourself
It’s important that you have confidence in yourself and your abilities so make sure you stay focused and try not to doubt yourself as you progress through your career. Remember that even the greats like Moira Stewart and Trevor McDonald started out as newbies.
* = neither of which are reputable universities!