How Journalists Adapt to Technology
CHAPTER 4: The Impact and Consequences of Anchors’ Appearance, Personality, and Emotion 95
Chapter 4 The Impact and Consequences of Anchors’ Appearance, Personality, and Emotion he key dimensions of television journalism—appearance, personality, and emotion—comprise what I am calling an individual TV journalist’s signature style. The anchor’s signature encompasses all of the defining characteristics of the anchor that, when combined, add up to the person we come to know uniquely as “Katie” or “Dan” or “Tom.” Just as the journalistic community has defined appropriate parameters for each of the dimensions comprising the anchor’s signature, it has also maintained exclusionary and limiting provisions for an anchor’s successful signature. A controversial by-product of the successful positioning of the signature journalist on television has been the phenomenon of journalists themselves becoming celebrities. Although print and radio journalists did become well known for their work, the emergence and increasing centrality of appearance, personality, and emotion in TV journalism have increased the degree to which they can be exploited internally by the journalists and recognized externally by audiences. Directly tied in here are changes in the practices of selection, promotion, and financial compensation that over time have come to reward “signature” as much as traditionally defined “good” journalism. The Anchor’s Signature The term “signature” encompasses the entire aura or presence of the anchor: There’s a certain performance aspect to being on camera that’s very important. You have to be able to make people trust you with just a few words out of your mouth which requires a kind of presentation and certain kind of confidence in a...
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