Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So you want to be an anchorwoman...

A recently released Ladies Home Journal poll found that the largest number of women--15 percent of those involved in the survey--dream of being a television news anchor. That's even more than the number who want to be movie stars (13 percent) and a mere 10 percent who would like to be the president.
The poll was done in June, a few months before Katie Couric took over the evening news at CBS as the first woman to anchor such broadcasts solo. It's hard to say how much Couric played into the poll results, but it seems surprising that in today's celebrity-obsessed world, more women would like to read the news than read lines on the big screen. It's possible that women see a news anchor as an actress-sort of celebrity, with all the perks of fame and the additional bonus of credibility. I wonder, though, what the results would have been if the "anchor" answer was switched with "reporter", or with "journalist."
A big part of the attraction of TV news is the fact that your face goes with your work, rather than in print, where most of us are relatively anonymous. In that way, TV news reporters, like actresses, can (wrongly) be made or dismissed on the basis of looks before talent. I wonder if the 15 percent who'd like to be Katie Couric would want to stay there when they found out how concerned everyone was about her wardrobe, rather than her words. And I wonder if they'd be ready to do the hard work of reporting.
The survey is in the magazine's November issue, and you can read more about it in the Chicago Tribune by clicking here.


At Tuesday, October 31, 2006, Anonymous al said...

I saw that poll in the magazine.

There may be more to it, but could it just be timing? Could it just be that there was so much hype about Katie Couric, Meredith Veira and news going on at the time of this poll that that's what was on the minds of so many female viewers of Couric and Veira?

However, I have personally noticed an increasingly growing number of young women pursuing journalism these days. I have nothing to base this on, but perhaps Medill could take a look at its enrollment numbers and see if there are any noticeable trends.

At Wednesday, November 01, 2006, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I think there are more and more aspiring anchorwomen because journalism is a respected field. If you're a journalist, you can have the fame without the drama. Also, I don't think as many people respect actresses as much as they do female journalists. When a woman takes to the anchor desk, she represents class, sophistication, intelligence, wordliness--who wouldn't want to step into the Katie Couric's shoes? Besides, the best of the best anchorwomen have a sizable income. That couldn't hurt either. There's a lot to admire in female journalists. Unlike actresses, their career is not entertainment based, it's reality based.


At Thursday, November 02, 2006, Anonymous TD said...

I think that many people look at broadcasting and say, "Oh, that doesn't look too hard."

One of my friends was so surprised that video is even edited before it goes on the air.

People want to be reporters and anchors because of recent hype about the positions, which has brought a certain celeb appeal to the industry.


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