What it takes to be a good television journo

29 October 2007

NDTV’s Barkha Dutt may be the first name on most aspiring journalists’ lips, but the real star of Indian television in many ways is Shereen Bhan. Smart, sharp and with a face to match, the CNBC anchor is frighteningly versatile, flipping from show to show, showering her broad smile on a a variety of subjects.

In an interview with Shifra Menezes of rediff.com, the 30-year-old air force officer’s daughter talks about life in the fast lane to stardom—and drops a few pearls of wisdom.

***

That one needs to be outgoing for a career in television goes without saying. What are the other personality traits you think an aspiring TV journalist needs?

The ability to handle pressure is a must. It is a tough job, both physically and mentally taxing. You have to be on your feet for long hours and mentally alert every second. Operating in a live environment means reacting to news as it breaks, making sense of it in a few seconds and adding value in a couple of minutes.

Good communication skills, comprehensive knowledge of current affairs, writing are important as well.

What advice would you have for aspiring TV journalists?

Don’t do it for the glamour. There is nothing glamorous about it. A large chunk of a TV journalist’s job is donkey’s work. Standing around for hours to get a 20-second sound bite is about perseverance not glamour.

Be prepared to say goodbye to your social life and get ready to be on call 24×7. Ignite a fire inside you, not just to do big stories and interviews but also to do good quality work, that’s fair and honest consistently.

What do you think is the most common mistake newcomers make? What advice do you have to give them in this regard?

Wanting to taste success without doing the time — you have to be patient. You have to get your hands dirty. Don’t box yourself into roles and responsibilities. Learn to multi-task. Learn to work in a team. TV is all about teamwork.

Read the full interview: ‘TV is all about teamwork

Picture courtesy: rediff.com

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5 Responses to “What it takes to be a good television journo”

  1. Vijay Says:

    But at what cost? Her long work hours cost her both her marriage and her sanity!

  2. sanjay k Says:

    she is called B E S T BEAUTY, ELEGANT, SMART AND TALENTED WITH ADD ON G O R Y [ GORGEOUS, ORGANISED, REFRESHING AND YOUTHFULL.

    I CALL HER GLOBAL BUSINESS ANCHOR QUEEN OF INDIA.

    SHE DESERVE ALL THE PRAISE FOR HER DEDICATION, EFFORTS, PRESENTATION AND ENDEVOURS TO MAKE CNBC THE FIRST CHOICE OF BUSINESS NEWS CHANNELS.

  3. sunny pandita Says:

    why is it that indians are always so disguesting to interfere in someones personal life. she may have a real hell in her life, thats nobody’s concern……….
    For every achievement in life we have to pay a price …….. for some its pennies …….. for some its gold ……..but for some its their life itself…….
    so for the last ones lets pray with sincerity becoz not every one can do that
    Oh God !! Please bless her with your mercy……..

  4. prashant Says:

    hey I can feel that she is largely goin through the large drift down these days & may be sum really bad pahse which can be seen by the sum tv viewer like me who readed faces

  5. Vinod Kmaath Says:

    She doesn’t rank up there with Barkha Dutt. And she is no patch on Mithali Mukherjee, who I rate as the best television journalist in India. Mithali is among a handful of journalists who speak idiomatic English and even when talking on a subject like stock-markets, she steers clear of jargon. While interviewing experts from abroad she frames questions easily and clearly and in a language that is impeccable. She, therefore, should be a role model for aspiring television journalists and not Shereen Bhan

    Yours truly
    Vinod B Kamath


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