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Waihiga Mwaura: Reading news is only 10-20% of a news anchor's job [Video]

Waihiga Mwaura shares what happens behind the scenes and beyond news anchors' polished appearances

Waihiga Mwaura during an exclusive interview at BBC HQ in Nairobi

In the fast-paced world of journalism, news anchors hold a significant role, serving as the face and voice that delivers information to the masses.

However, beyond the polished appearance and teleprompter reading, there is a hidden world of dedication and hard work.

In an exclusive interview, senior BBC anchor Waihiga Mwaura offered an insightful glimpse into the multifaceted nature of his profession, debunking the misconception that anchors merely read from a script.

"When it comes to anchoring, I would say the actual reading of the news is 10 to 20% of the real workload of an anchor who wants to be good at their job or deliver for the audience," he said.


Waihiga, who boasts 14 years in media, said the job requires a high level of involvement in every aspect of the show.

From attending meetings and contributing ideas to coordinating with reporters, guests, and the digital team, anchors have their hands in all facets of the news production process.

Behind the scenes, anchors invest significant time in rehearsals, guest meetings, and planning content for digital platforms.


That could easily consume 70% of your work day because when you look at meetings that to go to, and sometimes have two to thee meetings back-to-back.

So an anchor’s job is a lot more than people think and if you have a big guest you need to spend hours especially if is in an area that you're not familiar with,” he added.

Mwaura, who recently launched Focus of Africa show on BBC, said some interviews have taken three to four days to prepare.

The audience, has given you a chance. You are there for them, they can’t access newsmakers but you can make sure you represent them as best as you can,” he dropped another gem.


He emphasied anchors must possess a forward-thinking mindset, continuously seeking ways to improve and adapt.

Mwaura underlined the importance of evaluating each show's success, actively seeking feedback from the audience, and leveraging digital channels to understand viewers' perspectives.

Waihiga's insights into the world of news anchoring unveil the hidden layers of the profession.

Anchors go beyond the teleprompter, investing significant time and effort into every aspect of the news production process.


Their commitment to representing the audience, adapting to changing trends, and continuously improving makes news anchoring a multifaceted and demanding role.


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