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A similar term is master of ceremonies (MC, emcee, or host). The main use of the term 'presenter' is on television, where the presenter introduces other speakers, and introduces program sections. The role is similar to narrator, who talks over visuals ("voice over") or plays a main role in the program. A presenter does not have to be an expert on the content of the program, but a narrator or commentatior is often an expert.
A television presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television programmes. It is common for minor celebrities to do this. There are also many people whose main job is presenting. This is very common with children's television series. One example of this is Mister Rogers.
Some presenters may also be an actor, model, singer, comedian or other profession. Others may be experts on certain things. These include scientists or politicians They work as presenters for a programme about what they are an expert at. For instance, Carl Sagan, an astronomer was the host of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, a television series that dealt understanding the universe. Some television presenters are celebrities who have made their name in one area and use their fame to work in other areas. Examples of this include British comedian Michael Palin who now presents programmes about travel (such as Around the World in 80 Days), and Alan Alda, who has presented Scientific American Frontiers.
A news presenter (also called an anchor, news anchor or newscaster) is a person who presents news during a news program. The program can be on television, on the radio or on the Internet. A news presenter, or anchor, puts together the entire program. This may include writing, selecting, and reading stories on the air. The job of an anchor is often more improvised than scripted. This is especially true during breaking news (when events are happening quickly). They have to coordinate other reporters, interviews and behind-the-scenes events as they happen. They must also deal with technical difficulties and keep the broadcast going.
There are presenters for many types of things. These include:
- Radio presenter: A radio presenter (or radio personality) is similar to a television presenter, except that they present radio programs instead of television programs.
- Sports presenter: A presenter introduces the programme, but a sports commentator is an expert role: it must be done by someone with detailed knowledge of the sport.
- Weather presenter: A weather presenter is a type of journalist on television who presents weather forecasts. He or she does not compose the weather report: they present the work of people who the viewer never gets to see.
- "Public Speaking Glossary: Glossary K - O". public-speaking-course.org. http://www.public-speaking-course.org/glossaryk-o.htm.
- "Alan Alda, on season 4". PBS. Scientific American Frontiers. Chedd-Angier Production Company. 1993–1994. Archived from the original on 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20060000000000/http://www.pbs.org/saf/transcripts/transcript401.htm.
- "TV Anchor: Job Description, Salary and Requirements". Education Portal. http://education-portal.com/articles/TV_Anchor_Job_Description_Salary_and_Requirements.html. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Alan Stephenson; David Reese; Mary Beadle, Broadcast Announcing Worktext: A Media Performance Guide, Fourth Edition (Burlington, MA; Oxford: Focal Press, 2013), p. 159
- Stephen Cushion, Television Journalism (London; Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2012), p. 71