The knack: How to read the news, by George Aligiah

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"As a newsreader, you have to look like someone the audience can trust. This isn't a question of putting on a certain colour tie, it's something in your demeanour and reputation. Coming to presenting from reporting gives you an advantage - people have seen you in difficult places and so on, and they feel they can trust you. Whereas reporters use language that evokes emotion, as a newsreader you have to maintain a distance. Having said that, you're the first person to be able to give a reaction to something and if you don't feel the same things as your viewers, you aren't going to make that connection with them.

You have to project personality, and to get that across, you've got to slightly overdo it. You have to remember that whilst you're reading you're hearing conversations between the director and the editor, plus the someone saying `speed up, we're running out of pictures, OK ... we haven't got the next story, ad-lib for 15 seconds while we think' through your earpiece. There's always a part of your brain that's listening to all this other stuff, so you have to push your personality a bit to compensate.

You're frying under 20 lights, you're looking at a bank of cameras and there's no physical connection between you and the people you're trying to communicate with. Technology in this case actually gets in the way. The trick is to relax, be yourself and go through this barrier and connect with your audience." Interview by Fiona McClymont

George Alagiah is presenter on the BBC's News24 channel

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