In the United States, evening news anchors are an institution and they have outlasted the countless changes in the media ecosystem around them. 

While the anchormen of the network newscasts at the moment are white and male, anyone who watches these newscasts knows that the correspondents who report to them are a diverse group. And undoubtedly, the anchormen and anchorwomen of the future will be drawn from this diverse group.

Adam Buckman, TV columnist, editor and reporter

The news networks pay them huge salaries to take on the role of being the face and brand of their journalism.

But there are whispers coming out of New York that NBC anchorman Brian Williams will not be returning to the anchor chair. It looks like Williams will permanently lose his $10m a year job.

He is currently suspended over some self-aggrandising war stories he has told over the years, apparently to pad his journalistic resume - his qualifications for the job.

The Williams story is big news in the US, where broadcasters still invest heavily in their anchor talent.

The importance placed upon the role comes down to ratings - the number of viewers a trusted and telegenic anchor can attract.

But are news anchors worthy of the trust viewers place in them? are they worthy of the big money broadcasters pay them?

And - given the lack of gender or ethnic diversity in the chair - do anchors reflect the audiences they serve? Or are they well-paid anachronisms?

The Listening Post's Nic Muirhead reports.

Source: Al Jazeera