The physical appearance of a news anchor or TV show presenter can make all the difference between a viewer staying on a given channel or reaching for the remote. Importantly though, the viewer should not be distracted from what is being presented.
It's good to try and be trendy and fashion conscious, but showing too much 'unnecessary skin' on national TV is to go overboard, in my considered opinion.
Whereas there's nothing a presenter can do about biological features, save for going for cosmetic surgery, the mode of dressing is one element that can be used to either augment or diminish the visual appeal.
The killer looks might keep those with perverted inclinations, especially men, glued to the screen, but I can almost guarantee it that an overwhelming majority will not be concentrating on what the presenter is saying.
Granted, sex appeal sells. But to what extent should this be used to drive up ratings? Isn't there a safe middle-ground, where decency is not sacrificed at the alter of driving up viewership numbers?
But there is a catch. As a TV presenter or news anchor, you can hardly ever hope to please everyone. As brilliantly reflected in the online discussion wall of the BBC:
...there is no form of dress or level of personal grooming that a presenter can follow that won't meet with criticism. If they dress nicely, they get criticized, if they dress casually they get criticized. If they comb and style their hair they get criticized, if they don't they get criticized...
It nevertheless does not mean the presenters can get away with anything, especially in an African setting, where many cultures frown upon too liberal a public dressing code. Conformity or minimal deviations from existing societal standards in this case is desirable.
There are instances, where a media organization imposes restrictions on what is an acceptable dressing code. This strictness at times becomes too much a burden for the presenters to bear, like it happened with Al Jazeera, where five female presenters quit their jobs, after being pressed to tone down their mode of dressing.
The bottom line then, I think, is to avoid extremes, when it comes to dressing for television. Much as a female presenter might want to reflect the very latest trends, what needs to be covered up, should remain covered up, to avoid looking trashy.