Tuesday, January 04, 2011

TV News Reporters

I’ve noticed a trend with TV news reporters that’s really bugging me.
A lot.

Here’s a typical scenario: Airline passengers have been stuck on the tarmac for ten hours, waiting to get off the plane. Finally, they’re able to de-plane and a reporter breathlessly asks one of the passengers, “How angry were you that you couldn’t get off the plane?”


If I was that passenger, I would give the reporter an angry retort: “How angry was I? Well, tell me first how to quantify my anger, you idiot!”

It seems these reporters just want to egg these people on, trying to obtain a sensational response.

Actually, what I would say is:
“Okay, I was very, very angry, but not very, very, very angry.”


At 10:22 AM , Blogger Bob said...

I would remove one of the first verys, and add another very there towards the end.

At 9:34 AM , Blogger William V. Madison said...

Reporters get a lot of criticism (justifiably) for asking "How did it feel" so often, and I suppose this is an alternative solution. But it's a poor question to begin with, because it anticipates the subject's response: yes, the subject has to quantify his anger, but the subject is also discouraged from saying, "Oh, it wasn't so bad! I got a lot of reading done." Journalists are supposed to report the story they find, without shaping the story to fit their preconceptions.

Another solution would be to show only the subjects' responses, not the reporter asking the questions. Unfortunately, the economic realities of a competitive industry are such that no reporter can afford to surrender even a split second of air time. So we're stuck watching them in their banality and incompetence.

I speak only of local news, of course. In network news, we are never like this. It's a completely different ball game. Really.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home