A decade or two ago, a new pattern crept into broadcast journalism. In both radio and TV newscasts, when there’s a report from an on-the-scene correspondent, the anchor drops into Q&A mode, “interviewing” the reporter: “Well, Joe, do we know what the neighbors think of this latest development?“ This is lame and stupid and it sucks and it’s time to stop doing it; the anchor should say “Let’s go to Joe, who’s on the scene” and then shut up. It may be the case that they’ve had time to script Joe’s report, or in a hot-news situation, they may just be tossing Joe the ball to give us his best judgment as to what’s most newsworthy; either way this is Joe’s story, not the anchor’s. At the end of the day the news anchor is just a good suit, good voice, and good hair. It’s the reporter who’s doing the actual journalism and that’s where the focus should be.


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picture of the day
February 17, 2006
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