Milwaukee Journal Sentinel media writer Duane Dudek has channeled his inner grumpy old man and released his list of 11 things that annoy him most about TV News.
So grab a coffee, take a deep breath and see if you’re guilty of any of these. For the record, this TVSpy writer admits to overusing number nine.
Here’s the list. Now get off my lawn!
■Pump Patrol: Let me see if I understand this correctly — I should waste gas driving across town to save a few pennies when I buy more gas?
■Traffic reports: Thanks, but if I’m watching, I’m already home.
■Handoffs: Scripted back-and-forth transitions in which one studio anchor reads one sentence and another studio anchor reads the next sentence, and so on. This dramatic device gives the impression of a performance being given.
■Using a newscast I’m watching to tease a story in an upcoming newscast I won’t be watching. If there’s time to promote it, there’s time to report it.
■“Breaking news” ad nauseam: If everything is breaking news, nothing is.
■Body language: Anchors tripping the news fantastic with a fluttering of fingers, bobbing of heads, shrugging of shoulders and raised eyebrows. This newscast is brought to you by Busby Berkeley.
■Music in news stories: Filmmakers use music to manipulate your emotions. Music serves a similar purpose in feature news stories and doesn’t belong there. Too, music in stories, kinetic promos, bumpers and introductions: Just make anchors in the studio sound flat and dull, and other news less urgent by comparison.
■Self-promotion when reporting: “(Station’s call letters) was there when…”
■Saying “reached out” instead of called, asked or tried to contact.
■Using the word “cop,” whose definition reads: See police officer. There is never a grammarian around when you need one.
■Casual use of the word “history”: Aaron Rodgers did not make history last week when he threw for 480 yards. The Civil War is history.