‘And Another Thing!’ Milwaukee TV Writer’s List of 11 Annoying Things About TV News

By Kevin Eck 

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.