News People Are Peeved!

By Doug Drew 

Seems news people are really peeved about news! In my last article, I listed a few common pet peeves about television news and asked readers to send me their pet peeves. It didn’t take long for my inbox to start filling up! There were so many I can’t get them all in this week. Here is the first batch, and Ill have more next week!

Readers react to news pet peeves

The use of the phrase, “You guys” by field reporters. “Back to you guys” is so juvenile!


Reporters standing knee deep in water while covering a flood.

“Our other top story tonight…”

Nothing frosts me more than the act of “present tense-ifying” the past to make news seem fresh:
The worst: “A trucker dies when his vehicle rolls off the highway. Authorities say it happened at 10:30 this morning.”
The consultant who thought of this should be brought to justice.
This so I can write, “This morning a judge sentences a consultant to six years of hard labor after he pleads guilty to offending the sensibilities of a very confused viewership.”

Prefacing stories with, “we’re told” and “we’ve learned.” Isn’t that our job?

How about “Breaking News” that’s no longer “Breaking”? Drives me crazy… particularly at the network level. If we heard about it the day before and no major changes or it occurred hours ago in my estimation, its not breaking.

Anchors who say….on a lighter note (bad producers put tragedy next to happy and create an uncomfortable transition)
Lazy transitions between copy like….”in other news….”
Coming up, stay with us, when we come back……ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anchors who feel they have to tie the last story into their weather toss in “speaking of fires Harry, it’s gonna be a hot one….”
Producers, in story meetings, who say “I don’t care about that story”….This just in…you are not the viewer.
Producers who say to photographers editing a vo/sot — “oh just pick out a sot and tell me what it says.”
Reporters who ‘hate that story’ but have NONE of their own
MEETING VIDEO of any kind

Man on the street interviews “We don’t know what to say about this story, so let’s stop random people on the street who know even less about this than we do, and see what they have to say…”

Anchors who complain to producers about a script after they read it on air. Why don’t they complain before reading it on air?

Anchors who point out on-air mistakes to the viewers who likely would have never noticed

Anchors who mispronounce local neighborhoods or streets

“Neighbors Speak out” I don’t speak out. Do you? I talk. I complain. I gab. I chat. I blab. I have great conversation. Ive even been known to Kibitz now and again. But I don’t speak out.

“Neighbors are on Edge” I have never ever been on edge. Concerned yes. Worried yes. I’ve even been an angry neighbor. But I’ve never been “On Edge”. Now, with a 2 year old and a 5 year old, I have been tempted to step over the edge quite often.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare”. OK everything is my worst nightmare. Producers who are NOT parents have no business even contemplating writing that in their copy.

Teasing something like this: “The breakfast drink that’s good for you” and the video for the tease is Orange Juice. In this case the editor needs remedial reading classes and a university course called Common Sense. This was an actual tease I saw on the air!

Next week more peeves

Thanks to everyone who submitted their pet peeves. I barely scratched the surface here with all the emails I received. Next week I will start to break them down into groups such as Weather, Formats, Breaking News and Live Shots.

It’s not too late! If you want to send me your pet peeves about television news, send them to me at

Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. Keep up to date with Doug on facebook at