Thursday, 3 September 2009

Newsreading Cake

The Daily Mail reports Sir Terry Wogan slams 'self-important' newsreaders whose job is a 'piece of cake'

Needless to say, I'm far too cool to give the proverbial stuff about what anyone thinks, so I waited all of two nano-seconds before lunging for a copy of the rag to check if I was on the list.

And .... relax....
'Get your good suit and tie on, and a quick dab in make-up. Make yourself comfy and here comes the Six O'Clock News, all written nicely and clearly before your eyes.' continues Sir Tel.
'Read it clearly and distinctly, ask the reporter the questions you have written down in front of you and there!'

Phew! He's having a go at the TV newsreaders. That's a relief. On radio, we have a much tougher time of it. No make-up, for a start!

Wogan's swipe is, of course, a deftly timed release from his forthcoming book.

Is TV newsreading really that easy? Actually, I don't think it is. Is it watchable?, not really, most of the time, not in my house. I find I can only tolerate a few moments of TV News before the mechanics of it start to drive me nuts.

  • The gratuitous hand-waving (some Consultant told them it was a good idea..!)
  • the fact that Fiona Bruce always does a sweeping movement with her script-holding hand during the second sentence of the opening to the BBC 10 o'clock bulletin
  • and why do they stand up for the first link and then sit down? Is it supposed to convey the impression that life in the newsroom is so frantic that they haven't managed to make it to the chair in time?
  • the little shake of the head when we're supposed to emote (leave it to me to decide whether I'm upset, will you?)
  • the gratuitous live tops and tails, where the reporter stands outside a closed and locked building, in which nothing has occurred for hours, in order to deliver a 10 second intro to the VT package he's prepared earlier AND THEN has to be interviewed by the newsreader at the end of the package, to reiterate what was in the package or confirm that there's nothing more to add. "So, John, what more can you tell us?". "Nothing, otherwise I'd have told you in the piece you've just run, wouldn't I? Now sod off and let me go to the pub!"
  • the ghastly spectacle of journos trying to do ad lib banter
  • gratuitous insertion of names: "our correspondent Bert Bloggs is there. Bert." "Michael. The incident happened ...."

  • and that staple of Rolling News channels: "well of course it's too early to speculate as to the cause of this disaster, but joining me now is Sid Snodgrass, a Professor of Speculation at Bridlington University's Centre for Speculative Studies. Professor, just what might have been the cause of this disaster?"

I could go on, but I think you get my drift....

Anyway, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, here's a clip of a TV Newsreader in trying circumstances, complete with the gallery talkback, some or all of which will have been blasting into the newsreader's ear as she ploughed bravely on.

And back in the land of Radio, here's a gratuitous pic
(photo by Barry Norman, (c) The Sunday Post)
of me and Sir Tel discussing the merits of some finely turned prose
Or perhaps (more likely?) we're discussing a piece of cake...!

1 comment:

Matthew Rudd said...

I wish Bridlington did have a university.