‘Do we really need two newsreaders in a 30 minute broadcast?’ he asks, and surmises they are there lest the viewer gets bored. Sigh! Then there’s the belief that they need a reporter ‘on the scene’, even when reporting stories where there is ‘nothing to see’. But here’s the best bit:
On a more serious note, there is the danger of conjecture. This is a scenario that has been exacerbated by “rolling news” – the erroneous assumption that the viewing public want to see people on screen talking about the day’s so-called “news” 24/7. First thing in the morning, early and late evening will suit most of us nicely, thank you, coupled with the morning paper over breakfast and brief bulletins on the hour on radio. Rolling news is there for one reason only – to keep those in the news department busy and to make them feel more important.
My mother’s old maxim that “a trouble shared is a trouble dragged out until bedtime” is nowhere more proved than in rolling news. And when facts are thin on the ground, someone who knew someone who knew the uncle of the victim is bound to be persuaded to give their two-pennyworth. Tell us the facts and move on, please; hearsay is best passed on over the garden fence – or by those who wear black at the Groucho Club.
Hear, hear (and a sensible woman, Bessie Titchmarsh, I might add).
I’ve said it before, it was a revelation to hear news about Fukushima from NHK Japan and Russia Today. Facts and old-fashioned reporting, not the Beeb’s style, where they wheel out opinions at the drop of a hat as if we need others to show us what to think.