I’ve been fortunate to have a few years or more working in news on radio and television in different locations in Australia. In addition to working within for some, I’ve had maybe 50 years of watching so far. Over the years I have laughed, cried and yelled at length at the stupidity, exaggeration, brief bouts of excellence and the sheer determination showed by many a newsroom employee.
Being a news junkie, local, Australian and sadly American I see all levels of professionalism. The local stations here are @7NewsGoldCoast and @9NewsGoldCoast and seem to be set up as promotional platforms for the up coming 18.00 Queensland bulletins. They also provide training for young journalists and a pathway to becoming national network journalists if they cut the mustard. You can see a few who have made it, one example is an ABC correspondent in Thailand and surrounds. Before they make it, it’s hilarious watching some of them, waving hands about, pointing at nothing in earnest emphasis. Both newsrooms seem to stifle real speech and force an completely unnatural enunciation and in some case a subdued groaning. They are forced to follow the formula which remains stuck in the 70 and 80s.
A TV nut you’d know the old voice announcing “In Tonight’s Episode” They’re almost at that level of cliche.
Speaking of the time warp, there is a behaviour edict on 7 News Gold Coast to smile at each other before turning to start the read. The facial gymnastics are amazing and I really wonder what they are achieving. Indeed why are there three at their acres of desk. Local news is dominated by Council, State activity or lack of and questionable Real Estate promotion. A Qld Health news item immediately becomes a platform for the opposition @LNPQld spokesperson. 7 News Gold Coast treats any State Government news item as an opportunity to air an @LNPQld face to camera.
The saddest part of the old school, out of date, dinosaur style of these news bulletins, especially the local ones, is the outdated notion that we only get our news at 18.00 when we get home from work. I mean the little wife has the dinner ready for us to sit down and watch the news, right?
Some other annoying things that annoy me:
- The need to have the journalist announce their name at the end of their piece, or have it declared for them. Completely unnecessary, as we don’t care.
- Edit the piece with a snap of sound, an engine, alarm, crowd noise etc. Why the fuck is that necessary.
- Provide a “Vox-pop” of some random to add their 5 cents worth to a serious story. Last night they had one who actually said This is the first I’ve heard about that” Now that vital slice of analysis I can do without. A shopper accosted at a Woolworths entrance to discuss Council’s latest report attempting to deal with traffic after the three years study. The shopper has absolutely no clue and we the audience are give two or three of these ridiculous inserts.
- Sensationalist phrasing, exaggeration and tooting a dog whistle to those in the audience who probably get their news from the “Vox-pop” participants.
- Allegedly the misuse of the word allegedly.
- If there is one let’s close the bulletin with a feel good pet story.
- Make sure as we approach the Schoolies celebrations, that we have a major drug seizure and claim that the drugs were meant for/heading to and/or diverted from the Schoolies crowd.
Anyhow you get the idea. Let’s reinvigorate the Broadcast News into this century. It only takes one network to do it, indeed the local news is the best place to test it out. As long as the young talent don’t have to point at nothing or speak funny. Maybe we could do something about the newspapers, but we have to wait for the stained corrupt baton to be passed on, just like in Succession.
Sadly I can’t share any Youtube examples as I’ve left the socials, except for Mastodon. Bye for now.