A Huge Pet Peeve Regarding Local TV Reporters (And a Good Laugh)

Reporters, by their very definition, are supposed to relay information, tell stories and report facts – not make themselves the story. Many local TV reporters never seemed to learn that in journalism school and instead always try to thrust themselves, and their pearly white teeth, into the forefront of each feature.

While it may make me cringe from a journalistic perspective, every so often we receive bundles of joy, hopefully from the ghosts of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, like this:

If you want to be a TV reporter, report on, don't become, the story #tvjobs Click To Tweet

Now before you consider me some hateful person, if this reporter had been hurt I would not be writing this story or sharing this video, but since she and her bubbly delivery are still intact, I have permission to laugh freely without concern for lighting striking me down.

I want to make the point of all this clear – how hard would it have been for her to stand at the top of the hill, deliver her vapid intro on how to properly sled, and then make one of the local kids days by letting them show off some technique going down the hill?

The viewing audience would have much rather seen the kid do it anyway!

Bottom line, if you want to be a TV reporter, report on, don’t become, the story.

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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.

Comments

  1. Spot on!

  2. I strongly disagree. Like it or not, news is a commodity, like water and electricity. In order to make their water stand out, new stations have to do things that are unique. And the reporters, in order to stand out, need to build a brand. A way to do that is to inject the reporters into the stories.
    I remember this happening even back in the late 90s. I was out on a remote helping to produce a story about trash. The producer back at the station kept calling us to have the reporter climb into a dumpster and give her stand up from inside the dumpster. She hated it, but she did it.

    Weeks later, we were still getting calls and emails about what a great piece that was. It’s stood out in the viewers minds.

    • Hey Brian – I respect your opposing position. I disagree wholeheartedly, but that’s what makes the world go round! I think reporters should make their brand stand out by writing well, reporting accurately and conveying good stories, but if you think they should stand in a dumpster to tell a story about trash that is absolutely your right. I think those gimmicks may appeal to an older generation, but the new audience of millenials and gen xers, which are the future no matter how much anyone fights it, doesn’t gravitate towards that stuff. It’s time for journalism to aim higher. – Brian

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