“Let’s make this news report more visually impactive”, someone once said. So they first had that camera zooming in and out ‘thing’ which has fortunately now stopped – it was giving people headaches. Including the cameraman.
But we still have two things that bug me. (Only two? Today, just two.)
First of all, the minor one is the hand waving. In the 60s and 70s we would watch the news and see a static, male (usually) outside broadcasting news reporter standing at attention, mic in hand, brow furrowed as they regaled us with news. Okay, a bit dull if informative, but we now have reporters waving their hands around like windmills, pointedly emphasising every word – so much so that they effectively emphasise none.
But the biggest bugbear for me is the ‘I can walk AND talk’ reporting that is so false it is a farce. It is not THE LAW – reporters and presenters MUST walk towards the camera as they speak. Furthermore, occasionally they must end their input by walking away past the cameraman, like a full stop.
Yesterday I watched a presenter. She was at the bottom end of what was clearly the top ramp of a series of ramps between levels in a building. She then talked at us as she walked up that last ramp to ‘end’ the previous footage and introduce the next article.
Why did it look like she was starting a conversation with us from 30 feet away half way up a ramp, when no one would do that in actuality? Why would anyone start shouting at us from that far away to tell us something that could wait 5 more seconds for a civilised word in our ears? Did she climb up all the ramps – or did she plainly walk down the ramp in order to walk back up it again? Did that movement make any difference at all to the quality of the report?
It’s a cliché. And I hate clichés.
That’s just the way I am.
And a THIRD thing! (I knew there would be.) Why is one newsreader interviewing another newsreader necessary? That does not make a report authoritative, it just costs twice as much! (Why does FOX News need ‘Five’ republicans to criticise Obama – isn’t one vapid, nasal blonde enough?) Etc etc etc.