Anchors away…

Andy Dickenson pointed me to Adrian Monck’s Monck’s Maxims® – four observations about online journalism. Item number one caught my eye:

No newscasters. News anchoring is a presentational trope borne of the complex organizational demands of analogue TV studios. The newscast is to online as Top of the Pops is to YouTube.

I agree with this totally, and have commented on it before.

Without the face of a reporter, news would again become all about the story…the people involved…the event…and not the reporter or anchors.

The problem with television news is that it has gone beyond selling information – it is selling image and personality. This is why anchors and some reporters can demand such high salaries and are given star status. The public likes them – it trusts them. Remove that factor and several things will occur. People will start watching the news for information OR people will search for another channel/site that has a personality because they can’t relate to news alone – they need a trusted “friend” to tell them what news is and what to think.

I’ve mentioned I used to work at KQED, on the late 70’s news program Evening Edition. This was a decade after the newspaper strike in San Francisco and the debut of Newsroom on the Air…staffed by striking staff from the papers. Until that point the job of news anchors was to read the news – there was no banter, no talk. Just the news, ma’am. Newsroom brought something new to the set – reporters just in from covering stories who talked with each other, debriefed each other, discussed the implications of the day’s news. (This also included the film craftspeople, who shot and edited the news on 16mm film.) Unfortunately this disintegrated into the newstalk we know and loathe today – bright, witty banter that has no content.

Just a reminder, I guess, that all great ideas can come to a bad end.

One thought on “Anchors away…

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