Wednesday, March 4, 2009

PET PEEVE: Local TV News "Live Shots"

I don't watch much local TV News anymore. It's simply not relevant, and there are better ways of getting information. (The future of the business model--Local TV News has always been a cash cow--is a subject for another blog, however).

Nevertheless, it does amaze me that the local newscast has hardly changed in the face of changing habits and technology.

My biggest pet peeve is this constant effort to "go live." Enough with the "live" shots already. A celebrity is admitted to a hospital at 10 AM. So on the 10 PM News, there is some idiotic reporter standing outside the hospital in the dark reporting on what happened there 12 hours earlier. Do TV News Directors really think that the audience somehow feels "closer" to this story because they sent a reporter to stand out on a street corner where some event took place hours before?

Just because we have the technology to deliver "live" news doesn't mean we should be excessive about using it. Use it when it makes sense. When the story really is live. Instead of wasting time on the live shot, use your reporting resources to actually report, and then come back to the studio and tell us about it.

The local newscast has got to change. More later.


  1. Jeff, I could not agree more! Imagine all of the time wasted in that process which could be so much better used, as you say. If the "reporters" who do these stories were really industrious people, perhaps they could be using mobile technology to do a lot of electronic shoe leather work while on scene, but I doubt very much that this happens. At least most of the final products that I see do not reflect work any more serious than powdered noses and ridiculous shots of cars, gutters, and scenes that tell us virtually nothing about the real story.

  2. Good point Jeff. Those live shots are just begging to be parodied.