LIVE – taking the cake

Ever since the first little aluminum mast poked skyward barely clearing a nearby high voltage wire to put a live reporter on television, the TV news world has been embroiled in the “live, for live’s sake debate.”

It is one of the greatest time-wasting, navel-gazing, angst-ridden conversations to be had in any TV newsroom. Live Shot Dejection

I saw one this morning though on KING5 that takes the cake for the time being. A locked down live shot, in the dark, the day BEFORE what may be a local version of John Stewart’s Restore Sanity rally. To top it all off, the poor reporter had to put the ultimate cherry on top of her live shot cake with what we call an MOS – or a man-on-the-street interview.

Insult upon injury.

SO, it’s a “story” predicated on the actions of another media figure on another network. There is no live element. The location is based on a pseudo-event that may happen, which in turn is based on yet another media-driven pseudo-event. I can’t think of anything that less defines the idea of “news.”

Now to be fair, everybody on the overnight crowd has a job to do. I get that.

But lordy mamma.

Idea – do what KOMO did and take the most interesting VIDEO you can find and feature it -like the shark that tried to bite a camera. It had nothing to do with anything, but it was at least a “talker” – which made all its other shortcomings sort of moot. The anchors can joke around, the reporter can feature the video and be “live” in the “satellite control room” or whatever.

Had KING the shark video, I wonder if they might have put their reporter live on the water front doing one of the other “most dreaded” types of TV news dreck: The “could it happen here” angle.


P.S. I’m not picking on KING forever, they do a fine job.