Staleness in the News

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The look of televised news programs are similar from station to station. The basic news program consists of a lead anchor, or anchors, and a team of reporters who present prepared video and sound bites to the viewing audience.

Recently, at the National Press Club luncheon, Harvey Levin, creator of the celebrity news website, exclaimed to his listeners that broadcast news delivery is "stale."

Levin discussed how broadcast journalism has used the same formula to present viewers with the information for the past 40 years and suggested "you don't need the middleman as much anymore." Aka limit the time the anchors and reporters are used.

Levin suggested new stations focus their cameras on the newsmakers themselves. Levin discussed how the newsmakers are much more compelling than the anchors or reporters, and by focusing more, if not solely on them, televised news programs can freshen their look and increase their appeal to viewers.

Levins speech raises an important point about broadcast journalism: What is the importance/role of anchors and reporters? Do viewers require an individual to present and summarize information the newsmakers, other sources used, and video footage can be edited to display.

Anchors and reporters bring character to the news. They help build the credibility of a station and maintain accuracy in stories. Without them, it could be difficult to air hard news stories such as crime, politics and other controversial topics in a way that removes biases and is accurate. Anchors and reporters are very much needed, but news stations should remain open to new, more interesting and compelling ways to report the news.

photo by roger4336 from


Jessalyn Holdcraft October 31, 2011 at 6:35 AM  

I understand why he would remark that the traditional TV broadcast template is stale. However, I think that consistency is one aspect that must remain. Newspapers do not alter their letterhead or style for the same reason. How could readers trust something they are unfamiliar with?

Ben Rodgers October 31, 2011 at 9:15 AM  

I agree with what was said about more air time to news makers instead of just having an anchor or reporter talking about it. If news is happening I think it would be better to hear it from people who are actually involved in whats going on in the news stories.

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