Thursday, November 4, 2010

Broadcast Journalism 101

The video clip below should be shown to broadcast journalism students of what NOT to do in news reporting.

It may come to a surprise to many of you that my undergraduate degree is in Journalism--to be more precise, broadcast journalism; although, in no way does that make me an expert in that profession.  I did, however, spend many hours in class and years watching news programs.

Before we even went out around the university and report news, we spent several hours practicing in mock sessions.  We would practice by switching between the two anchors, the weather reporter, the news reporter, one of the three camera guys, the news director, the video switcher, and the audio/lights technician. 

What this video shows is something you would expect to see at a mock session, not during a live broadcast.  Never should a viewer be subjected to such error. 

This broadcast was September 12, 2007.  The news station is KGTV in San Diego. 

UPDATE: Since KGTV is removing this video from YOUTUBE, I'll attempt to provide the play-by-play in case they remove this one. 

The opening montoge fades from black on talent (stage reporter).  Camera realizes error and pans to anchors.  Male anchor, Steve Fiorina, introduces himself.  Female anchor, Lisa Lake, stumbles.  Lake reads off teleprompter.  Fiorina thumbs through script.  He is caught by surprise when Lake turns towards him.  When she realizes he is confused, she reads his script and sends it to the field reporter.  She incorrectly names the field reporter "Jackie Witt."  The field reporter, Adrienne Moore, notices the confusion in the studio, but is able to recover and report the news.

Below the video is a list of mishaps I noticed.

Error #1.  News director failed to organize the set.
Error #2.  Video switcher fades from black incorrect camera.
Error #3.  Incorrect camera tries to recover by panning to anchors.
Error #4.  News reporter shows fear when she realizes camera is on her.
Error #5.  Female news anchor is obviously distracted by the chaos.
Error #6.  Her distraction causes the male news anchor to fumble.
Error #7.  His mishap causes the female anchor to fumble again and says the incorrect name of the news reporter at location.
Error #8.  The news reporter, Adrienne Moore, recovers the news from utter chaos.

Perhaps the teleprompter had the incorrect script and the wrong directions that caused the crew and anchors to mess up. 

It would be nice if KGTV would allow this broadcast segment to be used for journalism school.  The video offers countless examples of what-not-to-do and what-to-avoid in broadcast journalism.

The video can be viewed on my blog at

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