The “peanut gallery” of newscasters



As a child, I remember my father telling me, “That’s enough from the peanut gallery” whenever I interjected my opinion during a conversation that didn’t concern me.

I recently felt like yelling those words at the TV screen during a nightly news broadcast.

Two weekends ago, I went home to Brooklyn for some “family time.” One evening, as I was watching the news with my mother, I couldn’t help but notice how the newscasters were bent upon sharing their opinions on almost every issue they covered.   There was a lot of banter going on among the anchorpersons between news reports, and inside jokes flew back and forth as the program was live on the air.

While this might make for great camaraderie for the crew, it appeared to be somewhat unprofessional.   Does the public really need to know what the anchor’s point of view is?  Reporters must do just that — report, not tell the public how a particular issue affects their lives.

Also, do we really need to know that Anchor X didn’t have her coffee this morning, or that Anchor Y’s kids don’t eat their fruits and vegetables?

A couple of seconds of liveliness is great, but when whole minutes go by of watching the anchors sitting at their desks laughing and joking, I’m led to believe one of two things.  They are either having a slow news day or are procrastinating in delivering the hard news.

Perhaps all of this is done to fill in the time gap between stories, but it would make more sense to spend additional time reporting the news.  Everyone wants to work in a place where the staff is one big happy family, but that should be off-camera and not on.

Especially on an important news story, viewers want to hear more from the experts — and less from the peanut gallery.


One response to “The “peanut gallery” of newscasters

  1. Content: 4 Very timely post, Amanda as we will be talking about broadcast this week. Why DO broadcasters engage in small talk? What purpose does it serve? Let’s talk about this in class. Be sure to bring it up.

    I love the way you begin with personal anecdotes that lead into meaty topics about journalism. That is a great characteristic for a blogger. Hold onto it.

    Links: 3 Decent, but not fabulous. The Fox News link was rather lazy and didn’t cover your topic well. Something more objective about newscasts in general would have been better. Still, I gave you the points.

    Grammar: 3 I still want you to tighten your writing. I’d like to work with you a little one on one before the semester ends. Let’s make an appointment.

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