Brian Smith

Trust your local media:

The Columbus local news is often a source of great amusement. It's really more like a soap opera.

We've had newsanchor couples fight on the air, then divorce. Health reporters illegally prescribing drugs to addicted weathermen. Male anchors identify themselves as the other, female, anchor by reading the wrong lines off the teleprompter.

Perhaps my favorite gem is below. Yes, teleprompters are fun but it's even better when they ad lib!

WBNS 10 TV News at 5:00, during a story on the Space Shuttle's December 1993 Hubble repair mission:

Dave Kaylor: I bet they get a nice view of the sunset from up there.
Andrea Cambern: [dubious] Can you see the sun from space?
Dave Kaylor: Uhh...I think so. [looks confused]
Andrea Cambern: [perky] Well, you certainly wouldn't need sunglasses, now would you!
Dave Kaylor: [more confident] Yeah.

(We carefully watched the news for a week after this. They never issued a correction. And we wonder why high school seniors can't pass a ninth grade proficiency exam.)

Other things that are unprofessional about the news:

  1. Teasers for stories, just give the info.
  2. Bias. We don't need political commentary unless labelled as such, this includes grimaces, awwws, and 'someone should do something about that'.
  3. Panic teasers for stories, and then when you watch find out there's no real info in the story. For example: "Find out how dangerous Radon is to you!", then at 11, "Typically, not very" or "We can't say, 'cause it depends!" Fluff, I say!
  4. Panic in the weather teasers: "Will there be severe weather tonight?" Answer: "10% chance of rain."
  5. Panic in the actual forecast: "It's 80 degrees out, that's 120 on the heat index, and a blazing 300 degrees Kelvin." (Insert wind chill for heat index, if it is winter. Both of which came about since trying to understand relative humidity and wind speed was too much work.)
  6. I'm sure there's more, but enough for now.

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