Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: They have got no news for us... and will prove it LIVE!

What gets you excited? I only ask because I wonder if I’m missing something in the “getting excited” department. William Windsor is going to marry Kate Middleton.

They’ve been together for nearly 10 years. He’s in line to be the King of England someday. End of

But no, wait ... there’s more to it than that of course. At least, there must be more to it.

How else can we explain that journalists and TV presenters and commentators, who normally exhibit cool professionalism in the face of anything the world can throw at them — war, natural disasters, militant lesbians invading a news studio live on air — suddenly turned into gibbering morons with absolutely no sense of proportion the minute the story was announced?

The day of the announcement I happened to catch a little of the news at six on BBC1. I turned on at 10 past six thinking “oh well, I’ll have missed the big story at the top of the programme, by now they’ll have moved onto some Tory bigwig talking tripe about how the recession’s doing us all a power of good”.

Silly me. Of course, they were still covering ‘The Announcement’. Well, when I say ‘covering’ and ‘The Announcement’, what I really mean is ‘not actually adding anything new’ and ‘the many long uneventful hours since the announcement’.

So we had the cringeworthy spectacle of the news anchor in the studio crossing live to Sophie Raworth outside Buckingham Palace.

It was 10 past six, it was dark, ‘The Announcement’ was 10 hours old by now. There was no one around. But still Sophie had to stand there and say something.

So she did that thing that they obviously teach TV people in special classes once a year. Like an Alison Steadman character in a Mike Leigh film, she gushed at length about bugger all.

With lots of “yes, I can confirm that” and “as you’ve already said” and “it’s still not clear when ...” Sophie managed to shed a big fat zero watt light on the subject. But, and this is the big point to make here, she did it LIVE!!!

What do you mean “So what?”. She did it LIVE!!!! She was actually there, live, talking to us, in the cold and dark, as nothing happened!!! Aren’t you excited by that?

No? Whaddayamean “No”? Godsake people, what do you want?? Blood?

Don’t you realise that the TV company has spent time and effort and huge resources getting an outside broadcast set up so that we can “go live” to Sophie at Buck House, or “cross live” to Angie Phillips in Carrowdore with the latest weather, or “go live” to a sports reporter in an empty stadium talking about a match that happened the day before?

The technology’s available so they’re damn well going to use it!

And what do we do?

We catch it later, on the news, after work, or later, online, in our lunch break, or later, in the paper, over a drink.

When will TV news editors come out of their offices and ask real people whether or not they give a damn about “crossing live” to a reporter standing outside a building where nothing’s happening?

How about putting all that money into investigations and research and well-edited pieces that tell us something new? Now that WOULD be exciting ...

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