SendingTV news reporters on pointless trips.

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david51058 | 15:41 Tue 26th Apr 2011 | TV
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Why does the BBC feel the need to send a reporter to the scene of some news event and then film them standing outside some place where nothing is happenning just to tell us some piece of news? Why not just let the newsreader tell us what's happenning? What's the point of sending someone to stand at the side of the road (with some gormless idiot waving in the background) to give us the news?


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It does depend on where and when the news event is unfolding.

If it looks like something will develop, it makes sense to have a reporter there on site with a camera crew to capture what is happening, so it's based on the News Editor's judgement of what may happen in the near future - even more so since the advent of 'rolling' news when little happens for long periods, so they need to have on-the-spot coverage of anything vaguley visually interesting.

Of course, this rule does not apply to the annual 'snow-fest' where some poor sap gets to stand freezing his or her bits off to show us all what snow looks like!

david51058 in many ways I agree with you, but it has become the accepted language of news coverage. The general formula is: Studio - news anchor tells us the story, then says "Anne Reporter is on the scene now. Anne, can you tell us what's happening there? [even though I've just told everyone myself]". Anne usually (after nodding a few times) says something like, "There's no change in the situation here" followed by a summary of what we already knew, and "back to you in the studio." The studio anchor then tells us that the Special Correspondent For This Particular Thing has joined them in the studio, and the two of them then have a conversation, rehashing for the third time what the anchor told us in the first place anyway.

Thus ends the item that has been covered in 2 to 3 times as long a time as it needed. But unfortunately, this is part of the problem - news providers firmly believe that AMOUNT of coverage is directly related to quality of coverage: the more they bang on about it, the better the coverage. Hence the explosion of rolling news channels since the 90s.
Excellent summary of the situation JimT - wish I'd written that!!!
I think that the problem is 24 hour rolling news. They have to fill the time with something. Although the BBC are not the only ones to blame. They all do it.
I watched Jeremy Clarkson on TV saying the producers have sent me to various places all over the world just to show you this and that..... God, what a wonderful job he has and all expenses paid. Hope you can understand this.
I watched Brian Cox's last TV prog about history and science and the universe - he too travelled all over the world just to have a two-minute clip in the programme.

However, that's different from reporters - people like Orla Guerin are (I believe) actually based out in the Middle East so she doesn't have far to travel if something cracks off in the region.
Fair enough if something is likely to happen but to have someone standing outside say the headquarters of one of the unions if they are in dispute or outside a football ground if a manager has been sacked seems a waste of the licence fee if there is no-one actually inside at the time. And how often are they stood outside No. 10 just to illustrate a story about the PM or government, even if its dark and raining - just plain daft.
The BBC are well known for wasting money, Money is not a problem to them as it is not theirs.
Obviously it's theirs. Once it's paid to them, it's theirs.
I've always thought the same with Radio news. On the rare occasions I listen to Radio 1 and Newsbeat happens to come on, there is always some reporter that says "I'm standing out (insert relevant place to story here)". I always think to myself, what is the point in you being there? Nobody can see that you are the sound effects that get turned up, as if to prove you are there, don't mean anything.
If the BBC do not send somebody to the scene. How would they know what is happening? Do they say "We were watching Sky News and they say something happened"?

Surely somebody has to be there to report the news first hand. Ok sometimes nothing happens but sometimes something does.

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