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I know what's going on!! Really I do!!!

Oh, the broadcast news parodies keep getting better and better! This video was even more incisive than the comic strip, I think, because it was able to show how television news uses flashy graphics and reporters who can make anything sound like the biggest news event in the world through tone of voice and facial expression. I especially enjoyed the use of the "Don Abrams 1968-2007" titlecard after they lost contact with him because it, once again, reminded me of the reporting of Jeff Goldblum's death before all the facts had been gathered. It certainly doesn't suggest good things about reporters when they are willing to make news out of the death of a colleague a couple seconds after they assume he's been shot. Moments like that and the repeated use of the "breaking news" graphic which at one point got interrupted halfway through because Don Abrams hadn't finished speaking really exposed the mechanics of television news reporting. In real news broadcasts, we always see these types of things relatively well put together, so we don't often think about how someone has to decide when to run the "breaking news" graphic at moments when there may be very little information about what is actually going on. You can really see the whole television reporter ethic of "never let 'em see you sweat," because throughout the whole video, Lane Everett maintains her stern, confident demeanor despite the fact that she has no idea what's going on. It seems like she becomes even more confident-sounding as the situation becomes more confusing. Rarely do you ever see a reporter throw their hands up and say, "I have no idea what's going on, we have to wait until we know more of the facts." Perhaps we might get more honest and truthful television journalism if they did. But it wouldn't be anywhere near as funny.

Comments (3)

Aja Hannah:

The fake-ness of the anchor in this clip reminds me of the essay we're reading about how anchors are performers trained to maintain a certain look.

Have you seen those clips of anchors getting hit in the head with falling lights or something and the other anchor just turns way from their fallen comrade to a camera where the diaster can't be seen and continues on with the broadcast as if nothing happened. That's when the fake-ness really shows through to me. The anchor doesn't ask if he/she is ok. Doesn't seem to really care.

Derek Tickle:

The news anchor seemed very concerned about the news, but not too concerned about her colleague. It was amazing how she kept saying that things happened, like explosions and/or celebrations, but she didn't have a clue what was going on. I continually laughed throughout the clip, but it was sad because of how poorly it was produced.

Does breaking news work in favor of the news company or not?

Matt Henderson:

I think breaking news only works when something extremely important is happening that people need to know about in case they need to take precautions. The only exception to that, I think, is something like presidential news conferences, which are much more organized and professional-looking than your average "this just happened, let's talk about the three details we know about it over and over" breaking news. I think news companies do breaking news to make their news station seem important and impress people with all the graphics and sense of danger. They also don't want to be caught not covering something when other stations are. But they inevitably make embarrassing errors, so you wonder why they do it.

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