Monday, May 07, 2007

Who left the stiff on the set?

Cleaning out the CSJ attic again, and came across this that I wanted to point out. Michael Rosenblum takes dead aim at the stiff-neck way we write too much broadcast (and, frankly, print and online) copy.

An excerpt:

But if, when your wife said, ’so what happened today’, you sat up, ramrod straight (in suit and tie) and said, (in the best ‘Edward R. Murrow broadcast voice you can manage), “More than 2500 dogs are struck by cars every year in our town. Fluffy was one of the lucky few”.

She would stare at you for a moment.

Then she would ask if you had taken too many prozacs.

No one… no one talks like that.

Except people who work in TV news.

This dovetails with something a news executive said in a meeting I was in today. He noted, a bit surprised, that feedback to his publication showed that its young readers were ticked off that the news media, in covering the Virginia Tech shootings, was so quick to hoist the labels like "massacre." "They just want to be told the straight stuff, and they'll decide on their own," he said.

Make a note. There will be a quiz.

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