Sunday, 11 August 2013

Press conferences – what do you think of them?

Then there are the banners,
that threaten to cut off a reporter.
We've had a number of them, what with the July 8th rainstorm and flooding in Toronto, the flooding in Alberta and Muskoka, Slave Lake fires, the train explosions in Lac–Mégantic, BC Avalanches, and the plane crash in San Francisco.

Now, I listen to the radio, while I blog in the early morning. Then, while I work out, I watch the morning news, zipping around from CBCNN, CNN, to any other news shows to keep me interested and moving.

I am amazed at the length of the Press Conference coverage on TV news shows. I get news alerts through Twitter and email. I know when something has happened. CTV is usually the first to report in Canada.  However, I'm finding that the media are running press conferences for far too long. Or, the introduction takes a long time, when that merciless bottom banner, explaining the story, gives the entire message.

Our CBCNN is the worst for banners
That and using YouTube videos as 'news'
You want someone to control The Press Conference. Usually, the mayor, or the fire chief, or others begin with a statement. Then, you really need a person to determine who is going to pose the question, to take the order of questions, and to determine when the conference is over. Simply put, when the media has asked all pertinent questions they need to shut it down.

Save me from them!
What I find is that they go on and on, with full, live coverage, with the media asking tedious questions over and over again, just to get their sound byte. Some get hostile. Mayor Rob Ford comes to mind, sweating profusely during the aftermath of the recent Toronto flooding.
Poor woman, cut off at the neck!

The questions, to be fair, are often repeated over and over, with the same question asked, i.e., when will hydro, water, the trains, etc., be resumed? Often the answer is unknown. Yet they ask it over and over, failing to listen to the response: "We don't know." or "Crews are working hard."

I would prefer that the media director limits the press conference to the statement and a few questions, and then going back to the show host. Later, have someone edit the conference to timely statements, as they do later, but not during.

Dan Gardner was interviewed on The Current. The guest host tried to suck him into making pronouncements after the train explosions in Lac–Mégantic  He refrained. Bless him.
Q: Is this a wake-up call? : NO! Let's get the facts 1st and determine our next action.
Cannot see the players!

1 comment:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh those bottom-banners; so 'inyerface' and totally distracting. Let the newsreader do the job for Heaven's sake!!! Not that I watch any telly these days - ashrams tend not to encourage it and it has not been missed let me tell you.

I am, however, currently tuned into BBC radio coverage of the Ashes Test Cricket over the interwebber!

&*> YAM xx