Television News Clichés Reply

a9b7453d1ba06933f33162ea1e1218c1Television news cliches give the ABC’s Alan Sunderland a nervous twitch.

Sunderland, ABC News head of policy, is upset about  “those annoying clichés that infect our work”.

You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another.

So I’m taking a stand. Or to be more accurate, I’m making a list.

It’s a list of things I never want to see or hear again. They were bearable the first 7,648 times. Now it’s over.

So this is what he never wants to see or hear again:

  • I never want to see overlay of talent pretending to answer the phone.
  • I never want to see that awful, awkward shot where talent walks into reception, pauses to say something forced and meaningless to a hapless receptionist, then walks on.
  • I never want to hear about someone dying after a ‘long battle’ with cancer.
  • I never want to hear the word ‘meanwhile’ used to join two completely unrelated subjects because the reporter can’t think of another way to do it.
  • I never want to see a reporter piece-to-camera that’s only one sentence long. If that’s all you’ve got to say, get off the screen.
  • I never want to hear obvious puns used to try to liven up a dull story. Let’s find some interesting facts instead of resorting to cheap wordplay.
  • I never want to hear a throw to an interview grab that repeats the words of the grab (“The Minister says he’s outraged”. Take grab: “I’m outraged.”)
  • I never want to see a piece-to-camera where people are used in the background as “props”. Crowds – okay. Identifiable individuals – no.
  • I never want to see a reporter wearing a hat on camera on Melbourne Cup Day.

Okay, that last one might be taking things a bit too far.

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