TV News Anchors Flock to Periscope In Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant

Observer-TV-News-Anchors

It’d be sad to watch, if anyone were watching

 writes: Ever since the Internet put local TV news anchors on the endangered species list, we’ve seen them try various tech-inspired schemes in order to adjust to the times.peri-sample

[Read the full text here, at the Observer]

Now, mobile live-stream apps like Periscope have caught the attention of the local news anchors everywhere, who were clearly led to believe by the tech hype machine that live-streaming is going to be the death of the news business, even if that claim is ridiculous.

Most of these feeds are “behind the scenes” footage of nothing happening from the perspective of the worst camera in the room.

Occasionally, it’s the same scrappy view from some coifed old white guy reading from a teleprompter that you’d normally see on the local news. Most of the time, it’s the silent, uneventful commercial breaks, or the backroom chatter of floor managers and news directors. Turns out, TV studios aren’t like episodes of The Newsroom, and local news anchors often don’t have very much to say when you get the opportunity to meet them as human beings.

“Look, we get it. One of the most tired speculations about mobile live-streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope is these will help “citizen journalists” kill the television news business.”

It’s enough to make you wish there was a high-definition camera in the room with sophisticated microphones, broadcast engineers and meticulously-crafted lighting setup and some prepared statements.

Local TV Periscope feeds are all basically the same, and get boring faster than actual local TV news. (Screengrabs: Jack Smith IV)

Local TV Periscope feeds are all basically the same, and get boring faster than actual local TV news. (Screengrabs: Jack Smith IV)

“Local television news is under a brash assault from a number of forces: online news outlets that break news faster and are more sharable, a democratization of video tools, and a credibility problem that is evolving into an ad sales problem.

Moreover, nobody’s watching—in terms of audience, only a few dozen people show up at a time for even the country’s largest local TV studios, largely because discovering new Periscope feeds is difficult and so many of these Periscope feeds wind up in everyone’s front pages randomly.

“Local TV’s problem is the Internet and technology, and whatever the hype, simply turning on a hot live-streaming app isn’t the answer. “

But the worst part is that TV news anchors are just just terrible at live-streaming. The best live-streamers engage heavily with the audience, take requests and interact with comments—the reason people tune in is because they want to be live on set, reaching through the camera and interacting with the stars. Instead, most of the chatter is inaudible and there’s no interaction with the steaming audience.

The only time we could get a real inside look at a newsroom conversation was when one anchor, in the ultimate convergence of irony and tragedy, joked to his guest about how hard it was to get access for the interview in the first place…..(read more)

Observer



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