Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Ian Flintoff of London SW6 asks in the Guardian’s Notes and Queries section (which doesn't seem to have been reproduced online):

“Why are television news reporters made to stand in all weathers outside public buildings at funny hours, such as the Foreign Office late at night (when everyone has clearly gone home) or No 10, when the reporter hasn’t even been inside or spoken to anyone?”

A very, very good question, Mr Flintoff. It’s one of the great mysteries of television news. But remember – it’s not just the correspondents who have to stand around like morons in the cold for hours waiting to do lives on location in order to give a “sense of place” to the viewers at home….and anyway, they’re paid enough to be expected to grin and bear it. Spare a thought instead for us lowly producers, as well as cameramen, soundmen and satellite truck operators who are also freezing their brass monkeys off behind the lens. If I added up all the hours I’ve spent standing in the dark outside Number 10, an EU summit venue or another live position where absolutely nothing was happening I could probably write off the community service I’ve still got to complete.

That’s why I try and stick to radio whenever possible. You can say you’re at the summit of everest when you’re actually lying in a jacuzzi surrounded by Thai hookers and the listeners won’t know any different (not that I would, you understand.)


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