Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Really Stupid Words, Chapter 8

It’s getting more and more difficult to watch the news these days. The latest stupid buzz words propagate more quickly and widely among broadcasters than ever before. Some come and go; others entrench themselves as clich├ęs to the point you’d think certain stupid words have become as much a part of news reporting as who, what, when, where, and why.
You can’t report how something appears without referring to the “optics” of the situation. And you must talk about what some eventuality will “look like” even if it’s something you can’t see. Interviews have become “conversations.” And during those conversations you don’t discuss or explain things, you “unpack” them. And correspondents no longer report from, say, Tokyo, or Buenos Aires, they are always said to be “on the ground” there. When there is more than one TV reporter on a big story, it must be pointed out that it’s “team coverage.”
Perhaps I am too sensitive to such nonsense. But when I am on the ground in front of the TV unpacking the latest optics of the day’s events, I can’t help but wonder what the next really stupid buzzword will look like. Perhaps I would benefit from a conversation with another viewer—sort of like team coverage, I guess.


  1. Great post and good insight. I spent about 30 years as a reporter/correspondent/anchor and I don't recognize the business any longer. Especially TV. Reporting has given way opinion. Facts are not facts, but rumors, mostly malicious. But among my favorite "stupid words" is when an anchor will to to a reporter who is "LIVE in our studio." As opposed to DEAD, I guess.

    1. Thanks, Tom. There isn't much I recognize these days no matter where I look.