Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The New Walmart

It used to be back in the day at WMBD, when you needed to get the dreaded man on the street (MOS) sound, you stood outside the Peoria Walmart, which for those of you unfamiliar with the geography is a stones throw away from the station.

Saw Liza and Brian from 31 shooting their cell phone story at the courthouse plaza today. Crews from all three stations are regulars down there for sound, especially starting this time of year as the lunch carts are out and many downtown workers are taking their lunch breaks outside. The plaza, it seems, is the new Walmart.


Anonymous said...

At Wal-Mart, you have to worry about the whole private property thing and they've gotten worse about letting us be there.

The courthouse is fair game being public property and it's the one place downtown you can almost always find people.

At night, your best bet is outside O'Brien Field during the summer.

Man, I hate MOS

Jonathan Ahl said...

Then why do TV stations keep doing MOS if it's so hated and stupid?

Liza Danvers piece on cell phone taxes included MOS from two people that took the radical position that they didn't like the idea of paying more taxes on their cell phone bills. Duh! You might as well ask people if they would have a problem with taking a smack to the head with a rusty piece of rebar.

As an aside, the state cell phone tax piece in question did not have any of the following:

-thoughts of one of our state lawmakers that might actually vote on the legislation.
-opinion from a cell phone proivder in the area.
-comment from the local phone companies about how cell phones are hurting their business.

Yeah, let's just hit the street and get MOS react. That'll be great.

Dave Dahl said...

You know, I've tried a smack to the head with a rusty piece of rebar, and it's not that bad.

Anonymous said...

Because Producer's think MOS is the answer to all their problems. Can't think of a way to fill their show, how about an MOS on a national story. Can't get a hold of someone who knows what they're talking about, get an MOS.

MOS is a crutch. Producers and consultants will tell you it's the "voice of the people" Who cares what some stinky ole official has to say. Politicians and corporate PR guys are boring and give stiff sound. It's the common man's opinion we want....even if it is uninformed.

Anonymous said...

Alot of media critics feel that "official sources" are a crutch, but I think they are talking about more investigative reports.

Anonymous said...

yes, but at least official sources are educated on the topic your talking about.

If someone walks up to me on my lunch break and says "Do you want your cell phone bill to go higher?" What the hell do you think I'm gonna say? YES?!

The point I think Jonathan made was there were no facts in the story from people who knew. For all we know, Liza got the story off AP without checking if it was accurate and if it will affect people in Central Illinois

Anonymous said...

...but what does the Plaza charge for a roll of toliet paper?

Edgar said...

Wow... I go to work, run some errands and there is debate here.

Here's the thing. I'm not a big fan of MOS and I do agree with Jonathan's original point. However, and I don't know the specifics of Liza's day, but sometimes you're given a story and can't get sound from the lawmaker or the cell phone provider... at least not on that day. Yet, you are still expected to fill two minutes.

Is MOS the easy way out? Sure. But some days its all you've got.

Anonymous said...

To make this even worse, 31 doesn't have AP. They have another service that basically cuts and pastes off other websites....so who knows where that information came from.

Jonathan Ahl said...

Edgar et al:

I know some days you can't get the lawmaker on camera, but how about at least putting out the calls and including a graphic that shows which are for or against, or shows a quote from one that you get over the phone.

If MOS is a part of a story, that's fine. But when it's the ONLY thing you have in a story, that makes for some very weak journalism.