Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Anchoring For Dummies - Ending Your Sentences

With the extra day off and soccer season over, I've been watching a little more news on all three stations lately. Just a thought on anchoring, sort of related to a couple of thoughts I shared last month.

I won't call anyone out, but I absolutely cannot stand when people don't end their sentences. Anchoring, and this may be a shock to some, isn't just about being on television.

You are supposed to be communicating. You are the connection between the story and the audience. While a story is a bunch of sentences about the same topic, the sentences themselves are separate thoughts. I can't help but roll my eyes when I watch someone anchor who doesn't get this because: you are paid to get this.

When you see a period, that is the end of a sentence and the end of a thought. They don't have to all run together until you get to the package or SOT. Really. They don't.

I was far from perfect as an anchor, but this part I understood.

Some reading this may think, what's the big deal? I'll tell you.

I don't think most people watch the news as closely as people who used to work in it. Nothing wrong with that, but that means they need things to be that much more understandable. If you aren't clear and if you don't separate thoughts, messages are lost. And getting messages out for people to understand is the whole point of what you're trying to accomplish as an anchor. You need to make it clear.

If a photog shot video that was out of focus, we'd lose some of the message, right? This is no different.

Update: this is not an indictment of all anchors in our market. Some absolutely get it. And you can be assured you'll hear what I describe even in bigger markets.

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