Friday, 18 January 2013

IT'S SNOWING! STOP THE WORLD! Who fancies a game of tv news snow bingo?

When the snow comes down, the hardy tv news presenters go out in force - and that's mainly just to stand in places, often looking quite cold, in order to tell us what we can already see outside of our window.

It's all fine of course - tv news is about pictures and it's pictures that bring tv news to life.

BBC News and Sky are doing a grand old job - but it's likely that, up and down tv newsrooms, news editors are on their umpteenth cup of filter coffee as the snow-coverage adrenalin keeps on a-pumpin'.

Some of them are probably spending quite a lot of time on the phone shouting at their reporters who are stuck on a B road on their way to a trouble spot.

Others may be quietly weeping inside, wondering if St John's Infants really is closed or if that was just a hoax call.

But whatever - it's the great big 'how to do snow' news coverage and it's here and it's IN FULL EFFECT.

Look out for the following:

Sombre looking weather forecasters with triangles of warning

Reporters standing in snow looking cold and stating the obvious, in their best wet-weather 'North Face' garb. He'll be onto the union when this shift's over.

Reporters standing in front of council workers making snowmen. He'll mention them as he's trying to do something a bit different among the doom-laden weather-woe. Earn an extra point.

Parents and children playing in the snow, or talking about playing in the snow. And why not eh?

A reporter on a bridge on a motorway: "Lane three, as it's known technically, is snow covered."

A reporter on a bridge on a motorway talking to someone from a car breakdown organisation giving advice on driving in these sort of conditions: "Take extra care, and slow down."

Shots of cars struggling up a non-gritted road and references to 'real concern' as opposed to just normal concern.

Near identical pieces to camera from other chilly-looking reporters, with perhaps ill-advised references to 'winter wonderlands' coming straight after shots of stranded motorists or advice to travel only if neccessary.

As well as:

- So-called 'user generated content' from viewers of their snow-filled gardens
- Pleas to 'remember the birds' who won't be able to feed as normal, on account of the hard ground and that
- And, most annoyingly, frequent uses of the word 'treacherous'. Please can we not just say 'hazardous'
- Inquests into how and why the country - railway lines, airports, main roads etc - may or may not grind to a halt, or schools having to close

And if you spot all of these, be sure to shout HOUSE! won't you.

And while we're here, let's all salute those hardy tv news reporters, stuck out in the cold on their long shifts and having to make saying the obvious interesting and different from what everyone else is saying. Actually, it's a tough old job, but the viewer doesn't really care about any of that. Still, hey ho, eh?

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