Is local TV news like this where you live?
I see promos with four young, attractive people either right out of college or right out of the health club, nattily attired with ever so white teeth. They nod at each other like kids having to pose for home movies, packaged inside captions like “we’re here for you”, “depend on us”, or “news bulletins first”, “severe storm coverage first”, or “bowling scores first.” (Can everything be FIRST?)
But if you actually dare to WATCH their newscasts… it’s wall-to-wall car wrecks, 7-11 robberies, drug busts, people doing bad things to people, and escaped killers with funny looking noses. Jeepers, there is hardly any time for cute, witty repartee between these manicured men and women of the press.
What’s going on here? Do they think we won’t notice that they are claiming to be something they aren’t?
Well, before we throw our TV brethren under the proverbial phony bus, perhaps we should check the log in our own eye.
Christian music radio is now inundated with stations that zip zap over bongo music that they’re Positive, Encouraging, Uplifting, Inspiring, Invigorating, Exhilarating, Energizing, and Revivifying. But when one tunes in they sound about as positive and encouraging as Donald Trump talking about the Pope. (I actually heard one station do a “Positive Thought” about the wrath of God. I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say).
It’s not against the law to smile and sound likable. Last I checked it wasn’t a sin to laugh and love on your listeners.
Recently I was a part of a research project where “Fun to listen to” was the one of the top needs of the audience and a top attribute of the station. Their listeners really like them because they’re likable. Of course, any good idea can be done poorly and I’m not suggesting you hire Bozo the Clown for afternoon drive, but as those wacky Latins used to say,
“Abusus non tollit usum”
(the abuse of a thing does not invalidate the proper use of a thing)
Here’s my suggestion: if your station claims to be positive, uplifting, and well-groomed, then maybe it’s a good idea to actually be that. Which brings to mind me a riddle I heard as a kid:
How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?
Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.