Defending local TV anchors - slightly - in Conan O'Brien's sidesplitting viral ice cream mashup video
No one loves a good joke poking fun at the dismaying state of local TV news more than me.
But Conan O'Brien's sidesplitting clips showing local TV anchors reading the same copy while introducing video stories feels a little like shooting fish in a new media barrel -- a way of poking fun at these journalists for doing something news outlets on other platforms do all the time.
The latest O'Brien mashup takes 26 anchors who all use the same joke to introduce a story about an ice-cream focused smart phone app, saying" I scream, you scream...well, you know the rest."
It's fun to see many different ways the local folks play with setting up the same tired joke. And its also an automatic indictment of the news outlets which would dare to use such cookie-cutter techniques for filling newshole in their news broadcasts.
Except for one thing: other news platforms do it, too.
No one would think to grab an Associated Press story reprinted the same way in 20 different newspapers and laugh at how it all says the same thing. But the exactly what these local news outlets are doing, reading an intro provided to them by the CNN Newsource information network through a technology reporting series called Clicked In.
Correspondent Karin Caifa pulled together a story on an smartphone app which finds nearby ice cream trucks and provides recipes. The text sent along with the story provides the opening line everybody nicked.
Hopefully, the anchors or producers involved will now take a moment to write original intros for those stories. And if they don't now, they should make it plain that a reporter hired by CNN is doing the stories, not a reporter on their staff.
But unless you're going to snicker at every New York Times story slapped inside your local newspaper, you might want to give the TV folks a tiny break on this one.