The Glass House has long lamented the demise of cadet counsellors – let alone cadets – in newsrooms around Oz.
Add to that the departure of so many older and experienced hands who would have provided guidance not just to cadets but graded reporters who, and this is a craft technical term here, might be getting a little up themselves.
Experienced scribes, especially in the electronc media, who could take a gorgeous tyro aside – and that’s both sexes – and reinforce the message that words have meanings, like, and should be treated, carefully, like, so as to preserve and, like, enhance, like, their traditional roles, like.
So cue last Thursday night’s Nine 6pm bulletin out of Sydney.
Less than five minutes in, here’s reporter Emma Partridge on a bushfire at North Rocks: “Firefighters have done an unbelievable job in getting this fire under control…”
Unbelievable, Emma? You wouldn’t be reporting on the fire if that was the case. What about “professional” or “good”.
Let’s leave “unbelievable”, fantasmagorical” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” for the amateurs.
Two stories later, and still less than six minutes in, Elizabeth Bryan has the mic in hand as she reports on five teenagers on the run after a police chase: “A white Mercedes comes to a flying halt, trapped in traffic gridlock…”
A flying halt, Elizabeth? It’s really hard to imagine a flying halt, isn’t it? Maybe a big fat goose flying south for the winter and striking a jetliner fits the bill.
The trouble with Elizabeth’s “flying halt” is that the accompanying video shows the car pulling up at almost supermarket carpark speed.
The Bugger who penned this edition of Glass House never worked in the electronic media. He admires Elizabeth and Emma’s to-camera abilities and they sure look great.
But words count, ladies. Use them wisely.
It’s a crying shame that with the demise of the fourth estate, older hands appear to no longer be around to provide guidance and valuable advice to take your professionalism to the next level.
And maybe keep egos in check along the way.