Here's an explanation of terms frequently used in TV News...
Live shot...actually there are two kinds of live shots.
1. The real...where reporters are on the scene of a developing story
gathering important information (brushfires, crime scenes etc.)
2. The bogus...where reporters stand in the dark near the building or
other location where something might have happened hours earlier. These
are usually ordered by management (see consultant)...reporters know
they're a waste of time and money, and make them look silly.
Hose down...A news conference covered by a photographer but no
reporter to ask questions. This allows the speaker (usually a
politician) to say something he's sure will be unchallenged.
Pursuit (car chase...only police and TV people say pursuit)...an
event of no news value which will guarantee a huge ratings boost when
aired live during a newscast, even if it means blowing out the rest of
the show (the war in Iraq, election coverage, the economy...things like
The "very latest".the glaring redundancy commonly used by nearly
every local and network anchor. If you skipped English class (as many
anchors apparently did) it may not bother you at first, but when you
start to think about it, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. It's
either the latest or it's not.no such thing as "the very latest".
Rationalization...useful tool for management, helps them believe it's
important to lead with Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan as a cautionary
lesson to other young people.
Follow the leader...game played when management watches competing
newscasts to see what they missed. When station A leads with a shark
attack in Florida and their ratings go up, station B finds a shark story
to compete, station C notices all this and reporters from all the
stations are sent to the Aquarium to interview an expert who explains
that pigs kill more people than sharks (this interview doesn't make the
air on any station, but they all do a live shot that night in front of
the Aquarium...which is closed.)
Consultant...there are two definitions for consultant.
1. An "expert" (usually someone who was never in TV news or has
failed at it) who tells management what stations in other cities are
doing to boost their ratings. This is actually just a national extension
of "follow the leader" and it's the main reason TV news looks the same
2. (preferred) Some Bastard from out of town.
Anchor intimacy...the (apparently) irresistible urge for female
anchors to show viewers the birth of their babies and the male anchors
to explain their heart surgeries.