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) 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 that).


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 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 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 everywhere.


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.