It seems nowadays that television and radio presenters are encouraged to banter on-air with other members of the program team. The theory is that this makes them appear more human and accessible. What it actually often does is demonstrate that there are a lot of people involved in television and radio who should not be encouraged to go off-script. They reveal themselves as vacuous and even rather stupid. Frankly, I don’t care if the news-reader has a cat or what the weather guy thinks about the latest sports result. It’s boring!
Another aspect of North American news broadcasting which I hope doesn’t spread is the cult of personality when it comes to the programme anchors. Stand-in presenters are forced to announce that they are covering for so-and-so, the usual presenter. It’s almost as though the presenters are bigger than the programme. Quite frankly, I don’t care who is presenting the show, as long as they do a good job. No more silly people who use the "assumption of ignorance" introduction. I hate listening to people who think if they didn’t know something, then no-one will know it. I once listed to two or three minutes of some daft woman telling me what Diego Garcia wasn’t – ie. a liqueur or a Mexican movie star. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’d told us in the programme trailer before the news on the hour that it was an island.
It’s a cliché that TV anchors are pretty-boy and pretty-girl airheads. I know of several who are highly professional and astute journalists. But I also recall one of the stupidest people I’ve come across in my entire life being made an anchor on the television news. Isn’t it interesting how often stupidity and arrogance are wedded?