The Constant Columnist

A potpourri by visitors to our site. No theme, no premise, no specific topic. To contribute, send your piece in an email ( Attach a headshot and if appropriate, an illustrative graphic.

Beatrice Williams-Rude
Beatrice Williams-Rude
Formerly on the copy desks of the New York Post and the New York Daily News, Beatrice was a book reviewer for Variety and she freelances as a researcher, copy editor, book reviewer, and writer.

03/2014 - "Stuck with de Bill" Inner Circle Annual Roast
Two questions loomed large as Inner Circle show-time approached: Given that the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, only took office Jan. 1, would there be sufficient material to lampoon? And, what would the mayor do in rebuttal?

Not to worry. The scribes constituting the Inner Circle inventively drew on not only what the mayor did, but what he'd said. Thus he was portrayed as Robin Hood, spectacularly well performed by Paul Murnane. There was also a running leit motif: son Dante's big hair.

Gabe Pressman was remarkable as Bishop Finlayter. He brought down the house singing "Mayor Bill, He Made a Call." Gabe, who has been an Inner Circle stalwart since 1951 and recently celebrated birthday number 90, looks so fit he makes one wonder if there's a portrait of him in a closet somewhere.

The first act was titled: "Caught in a Tight spot." Among the standouts in this section were Henry Goldman as Scott Stringer; James Harney as Rev. Lucas; Molly Gordy and Bob Liff as Carmen Farina and Michael Mulgrew who did a riff on the Habañero from Bizet's "Carmen" describing the reaction of parents to the education department's failing to call a "snow day" when the city was recently engulfed in the stuff.

However, one didn't have to be an admirer of Hillary Clinton to wince at the line about it being so cold that she welcomed her "hot flashes." That noted, the line drew a laugh, although not, I wager, from many women of a certain age.

The basic theme of the show was embodied in "Progressive," using the melody of "Maria" and sung by the mayor (Paul Murnane) and his wife, Chirlane, played by Jane Tillman Irving.

he second act was called "On the Road to Recovery." Former mayor Mike Bloomberg popped up numerous times and was artfully played by Andrew Siff who got the vocal cadences to perfection.

Tom Kelly and Dan Andrews were charming as Mr. Ed and Seabiscuit, referencing the ongoing brouhaha about whether carriage horses are maltreated. David Seifman was great fun as Rob Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto, and Rich Lamb was hilarious as Gov. Christie. Irene Cornell captured Kathleen Sebelius to a T.

Mickey Carroll and Glenn Schuck played Mario and Andrew Cuomo, respectively. This year's Inner Circle president,Beth Karas, was a dishy ditsy Sandra Lee, New York State's first girl-friend.

The segment on John Catsimatidis and the money spent on a losing bid for the Republican nomination for mayor showed the billionaire grocer as wounded, but still hungry for public office.

A particularly delicious duet was "Chobani," which used the melody of "Volare" to address the Olympic debacle in which the yogurt was refused entry at Sochi. It was sung by Denise Richardson as Michelle Obama and Ernie Anastos as Dannon. To this reviewer, the high point of the show was the trio "Why Must They Watch Over Me?" (Think "Someone to Watch Over Me") sung by Jennifer McLogan as Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, Terry Sheridan as Sen. Chuck Schumer, and the spot-on Mark Lieberman as Edward Snowden. This segment about the NSA's ubiquitous spying ended too soon. I would have liked verse after verse.

So the first question about finding sufficient material was happily answered. As to the second: One thought of three options.

A rebuttal speech à la Mayor Wagner and his predecessors; Mayor Lindsay's way, using a couple of stars and special material; or what mayors since Beame have been doing—bringing the cast of a Broadway show and tweaking the script. But Bill de Blasio created a fourth way: a series of skits taking elements from TV series "The Honeymooners" and "Boardwalk Empire" - and using familiar faces, Steve Buscemi, Cynthia Nixon and the Rev. Al Sharpton among them. Steve, in addition to being Nucky, was an amazing Ed Norton.

And Mayor de Blasio hammered home his progressive theme. The most effective part of the "rebuttal" was the side-splittingly funny portrayal by Julie Halston of an Upper-East-Side matron representing the .05 percent and wanting a moat around her neighborhood. Speaking of de Blasio, she said, "He keeps talking about a tale of two cities as if it's a bad thing!"

So this was a most interesting look at the recent past and perhaps portent of the future.

The Inner Circle charity fund-raiser was created in 1923 to have fun with and entertain guests by parodying politics and politicians. Inner Circle Show proceeds go toward helping dozens of small charities, selected by members.

03/2014 - "No Exit" (theater review)
When Jean Paul Sartre's play, "No Exit," exploded onto the New York stage in 1946 it received such acclaim that one critic, Stark Young of The New Republic, went so far as to say that people should see it even if they didn't like it.

It brought Existentialism front and center. Although the ideas had been reflected by Søren Kierkegaard, it was Sartre who gave it the name and brought it mainstream. However, while phrases from the work, including its title, "No Exit," have become part of our idiom, there have been few opportunities for present-day audiences to actually see it. Until now.

A brilliant new production of "No Exit" is playing at the Pearl Theatre and will run through March 30.

This bitterly comic play deals with the "afterlife" of three damned characters. All expect to be tortured, but there are no whips, chains, thumbscrews, racks — no torture devices at all in the room into which they've been ushered. What and where is this room? Who is the valet who ushered them in? Whom does he serve? Why are these three, who have little in common, doomed to spend eternity with one another? Is it random?

Existentialism posits the individual alone in an endless impersonal universe, free, yes, but free to? Free from? Free will and responsibility for his own acts and condition? "Freedom is not what you do gratuitously," says Sartre. "It's what you do with what's been done to you."

The man in the trio, Cradeau, splendidly portrayed by Bradford Cover, was once a "fearless journalist" but was executed for desertion (WWII) and seeks to prove he's not a coward. This reviewer worries whether his voice will hold up, given the punishment it's enduring as Cover/Cradeau furiously tries to control the other characters and protect his sordid secrets. Or, rather, to get the other two to leave him in peace. He screams for silence. He screams even more ferociously as he denies the accusations of having been a collaborator, hurled at him by the two women.

The first woman to arrive is Inez, a "lowly postal worker," meticulously evoked by Jolly Abraham, who reveals layer beneath layer with unsparing honesty. She is a lesbian, coldly analytical, devious, merciless and despises men. The second woman, the glamorous upper-class Estelle, lovingly created by Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, initially claims she has no idea of why she's there and insists it must be a mistake.

The enigmatic valet, who leads the characters to the room is perfectly played by Pete McEllicott, who performs an astonishing physical feat: not blinking, as is required by the script.

The action consists of the characters psychologically stripping each other bare, ferreting out secrets, uncovering lies, overcoming denials, until all are forced to admit why they're there, together. They come to understand that they are each others' torturers. Estelle desires Cradeau, or rather, a man, virtually any man. Inez desires Estelle. Cradeau, although he might desire Estelle, cannot "be a man" until he's a peace with himself for which he needs the understanding and approval of Inez, which she won't bestow. And so they torment each other. When the doors of the locked room suddenly open, the characters rush to get out, stop, presumably look at the other rooms, and reluctantly return to their own.

Thus, the central Existential truth: Hell is other people.

"No Exit" is laugh-out-loud funny without being warming. It's an intellectual exercise that offers little comfort. It is riveting despite having little plot or trajectory.

This English translation from the original French is by polymath Paul Bowles.

The astute direction is by Linda Ames Key and lighting by Ann G. Wrightson. The serviceable set is by Harry Feiner, most effective sound design by Jane Shaw. The decibel level was good—the audience could hear without having its collective ear drums blasted - and the choice of music from the 1940s, particularly French songs including "Autumn Leaves," enveloped the audience in the atmosphere of the period.

"No Exit," playing at The Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street, will run through March 30.

02/2014 - Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?
We used pride ourselves on being "the land of the free and the home of the brave," who had "nothing to fear but fear itself."

However, since 9/11 we've become the land of the fearful whose population, in large measure, can be manipulated by the "t" word: terrorist. There can be no freedom without bravery because the fear-dominated willingly surrender their freedom for the illusion of security. Thus all manner of illegal activities by public officials - from simple venality, to perjury, to acquiescencent authorization of torture - is stamped "classified" and hidden under the "national security" rubric.

Erich Fromm examined a similar phenomenon in his towering 1941 work, "Escape From Freedom," which deals with the psychological factors that make freedom a burden. What Fromm was analyzing was the mindset that allowed the rise of Nazism.

With freedom comes responsibility, which starts with learning the facts and leads to questioning authority, whether state, church or media. It may be more comfortable - temporarily - to accept government assertions, but there is a price to be paid later. How much easier it is to call for the heads of those who expose truths we'd rather not know. There are some for whom thinking is so painful they adopt a "Kill 'em all" philosophy — the "all" being the designated enemy of the day. Thus they avoid having to weigh facts, make difficult judgments and risk angering those in power. So, like "the good Germans" during the Nazi period, they see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, and as a consequence, have the excuse to do nothing.

Only two US senators, Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, questioned the "Tonkin Gulf incident" which led to "The Tonkin Gulf Resolution" which further mired us in the Vietnam morass. An insufficient number of senators questioned President George W. Bush's rush to attack Iraq. That war of choice was based on erroneous intelligence.

Our bravest are in prison or exile for having exposed unpalatable truths.

For exposing, among other things, a video of U.S. military personnel in a helicopter, shooting Iraqi civilians and killing two Reuters journalists, which the government had previously denied, Bradley Manning is serving a 35-year sentence, while those who authorized the despicable acts are free. For revealing that the U.S. uses torture and that the policy is not an aberration, but actual government policy, John Kiriakou languishes in a federal prison, although it's the government that needs correcting. The proponents and practitioners of torture have not been prosecuted, despite the use of torture being contrary to U.S. as well as international law.

For showing that the US has become a surveillance state, with all the machinery at the ready to become a police state, Edward Snowden has been forced into exile. Earlier, Thomas Drake, considered "the smartest man in the room" by some colleagues at the NSA, did something similar and was charged with espionage - not proven - but his life was upended and his career ruined.

Our justice system has been corrupted as whistleblowers are denied the means of mounting a defense; the material they require is "classified" as embarrassed intelligence officials cover their malfeasances with the flag. We have secret FISA courts making secret rulings and issuing secret subpoenas. Secret from whom, one might ask. Not from those being served.

Our government has embarked on a policy of silencing the witnesses to protect the criminals. The conversation has been changed from the message - the frequently horrific revelations - to the messenger. All in the name of "national security."

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for [the illusion] of security will, in the end, have neither liberty nor security and will deserve neither." This truism has been voiced by many—from Benjamin Franklin to Winston Churchill.

Freedom and bravery are linked. You can't have one without the other. If we lack the courage to live with the demands and dangers inherent in freedom, we will be opting for authoritarianism.

11/2013 - Prometheus Gave The Gods' Fire To Humankind.
Edward Snowden, Pvt. Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou brought sunlight to the government's dark corners—for the benefit of the US public and humankind worldwide. As in the case of Prometheus, the powers did not look kindly on these actions and as the gods had vultures eating Prometheus's liver, the government has Snowden in limbo, Manning in manacles for 35 years, and Kiriakou languishing in a Federal Correctional Institution.

John Kiriakou, the CIA whistleblower, revealed the government's use of waterboarding. First the government denied it, then claimed it wasn't "torture." (Then why deny it? And torture? It comes right out of the Spanish Inquisition.)

So respected is Kiriakou that his colleagues, instead of distancing themselves from him, gave him a much publicized farewell party the night before he entered the federal facility. Kiriakou was denied mail for the for first 10 months of his incarceration. Several weeks ago I received an e-mail saying that he could now receive mail and to please write to him.

What to say? Obviously there would be censorship so chatting about current events would be impossible. I wrote a brief note expressing my admiration and sent him a copy of a book I'd written, "Misadventures of a Would-Be Muse," similarly inscribed. I said he could skip the sludge at the beginning and end and just go to the vignettes.

Last Thursday I received a reply. He said the book was "an absolute delight" and "the vignettes terrific" as were the photos. He said he started it as soon as he received it and finished it the following night. But the sentence that really got to me was: "In all honesty, it's only because of friends like you that I'll get through this nightmare." He thanks me for thinking of him and for my "warm words." He then says, "Keep writing! I love your style." I don't know whether he means to keep writing short stories or to keep writing to him. I plan to do both and have sent him another letter. As the e-mail urged me to write, I strongly urge people of conscience to write to John. (I'd write to Snowden too if I could, and to Pvt. Manning.

John Kiriakou
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Loretto, PA 15940

Kiriakou, Manning and Snowden are the Paul Reveres of our times, alerting us to the illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American activities in which the government is engaging so that we may act to stop the practices. We should be out in the streets protesting—as with the Vietnam horror. But alas, it seems a wide swath of the American public is behaving like "the good Germans" under the Nazis: They see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, and as a consequence, do nothing.

May people of conscience honor these heroes and do everything possible to offer moral support. They've laid they lives on the line for the common good. The least we can do is bring them whatever comfort we can.

Joanne Stevens: Lessons From the News Coach
Joanne Stevens
Joanne Stevens has been helping television and radio journalists craft their skills in writing, reporting, anchoring and interviewing since 1980 through her consultancy, Stevens Media Consulting, Ltd. "Lessons From the News Coach" also appears as a blog on the RTNDA Web site.

11/2011 - Stand-ups: They're Not All About You
I feel more and more as if I'm being distracted by reporter standups rather than being further edified about the story.

Movement: most news directors prefer to see you moving or doing something in your stand-up. After all - it's video. But walking down a supermarket aisle for no reason ( that the soup aisle? Oh no - I think I see canned meats) only serves to make you look silly - and to distract me. If you think I'll believe that you happened to stop exactly at the boxed macaroni - a fabulous coincidence so that you could reach for it (almost without looking! Wow!) and use it as a crutch. Naah. Too cheesy.

Or last night, I watched a story about free eye surgeries for lucky people. The reporter suddenly appeared from around a corner in a hospital hallway - wearing scrubs - with the facemask dangling around his neck. I'd learned nothing about what the eye surgeries entailed - other than better vision. I only saw b-roll of what looked like surgeons in an OR. But here was the reporter - decked out like the doctor he perhaps always wanted to be. There was nothing in the package that led us to believe he'd been in the OR...nor did he refer to his outfit to explain if perhaps it was a germ-related necessity on that floor. It came across as a 'look ma! I'm a doctor'. It also didn't help that it was two days before Halloween.

I feel the urge to remind you that it's not about you - it's about the story - and those who are part of it or effected by it. Sure, if there's something interesting or cogent that can be explained better by movement - that's great. 'Watch how this fabric ignites'...or 'listen to the engine on this bus'. Yes - walking might work too. E.g. walking to bring us along in a particular area so we can appreciate the story even more. E.g. , "the entire length of this curb" or "each of the five houses on this street" or "walking on this particular block can be dangerous because of [these tree roots/this dim lighting/the proximity to traffic, etc.]" A client once returned to the site of a tree that had toppled killing several young girls in a schoolbus. She did her own shooting. She positioned her camera on sticks and shot herself kneeling by the dirt where the tree had been. She scooped some soil and showed us how dry and sandy it was as it ran through her fingers. She did this while telling us about the investigation to determine if the soil in the area was too sandy to have sustained that particular species of tree.

Some of you may enjoy the drama of the standup and choose to milk it a bit. I watched a reporter step out from the smoke left by the fire that decimated an area in Texas. He too had a medical mask dangling around his neck. My concern was that he didn't refer to the smoke or tainted air or to the burnt vegetation around him. Yes, he talked about how devastating the fire had been but like the reporter in the food aisle and the reporter magically showing up in the hospital corridor, there was no reference to what we were looking at or to what he was experiencing ("the smoke here is still so thick that doctors say..." or "24 hours ago these burnt and singed bushes were..." ).

You are not in a contest to bring back the most clever or viral standup. Ideally you can show us something interesting in your standup...or at the very least 'just stand there' and explain where you are and why it's significant. You are on camera to communicate with us personally - not to assume the Shakespearean role of 'I'm on TV and you're not'. We all have different personalities. If five of us covered the same story the packages would not look the same.

But Shakespeare got it: "To thine own self be true". Trust yourself...and let the 'wings of your journalism' carry you to your best decision.

And as always - thank you for all that you do.

11/2011 - Our News Profession 10 Years Post-9/11
A Freaky 30-Year Cycle

I've been asked for my thoughts on how journalism has changed since 9/11. Upon contemplation I see us repeating an unexpected 30-year cycle:

The official American presence in Viet Nam ended in 1975. Gone were the bleak statistics...the angry politics...the ever-louder anti-war demonstrations...the news video covering the mayhem of war...the flag-draped coffins...the shattered veterans...and the grim anchors and reporters.

What happened next, however, pushed me over the edge - and into my business in 1981. Happy Talk! Cheerful, nattering anchors...clever, sometimes clown-like was a journalism circus! Who could be more clever or memorable?

I was incredulous. What happened to the 'Hippocratic Oath' of journalism to do no harm? To edify the nation through solid reporting?

Things settled down a bit but the harm seemed permanent.

Then came September 11, 2001. We reverted to serious reporting. And once again - over these past 10 years - we began shaking off the cloud. Some classic video standards were seen as obsolete or reporters chose to shake them off. Jump cuts were OK - hey, tech rules. Loosen up! The white balance is off? What's your problem? Some elements seem to have been abandoned in teaching: writing out of SOT's? What's that? The creativity contest was in full swing. Writing car sales statistics with your finger on a dirty windshield! Measuring snowfall with a yardstick while you froze your butt off and risked hypothermia! How clever!

But the backlash has begun. My 19 year old god-daughter recently complained about a chipper reporter standing in the hurricane with disco-earrings flapping in the wind. Reporters standing in flood water at the risk of electrocution are being mocked. 'Journalists' who believe that reporting constitutes regurgitating spoon-fed 'company line' information or sharing what has been conveniently 'revealed' to them are being dismissed by viewers.

The glamour is reverting back to intellect. The prestige: to being respected for putting yourself on the line to get to the truth. The standup: either to show or explain something or to share frank, accurate information without a whoopee cushion or fabricated drama. The anchor banter and occasional hijinx: not a necessity, but unleashed spontaneity - in a natural and unforced moment.

So a freaky looping pattern: yep.

Cycling from the somberness of Viet Nam to the crazy, sometimes Fellini-like journalistic backlash. Then back around to the shock and tragedy of 9/11...followed by an abandoning or snubbing of some video reporting principles...and an influx of forced cleverness and creativity.

And now: we seem to be on our way back - thankfully - to acknowledging and embracing the real journalists and real journalism. I honestly believe that a well-constructed 1:30 package can pull us in like a good Scorsese movie. And yes - there have been some changes. As long as the reporting is solid we'll forgive the occasional shaky but important shot or compromised lighting or edit challenge.

The salaries: calmed down to offensively lower figures for the majority. But as I shared in my first column: if it's in your blood, there's no turning back.

04/2011 - Harnessing your Natural Speaking Voice
Home Base
For all of us who believe we "recognize someone's voice" - the reason for this is that each of us speaks in a unique fluctuation of pitch. It's the rolling incantation of voice and speech sounds that carries our message to a listener's ear. If you picture the five lines on which music is written, somewhere around the middle is a black dot - or note - that signifies your personal "Home Base." This is your own "neutral pitch." It's the place from which you most often start when you speak.

When we begin to speak we essentially have three choices: We can start from Home Base or from a spot that is slightly higher or slightly lower. The reality is that the rise and fall in pitch of our personal speaking voices doesn't travel that far from "Home."

The majority of my clients who need voice work have invariably lost their Home Base in an effort to project their voice, sound urgent, or when they try, artificially, to make their information sound interesting. Whether you're anchoring, tracking or doing a standup, the trick is to figure out or re-discover your Home Base and then roll out your speaking from there. This concept is great for speakers who become incrementally higher without realizing it and for speakers who end up talking from their neck and face in and effort to project and speak with authority.

For many new or semi-seasoned speaking journalists it's important to know your Home Base and to easily and naturally tap into it. The presentation of your journalism is a litany of starting, stopping, starting, stopping - you have infinite opportunities to restart from your base or to lose your way. With a nod to Thomas Wolfe, these folks often find they can't go home again.

Two common ways to find your Home Base:
A) When you're listening to someone and you hear yourself saying "OK" or "got it" out of politeness, the long "A" in OK or the "ah" in "got" should be pretty close to your Home Base. This is because you've phonated without worrying about how you'll sound - you're not carrying a message (i.e. information or a sentence) - and you're essentially making a neutral, non-semantic utterance.

B) If you're tracking or doing a standup try doing a 3-2-1 countdown. Your goal is to hit your Home Base starting from "3" so you now have two opportunities to make an honest mistake. The idea is to feel the 3 - relax into your phonation as you say it - and let your 2 and 1 ever so slightly fall into a 1-1-1 phonation that feels very comfortable, neutral, and sounds pleasant. If you believe your 3 has pretty much nailed your Home Base then the 2 and 1 will serve to reinforce it.

Always remember that it's important to phonate from your stomach. Your countdown can be done in one continuous stomach-pulling-in flow. Or if you're trying to improve your breathing and resonance (trying to take your voice out of your face and neck and more into a torso rumble) try doing your 3-2-1 in a series of 3 stomach pumps in. Bingo! Who knew you'd learn to belly dance as a bonus?

Common Pitfalls
Once you have the feel of the 1 in your countdown you are ready to start speaking. Be careful not to do a stupendous 3-2-1 and then default right back to your old voice as you start speaking! It's a common mistake but if you record your practice you'll hear it.

Remember: the idea is not to flatten your voice but rather to learn to start speaking from the natural, comfortable pitch which is most likely the spot you're in when you're not worrying about how you sound!

01/2011 - On-Air Flubs: Don't Ignore Them.
The other day I was paying bills. A local news station had reached the C Block: "Around the World." I found myself thinking, "Hmmm, they must've lost time somewhere, the anchor is really speeding along..."

Television news brought sitting people, standing people (anchors and reporters) natural sound, sound bites and (hopefully) significant video into our lives. The intention, in part, was to provide stronger multi-media news than newspapers and radio. Many people soon preferred getting their news from a warm-blooded, talking human. I'm sure there are scores of reasons for this, including one of perhaps feeling less spooked by some of the more serious stories.

As for me, I often put on my local news while I'm doing something else in the same room. If I hear something that compels me to look up (ie -watch some video) I'll do so or make a mental note to scroll backwards when I can find my remote.

The other day I was paying bills. A local news station had reached the C Block: Around the World. I found myself thinking, "Hmmm, they must've lost time somewhere, the anchor is really speeding along!" My brain was jogging to keep up.

Then I heard: "Due to increased violence Dutch law enforcement plans to implement serious restrictions on popular marijuana cases". I'm not well-versed on the Dutch legal system, but I had a "huh?" moment and looked up hoping to see video or a still shot, which would help me better understand this one-liner news item.

The anchor had a "poker look" on his face; there was nothing else to see and he was already into the next Around the World story. It struck me that he either misread the word "cafes" as "cases" or perhaps there was a typo in the prompter. Either way I was much sadder for us than I was for the café frequenters.

Either Chris, an anchor I do like, was tearing along and was totally disconnected to what he said or maybe he didn't have prior knowledge of the story and trusted a typo, and/or someone was asleep at the switch and didn't click into his IFB to advise him that he needed to correct the noun. Even worse, and this is my fear, someone in the newsroom caught it and a decision was made not to clarify the erroneous information for the viewers.

As we speak- so does the anchor

If you listen to a random conversation we stutter, we stumble, we correct inadvertently mispronounced sounds and words. Sometimes we stop and clarify or repeat a word, a name, a phrase, all to assure that our listener easily "got" what we said.

As long as an anchor isn't gripped by a tendency to misspeak (and this can come from a multitude of reasons) an occasional flub is completely fine and normal. A tripped-up or misspeaking anchor just needs to do what the rest of us do - correct the word or information in whatever manner suits his/her personality and personal preference and move on.

When things don't go perfectly, or when they go wrong, it is an anchor's aplomb and ease with the medium that serves as a great measure of his/her abilities.

As a good anchor you will comfortably correct yourself. You may couch it as, "that's ___". Depending on the mistake and the nature of the story you may choose to correct it more carefully" "Let me assure you've gotten this correctly, that's ___". If the story is light, sometimes a little look may replace words as you correct what was screwed up."

Frankly, one of my personal frustrations is seeing terrific, professional, comfortably executed catches or corrections and having to tell a client "Geez that was great, you did that so well. I'd love to put that on your demo reel to show management how artfully you handle your job but if it's on your reel they may think you had nothing to show them that doesn't have you misspeaking."

And so these flubs are rarely on reels. I guess there's always the chance that one may occur during an audition and you can show your chops there.

Getting back to the "oral journalism" Amsterdam glitch - the news program returned after commercials for the next block. There was no clarification or correction offered. I checked on it after. It WAS cafes and not cases. Huge difference. I much rather would've preferred to hear "A few minutes ago we shared a story about gang violence in Amsterdam. We'd like to clarify that…"

Now THAT'S good anchoring!


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Member News

Kieran Crowley
Kieran Crowley
Writes thriller called, HACK.

First novel written and released under his own name. More in Member News.

The Constant Columnist

Joanne Stevens
Joanne Stevens
Lessons from the News Coach: Our News Profession 10 Years Post-9/11

TV reporting styles seem to evolve and devolve in cycles that are sparked by major, long-running events and then morphed into some new form by backlash. More in The Constant Columnist.