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Straight from the script

By Ian Nance - posted Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Unsuccessful trial litigant: "I just want to say how disturbed I am at the outcome of this case and to assure that we will take all possible future steps to correct this grievous imbalance of fairness".

Perpetrator of a mishap: "Please try to understand I would wish that this distressing situation had never occurred and that it be remedied as quickly and effectively as possible".

Sportsman: "I'm truly remorseful for the harm I brought on the club and its resultant standing in the public's eyes".

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Bureaucrat: "It is important to confirm within the context of emerging action in this matter, that resolutions taken may be less than desired. However, the rights of individuals enshrined in the relevant Act must be preserved in all cases coming before the Minister".

Guess what? I don't believe these insincere, rehearsed scripted statements which appear on TV news broadcasts.

They're false, contrived, completely incredible, or don't do what the original need required – deliver a frank, genuine expression of attitude or position.

Yet they are becoming increasingly commonplace in our world of speeded-up, precisely worded expressions of insight, deliberation, or belief.

Gone are times when a televised appearance gave a guide to the thoughts of the speaker, and the appearance's outcome the direct result of that person's true character. Now, the result is due to how well someone can write a credible piece of copy and read it (or have it read) on camera.

What the heck's wrong with speaking simply, clearly, and straight to the point instead of attempting to enshroud the statement in a mantle of obscure formality. Fellas - this is television, not radio. You can be seen, as well as heard! And I, for one, don't like what I see.

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I never see it in the professional presenters or journalists who appear in the stories; they either have worked out thoroughly what they intend to say, or use 'idiot cards' off-camera, often containing just bullet points.

Perhaps public relations "advisors" have decided that having a script works better than being natural and responsive, but the technique is becoming a habit, and increasingly boring. There is very little of the close-up contact which comes straight from the heart directly to the viewer getting a message.

Oh no, the speakers read from scripts in the era of the carefully written ad-lib!

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About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

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