we all know the scene–the well-dressed,good-looking news reader tells us there has been a bombing in Iraq, or an exciting decision about Euro exchange rates in Brussels. Then the camera cuts to “our reporter at the scene” with the full story.A more casually dressed reporter then repeats exactly the same facts, but gives us a close up view of a burned car in Baghdad, or of a couple of politicians shaking hands in Brussels.
Then the anchorman says “so , Bob, do you think this will affect America’s image in the region?”
And, of course, Reporter-Bob has a quick concise answer: Well, Jane, I was just talking to the head of the local council, and he told me …"
Well,golly, gee whiz—how convienient of the anchorman to ask the question that makes it look like Reporter Bob actually did some work, other than sitting around his hotel.And how convenient of Bob not to mention his talking with the local council until he was asked.
So my question is–how rehearsed and regimented is all this chit-chat? Is the reporter-at-the-scene told that he has exactly 30 seconds to talk, then to wait for the question, and then another 45 seconds to fill? Or is he allowed to actually say whatever he wants? And does he tell the anchorman what question to ask, or vice-versa?