BY PETER ONDABU
“Reading news is not a picnic outing. Your news presenters’ habit of touching each other during news is juvenile, irritating and annoying.”
That was the message from a pissed off Mbira Rimi, who wrote to the Nation Media Group’s public editor Peter Mwaura to voice his concern.
His complaint was published in Friday’s edition of Daily Nation.
Mr Rimi wrote:
“Can you please request NTV evening news presenters to keep a professional distance from each other.”
The NMG public editor, whose work is to receive and respond to queries from consumers of NMG products, responded by relaying words from an off-script interview between Olive and Okari, where Okari asked Olive to describe how Obama smelled when she interviewed him in 2015.
The public editor then reasoned :
If banter makes the news less boring, if it connects with readers, then it is good. If it is spontaneous and genuine, not contrived, so much the better.
But there should not be too banter because that is not the main business of a news bulletin.
In the Wednesday 9pm news (on October 31) Okari and Burrows
engaged in four banters.
One of them saw Ms Burrows pull
out her smartphone to play the
song Purple Rain for Mr Okari, who did not seem to be hip to the song by Prince and The Revolution (She did not actually play on air the four-minute soundtrack to the film of the same name).
Banter can be counter-productive, too, if it’s forced laughter and laboured joviality, especially when it has nothing to do with the news and it comes across as phoney.
Anchors must remain sombre (sic) and serious at all times even as they engage in small talk. They must always win the respect of their viewers by acting professional and not making goofy or inappropriate comments.
Do you agree with him? Share your views on the comment box.