Next month it will be a year that I’ve worked at a top-rated NBC local TV news station. Since my job is a very basic, backseat sort of job, I’ve had a lot of time to listen and learn about the things going on around me. The people, yes, people working in live TV news are some of the most dedicated, people-oritented creatures we should know and love. But through the past year, I’ve seen several anchors painfully distraught over the harmful and degrading letters from viewers picking on their every “flaw” from not liking what they’re wearing, to criticizing how they say words, to blaming them for technical glitches. The more experienced talent, editors and producers definetly have grown a shield to sworn off angry viewers. I even saw a complaint letter tacked on the wall at the station explaining how this viewer is not watching us anymore because we had lousy commercials.
A news station never closes. There are producers and assignment editors and video editors and talent at the station all hours of everyday. They work tirelessly trying to get the news out to you, being the diggers and discoverers of our world. Unfortunately, with the popularization of social media, this allows viewers to attack news stations 24-7 on multiple outlets. I wish people would take a second to recognize how hard news stations work for the people. Journalism is known to have low pay, but these people are waking up at midnight to head into work so you can catch up on the news while you sleepily wake up in your warm bed every morning. They sacrifice family time, weekends, sleep, and their better judgement to get the right stories out. There are slip-ups; it’s live. If life was perfect, so would live newscasts. But the amount of harsh and unnecessary criticism I’ve seen in the past year is a little sickening. Plus- people blame camera operators for not switching the camera that’s on air, the teleprompter for when the anchors can’t pronounce a word. But they have no idea what’s going on or who messed up or what computer glitches are happening. A monitor basically caught on fire one time at work and viewers start freaking out about why the right video wasn’t playing. You don’t know.
It may come down to more of a worldly dilemma, if people have a chance to bring someone else down, they will. But for some reason people expect local news stations to be perfect. The people behind the cameras, actually writing and telling the news; they aren’t perfect so why do you expect the show to be? There are no rehearsals. There is no practice time. These people are here for you. And only for you. Obviously there are the fantastic viewers, who are so supportive of the entire team. And if you’re that type of person — thanks for making the world a happier place!
Take the time to write on your local stations social media accounts and tell them how much you appreciate their hard work. It could go to say that everyone in every profession needs to hear that they are doing a good job, but for the people who work for the viewers everyday, just give them a quick shout out.
Make the world a little bit brighter everyday.