The Corner

Time For Tv Disclosure

But, what the press could really use is a big sweaty round of full-disclosures about how television news is produced. People get away with stuff in television editing that would be considered outrageous in print. For example, in print, if I quote you, I’m required to let you know if I’m quoting from different spots in our conversation. I can’t take the tail end of sentence # 127 and splice it on to the begining of sentence #3 without using elipses (…) or some such. In television, they do that in almost every interview. In fact, whenever you see a conversation on “60 Minutes” many people might like to know that every time they cut to a tight shot of Ed Bradley or Leslie Stahl nodding and then back to the interviewee they’ve probably also edited vast chunks of conversation as well. But they make it sound like he just took a breath.

Or, lots of people might like to know that interviewers often re-ask the questions without the interviewee in the room. They also shoot “reaction shots” in which the interviewer nods and smiles as if they are having a conversation when their not talking to anybody (they use these re-asks to splice together the different quotes). Or, they might like to know that many interviews are conducted by speaker phone from a different city, sometimes with the re-asks and reaction shots pasted in. I could go on and on.

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