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Going Live for Live Sake?


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When are live field reports actually necessary? The obvious answer is breaking news and quickly developing situations.



In watching smaller markets like Albany, NY I've noticed most field reports are packaged. Stations there often only go live if the story warrants it. 


In bigger markets like Atlanta, reporters often introduce stories live rather than packaged, despite a lack of new developments.


Example, WAGA's Eric Perry did a great live report about a homeowner who fought off two carjackers with his gun. 


As much as I love the theatrics of him being live in front of the bullet written car, because there were no new developments, the story could have been packaged. 


Especially in an era where people consume the news on their various mobile devices after the fact, are live field shots overused and do they only be done when needed? 

Edited by MediaZone4K
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And then there's stations like mine in Yakima where the anchor tosses to what seems like a 'live' report, even sounding as such, asking the taped 'reporter' a "question"!!


like this: "(Reporter's name) joins us now, (Reporter's first name), what's going on with the city council?" Toss to taped report.

They do the same thing with the meteorologist from Tri-Cities 'on tape,' asking the 'tape' a question. Once in a while, the weatherman's report will magically start talking over the anchor's last few words of banter.

Can't make this up. Even Missoula stations have a live weatherman at the studio and they are even further down the list of small markets than we are. We're #117, Missoula is #162.


One thing I miss about Seattle local news was the reliance on live reports. Here, the reporter...I meant, 'multimedia journalist,' takes a camera, sets it up, does the report pre-recorded (very occasionally live when warranted), edits it before the newscast, boom, done. In this age of streaming and viewing news on social media, perhaps the trend might be changing, however.

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Feel like I've seen an uptick in live reports lately at my station. Only a couple should have actually been live, the rest should have just been packages. Seen a couple done behind the building. Those always make me giggle.

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