Fluff in cotton balls? Excellent. Fluff in news? Not-so-excellent.
It’s really no secret that news reporting is no longer reporting of news. We all know that 24/7 cable news shows provide us with less and less news and more and more fluff in order to keep the airwaves filled. The true definition of “newsworthy” has been battered and bashed and dragged through the mud, thanks to a number of reasons: the Internet, reality television, Al Gore . . .
Anyway, there may be no fluffier fluff than the sound bites that accompany the reports of 680 News—Toronto’s All News Radio Station.
Now, I like 680 News. I like that I could, if I wanted to, switch on the radio at 2:30 a.m. and hear the news. I could turn on the radio at 4:47 p.m. and hear the news. Basically, I could turn it on anytime and be guaranteed to hear the news and a traffic report, the latter of which is a must-listen-to when travelling around the GTA.
This particular station prides itself on interacting with persons of Toronto (a good thing) and always features sound bites (a good thing, in theory) that make Torontonians sound like morons (a bad thing). But, this doesn’t stop 680 News from using the bites. Which makes me wonder: Are Torontonians morons or do 680 News reporters simply interview the first person they see and then move on to the next story?
Case in point: While running a few errands this morning, I caught a story about a loud noise that had occurred somewhere in Toronto during the early morning hours.
Reporter: People around Toronto may have awoken to a loud blast last night, as there was a loud noise during the early morning hours. Let’s talk to someone on the street who heard the loud noise. So, you heard a loud noise?
Person on street: Yes, a loud noise.
Reporter: And you thought…?
Person on street: That it was loud.
Reporter: And you wondered where it came from?
Person on street: Yes, I wondered about it.
I’d like to tell you that I listened to the rest of the story, but, by this point, I didn’t really care where the noise came from. All I could think was REALLY? THIS IS YOUR REPORT? WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE?! These bites are just a few of the many I’ve listened to in the past months and shaken my head at. Ugh. The point of a sound bite is to add interest to a story, not pointless drivel.
So, will these ridiculous sound bites keep me from listening to 680 News? No, because I like to know which streets and highways are clogged up and which are free-flowing. But seriously, 680 News. You can do better.
Really. You can.