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David Carr on media’s Boston fails

Monday, April 22, 2013

The two big-ticket goof-ups were CNN’s John King (pictured) wrongly reporting that a suspect had been arrested and (in the garbage press category) the New York Post’s photo of two innocent men that the tabloid identified as suspects. But the New York Times media columnist’s post-mortem also points to this off-putting trend in live TV coverage:

Despite the suggestion otherwise, people who are on the air talking about the news cannot report while they are doing it. Producers make hundreds of decisions on the fly. The incrementalism and vamping required to fill the hours — “Again, as we have been saying, Anderson ... ” — makes everyone desperate to say anything vaguely new.

Throughout the week, I saw anchors and reporters staring at their phones, hoping a new nugget might arrive to give them something to say. (Memo to television executives everywhere: news is a better product when presenters look at the camera.)

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