So THAT's What's Written On News Readers' Papers

I had no idea.
Jeff Overs BBC News & Current Affairs via G

You know when anchors sign off on the news for the night, shuffling papers and seemingly chatting to their desk mate?

Well, that may sometimes be more for a natural-looking finish than it is a part of their actual habits.

But why in the age of teleprompters do they have papers in the first place, and do they actually say anything?

They do have a purpose

CTV News’ senior producer and anchor Darrell Romuld answered a viewer’s question about the topic on #JustCurious in 2021.

While he admits that yep, everything they need to read will be on the teleprompter, he says “We maintain paper copies as a backup” in case the machine fails.

Additionally, “Some anchors prefer to read off of paper more than the teleprompter, so it could come down to preference for some.”

The script is also on display on the news anchor’s laptop monitor, Romuld shared.

″As I always say, you know what never goes down? Paper. Keeps the show rolling, even if the teleprompter isn’t (and it happens!)” he ends his answer.

So long as it doesn’t backfire, as ITV newsreader Chris Ship’s “worst paper shuffle ever” did in 2019, holding the papers actually makes a lot of sense for news anchors.

Even the teleprompter doesn’t work as I thought

A TikTok by ABC 24′s weather forecaster Trevor Birchett (@weathertrevor) began, “You probably know that news anchors read a teleprompter. But did you know that many of them control it themselves with remote controls?”

He then showed a specially designed controller with a scrolling wheel that controlled the speed of the text entering and leaving the screen.

You can even scroll back if you missed something.

The news anchors and producers write their script ahead of time, and load the prepared script onto teleprompters, PCs, and of course paper, meaning news readers can swipe through the text at whatever speed they like.

The more you know, right?


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