Will the Pandemic Change TV News Forever?
By Grant Ainsley | Tips | [comments] | Posted [date]
This Thursday, we will reach the three month mark of the pandemic. Like any event in our lives, or news story, so much has changed since it started.
One thing that's very different is TV news. Before the pandemic, virtual interviews were somewhat rare because reporters interviewed most people in-person. Now those interviews over video are a staple of TV newscasts and network interviews. What will the future for these interviews hold? Will they disappear when reporters can again see people face-to-face?
Some people still aren't doing them very well, so here are some tips to do better virtual interviews and the great news is, they can help your Zoom meetings too.
[The New Normal for TV Interviews]
Prior to the pandemic, I noticed the occasional TV network interviewing somebody virtually, normally in their office. The person being interviewed was usually somebody who was in the media often and did interviews as part of his or her job, such as a political science professor or politician.
Now virtual TV interviews are everywhere.
The pandemic has totally flipped the number of in-person interviews compared to those done virtually. Now the vast majority are done online. You still see some interviews done where the reporter is holding the mic on a long boom.
We also see people sitting several feet away from the reporter and in most cases a boom mic is being used. Generally, the mic is just above the person’s head.
If a wireless lav (clip-on) mic is seen in the interview, chances are socially distancing guidelines were broken when the mic was given to the person to put on, but then again, all kinds of distancing guidelines have been broken in recent days. I’ll save that rant for another day.
What Lies Ahead?
What will the future look like? The day will come when social distancing guidelines will be relaxed and reporters will again be allowed to stand close to the person they’re interviewing.
I expect to see a hybrid of what we have now. We’ll see TV networks going back to having their reporters interview people as they did prior to the start of the pandemic. However, virtual interviews are here to stay. People have now learned to use Zoom and other platforms and I expect TV stations to continue to use this technology and make it a staple of their news coverage.
Think about it. Pre-pandemic, a reporter would call somebody for an interview and once they got an agreement, they would meet the person at their place of work, or at a location nearby. In some cases, the reporter had to line up a camera operator, drive across town, do the interview and then have it edited back at the station. That would normally take over an hour.
Compare that to sending a person a video link, going to a computer that's been set up to do interviews and being able to edit the footage within seconds. It’s a no brainer, especially as TV stations try to do more with less.
Shooting Better Interviews
People have upped their video interview game, but I still see the same mistakes being done by people doing media interviews over video.
I put together this video to help reduce the three biggest mistakes they make in video interviews.
Here’s a bonus tip. Put a sticky with an arrow pointing to the lens of the camera on whatever device you’re using. It will remind you to look into the camera as you speak. There’s an added benefit too. You can write a key message on the sticky to remind you of a key point you want to make during the interview.
Check Out My New Video Page
Late last week I moved some three dozen videos to a separate page on my website. The videos have some great media training tips, along with ways people can communicate better and avoid a social media meltdown.