People who work in broadcasting want to develop their voice for TV or radio so that they sound professional when speaking into a microphone. Decades ago, finding your broadcast voice was simple; men tried to speak in as deep a voice as possible, while ladies wanted to sound happy as if they’d just baked a pie. Today, such speech sounds artificial on the air, which often makes the audience suspicious of what’s being said. Vocal training means sounding less like an announcer and more like your natural self when the TV or radio microphone is turned on.
Change Your Expectations
Oprah Winfrey and Bill O’Reilly are very different people on TV, as are Ryan Seacrest and Howard Stern on the radio. But there’s something they all have in common on the air. Vocally, they don’t sound like announcers. Regardless of whether they are reading from a script or ad-libbing, they all sound like they’re talking to you naturally, as if they were sitting next to you having a conversation.
When you started your media career, you may have fallen into a common trap of trying to imitate someone famous. Maybe you wanted the deep gravitas of James Earl Jones or the seductive sounds of Susan Sarandon. But the time you spend trying to sound like someone else is better devoted to sounding more like yourself.
On-air media superstars are those with the natural ability to communicate. Being natural starts with sounding natural, not by trying to emulate someone you admire. In recent years, all aspects of broadcasting have become less formal, including vocals.
Listen to Your Voice
To build a natural-sounding broadcast voice, listen to yourself. Record a conversation you have with a friend and compare it to how you sound on the air. What you want to hear is the tone of your voice. A conversation has peaks and valleys in inflection, speed, and emphasis. Too often, a broadcast voice sounds flat, especially when you are reading from a script. The opposite extreme is a vocal delivery with a repetitive punch, which sounds more song-like because the pitch goes up and down at the same rate in each sentence.
Here’s an exercise: Take a script that you would read on the air and put it aside. Now record yourself saying the same information as you would to a friend, not in script form. That is the vocal delivery style you want on the air.
Tweak Your Scripts
The most natural-sounding people on TV and radio are usually reading scripts written by someone else, but that doesn’t mean the copy can’t be tweaked to fit your vocal training style. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching out words. A news script that talks about the state making improvements to “transportation infrastructure” will sound like a government document on the air, no matter who reads it. Replace that bureaucrat-speak with “roads and bridges,” and you’ve instantly made the information easier to understand and deliver.
Depending on the scriptwriter, sentences may all be too long or too short. Sentences that are too long are hard to say effectively because you’re just waiting for the end so you can take a breath. A lot of short, choppy sentences give a rat-a-tat-tat sound on the air. The best approach is to vary the length of sentences because that’s the way people speak in normal conversation. If you’re stuck with a long, complicated line that’s crammed with information, then make sure the next line is short. You’d be surprised at how making that slight change will help your broadcast voice.
Develop Ad-Lib Skills
Ad-libbing without a script is both easier and harder in developing your broadcast voice than reading a printed copy. Vocal training requires that you excel at both. Ad-libbing can be easier because you’re simply talking into a microphone, and you sound natural because you’re speaking just as you do at home or on the telephone. The words you choose are your own, not those of a scriptwriter. Converting everyday language into something a journalist would say cripples your ability to sound natural and erects a wall between you and your audience.
Sports announcers are spoofed all the time for the tired cliches they use. However, when Al Michaels said, “Do you believe in miracles?” when the U.S. hockey team scored an improbable victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, he captured the moment by sounding like a friend and not a cliched announcer. That’s why that line is so memorable to this day.
Practice Vocal Training
You can’t transform your vocal training skills overnight. It takes the right kind of practice to become so comfortable on-air that you can’t help but sound like yourself. Record yourself, both reading from a script ad-libbing. Ideally, you will sound the same, because the best media pros can switch seamlessly between the two without changing their broadcast voice.
Avoid adding mechanical tricks while you practice, such as deliberately pausing for two seconds between saying, “The baby survived the crash. (Pause) Her mother did not.” The goal is not to sound like an orator delivering a speech to the masses, but to be personal and intimate with each member of the audience. This is not the public speaking you may have learned in high school or college.
Recording your voice will also help you decide whether losing your accent will help you build your career outside your native region. These days, there’s less emphasis in media on having everyone sound as though they grew up on the same street in the Midwest. If you grew up in Nashville, Chicago, or Boston, keeping part of your regional dialect may actually help you and your company build your media brand. No one is ever truly finished developing their broadcast voice; taking the time to master vocal training will pay off as you advance your media career.
Ever notice how TV news reporters speak with such confidence and eloquence? They are able to deliver a lot of information to a lot of people in a short amount of time. How do they do it? Below are steps you can take to practice and learn to speak like a television reporter.
Sounding Like a Reporter
- What is the reporter saying?
- How are they saying it?
- What does the reporter’s voice sound like?
- Where are their eyes?
- Where are their hands?
- How do they hold their head and shoulders?
- Close your eyes and listen. Notice the reporter’s voice has inflection; it is not flat. The reporter sounds excited to report to you. The reporter tells you what is important, what is sad, what is exciting, and what you don’t want to miss, all with their voice. It’s not so much what they’re saying, but how they are saying it.
- Biography or historical book
- News magazine
- Reading will improve your vocabulary.
- Look up the words you don’t know. This will help you with understanding the context of what you’re reading and with word pronunciation. That way, when you are reading as a reporter and come across words you don’t know, you’ll be able to take an educated guess and sound intelligent.
- Read out loud when you are alone. Listen to your voice and what your tone is saying.
- Before you start speaking, do singing and speaking verbal exercises to loosen your mouth and tongue. Also clear your throat away from your audience before you begin.
- Take that book or newspaper and read it out loud to yourself in the mirror. It’s time to really see and hear yourself. It will take practice in order to get good at the ability to glance at written work, capture it quickly, then read it well while looking straight ahead.
- Look at what your face is saying as you read. Reporters have confidence even when they’re staring at a camera. They believe in what they are doing and they want to share the breaking story with the viewer. Your face reflects what you believe and voice confirms this.
- Know when to slow it down. A reporter will say, “Coming up next,” very quickly but slow down when they say, “…and you won’t want to miss it.”
- Type up and print a news story that you want to practice reading. The letters should be between 1.5″ to 2″ tall and in the sans-serif font, such as Arial or Helvetica. This will most accurately reflect the teleprompter type-style.
- Practice reading from a distance by placing the paper(s) on a table while you’re seated or down by your waist. Learn to read with discretion, only glancing at your papers not reading them verbatim.
- Break out the video camera or smart phone and either record video or audio of yourself.
- Play it back and listen closely.
- Watch the news and compare your voice to the reporter’s.
- Play your recording back to yourself again. This is not a time to self-loathe or criticize yourself; it’s a time to see where you can improve and contemplate how.
- Read something news related that you haven’t read before. See how you do
Reading the news off a teleprompter may sound easy, but it’s actually more complicated than it seems. Anchors and reporters have to develop a reading style that seems natural, but isn’t too fast, too slow, too nuanced, too accented, too high-pitched, too quiet, or any other extreme. Reading news like a professional news anchor requires skill, practice, and training.
Practice Makes Perfect
Photo by New York Film Academy.
The best way to start is to practice reading news stories that you’ve written for class. If your school has a student TV station, doing some on-air work there is also helpful, as you’ll probably be able to get a recording of it afterward. You can also record yourself with various apps on your phone.
It’s hard to be objective about your own reading, so it’s a good idea to ask others their honest opinions. Does your reading sound natural? Is it hard to understand for any reason? Would your listeners want to hear you read more?
Things to Work On
Speed is one important consideration when reading the news. If you read too slowly, viewers may get bored and impatient and consider changing the channel. If you read too fast, viewers may have a hard time understanding you. Typically, news anchors read between 150 and 175 words per minute, and some stations may time new reporters or anchors to get a baseline for that individual’s usual reading speed.
If you find you’re talking too fast, it may be helpful to concentrate on enunciating clearly — sometimes this helps people slow down. Of course, people often talk faster when they’re anxious, and your first time reading a story on-air can be nerve-wracking, so sometimes the problem resolves itself after you’ve simply spent more time doing the job.
Talking too slowly is less common for students learning to read the news, but if this is a problem you can ask the teleprompter operator at your campus station to intentionally go a little faster than you. (Practice this for a while when you’re not actually on-air!) If you’re practicing by yourself, you can try reading from a computer or tablet screen and scroll through the words a little faster.
Sounding Natural and Conversational
Photo by New York Film Academy.
Another common problem students face when learning to read the news is learning to sound as if they’re not reading — something that is much harder than it sounds!
Most of us sound very different when we read something aloud than when we’re having a conversation with friends. It’s also very easy to sound robotic when you’ve been reading for a long time and your attention has started to wander, which can easily happen to an anchor, particularly during a slow news day or a repetitive morning show.
You can practice by reading a news story and pretending that you’re telling it to a friend. You don’t want to ad-lib or change the wording (which may be more formal than the way you normally speak), but you should otherwise talk conversationally. This can be difficult, especially if you’re also trying to speak more slowly or enunciate more clearly, but sounding natural is an important aspect of reading the news. After all, if viewers wanted to hear the news in a monotone, they could just ask Siri to read the day’s headlines.
Accents and Dialects
There are many different “accents” and regionalisms associated with American English. Depending on where you grew up, others may perceive an accent. If you learned English as a second language, you may have an accent associated with your first language.
While there is no single correct accent for American English, most broadcasters prefer reporters speak with a General American accent (most common in the mid-west and on the west coast)—or as close to it as you can reasonably get. Some people already do this, but for those with a strong accent, becoming more linguistically neutral can be difficult.
If you find you have a strong accent, you can listen to reporters or anchors who read the national news—those reading to the entire country have to be the most linguistically neutral—and practice speaking like them. Sometimes it’s helpful to listen to one sentence, pause the recording, and repeat it a few times yourself, then listen to it again. It may not be possible to get rid of your accent entirely, but if you can move it closer to General American, you will probably improve your prospects of finding an on-air job.
If you have difficulty shaking a strong accent, you might consider working in an area where that accent is common. Although General American is preferred in most places, the tendency to speak with a southern drawl likely won’t be as much of a problem in the south as it might be in other parts of the country, for example.
Of course, it should be noted that the United States has a vibrant foreign language news media. The most obvious is Spanish language, but there are Chinese, Korean and Japanese news operations as well. Univision and Telemundo (owned by NBC) are national networks, with local affiliated stations. The other languages tend to be represented by small, generally local outlets.
Adjusting Tone for Content
In general, when you read you should sound moderately upbeat, but not overly chipper. However, you’ll need to adjust your tone when reading somber stories, like those involving deaths or serious injuries. Sometimes slowing down and speaking more quietly can help you convey the seriousness of a sad situation.
This should extend to the whole story, including the reporter’s “standard out” and anchor tags. Recently there was a news story about the death of a twelve-year-old boy in a house fire. The reporter sounded appropriately somber while reading the details of the story. However, when she read her “standard out” (usually something like “Reporting live, Jane Doe for XYZ News”), she suddenly sounded very upbeat and chipper. My guess is that she practiced her standard out this way, and it probably worked fine for most news topics. Unfortunately, in this case it was a sharp contrast to the rest of the story and seemed both jarring and awkward.
For this reason, it’s also helpful if producers can plan content to avoid going directly from an extremely sad story to a happy one. There is no good way to transition from reading about a tragedy to “So, I hear we had an exciting day in the world of sports! Tell us more about that, Bob!” If you can wedge a more neutral story or a commercial break between sad stories and happy ones, you’ll be doing both the anchor and the viewers a big favor.
Presenting announcements isn’t just about reading words from a sheet of paper. There is a lot more that goes into making a video announcement sound professional. As a teacher in charge of the school morning announcements, you’ve probably faced the challenge of getting your anchor to sound like professionals, to be rhetoric.
You might have had some success so far, but, you’ve probably not really achieved perfection. Well, don’t worry. We’ve composed a list of tips to help out. All these tips are exactly what professional news reporters and anchors rely on.
So, do continue reading and make sure to take down a few notes.
Practice to speak like an anchor
The most important thing to master anything in life, is practice. So, make sure your student reporters and anchors are putting in enough practice! You can start by getting them to read news stories in front of the camera at least a few times a week.
Make sure you record these readings, because you can use them for rehearsal and find improvements for the language, pronunciation and reading speed.
Don’t just rely on your own opinion. Make it a point to get the perspectives of other people, especially your audience. So, show the recording to teachers and other students. Ask them for feedback and make the necessary changes, if applicable.
Free Checklist: Things you need to remember in order to sound like a real news anchor.
Some students will probably read too fast. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, especially if they’re comfortable with it. However, when it comes to presenting news or announcements, speed matters a lot. The key is to make sure the student anchor and reporter doesn’t speak too fast or too slow.
If the anchor speaks too slow, audiences will lose interest. On the other, hand if the anchor speak too fast, it becomes hard for the audience to make sense of what is being spoken.
According to research, a professional news anchor reads at a speed of 150 to 175 words per minute. Though your students may not need to actually read at that level, they can be trained to get close.
Enunciation is another thing that matters when reading. Student anchors who read too fast can be trained to enunciate words better. Not only will this help them slow down, but also achieve clarity with every word they speak.
Again, practice comes in handy here as well. So, make sure your students keep going at it till they become proficient at what they’re doing.
For more help, you can have your students read from a tablet or laptop. There are applications that can adjust scrolling speed.
Anchors: Keep it natural
Now, announcing is not the same as reading. Unfortunately, most students will have a problem in this area. Instead of sounding like they’re presenting information, they’re likely to sound like they’re reading, which is what they’re actually doing.
Announcements need to be conversational. Reading sounds too robotic and that can bore people. Ask your students to practice their reading as if they were having a conversation. The best way to do this is by getting your anchors to read out the news, to a friend, in a conversational manner.
America is a diverse country and a lot of your students come from diverse backgrounds. It’s only natural that there are going to be variations in accent. Now, it’s important to remember that accent does not matter in most cases to transfer information. Show the diversity of your school openly and encourage students to speak in public or in front of your camera.
However, most audiences are used to what is known as a “General American” accent. Now, you might have to put in a little extra effort to help your students speak with such an accent, especially if your anchors aren’t used to it.
Start by exposing them to actual news reports. Professional anchors and reporters use a general American accent. Ask your anchors to speak like them and to keep practicing until they come close enough.
One way to get started is by listening to a single sentence, pausing and repeating the same sentence. Repeating entire paragraphs will be much harder.
However, the key thing to remember here is that you need to remind your anchors that there is nothing wrong with their own accents. Tell them that they need to do it purely for the sake of the audience. Tell them that they don’t have to get the exact General American accent. All they have to do is come as close as possible.
Now, one’s tone is also very important when presenting news or announcements. In fact, the tone has a lot to do with communication in general. There is a certain way you say certain things. For instance, you do not use a condescending tone to compliment someone; that just comes off as you being sarcastic and insulting.
So, make sure your anchors understand the importance of tone. This is very important when announcing sensitive matters. Let’s say you want them to report about an old teacher’s retirement. Now, you wouldn’t want them saying that in an energetic, upbeat tone because it could send out the message that everybody’s happy to see this teacher make his/her exit.
At the same time, you don’t want them sounding completely unemotional as it can come off as being indifferent. A perfect tone would be one that sounds compassionate and mildly enthusiastic. This would indicate that the school is happy for him/her and that it only wishes him/her the best.
The production team also needs to make sure that the content is organized properly. Switching from an upbeat story to a serious one can confuse the anchors. It is very hard, even for professional anchors/reporters, to transition from a positive story to a negative one and vice versa.
One way to combat such transitions is by inserting a neutral piece in between. This will help anchors make the necessary adjustments before they move on to the next topic. The production team has a key role to play here.
So, there you have it – our list of tips to help student anchors sound as good as professionals. Just put them into practice and you’ll see things change for the better gradually.
Free Checklist: Things you need to remember in order to sound like a real news anchor.
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Whether you’re watching CBS News, CNN or even the satirical Onion News Network, news anchors always sound pretty much the same. With that exaggerated lilt, those vocal cliffhangers and all-American accents, it’s as if they all went to school to learn “talking head diction.”
Well, turns out, a lot of them did. Most broadcaster training programs offer courses devoted to teaching future announcers how to speak in that instantly recognizable style.
The main quality of “the voice” is that it must contain no traces of regionalism, said Amy Caples, a former news anchor who teaches voice classes in the broadcasting program at Temple University in Philadelphia.
“The thing about working on TV in news, sports or entertainment is it’s a very vagabond lifestyle, and if you’re going to be successful at it, you’ll be moving all over the place. To get a job somewhere you have to sound literally like you’re from nowhere,” Caples told Life’s Little Mysteries. “They’re not going to hire you in Yuma, Arizona, if you talk like you’re from the Bronx.”
Another reason why news anchors share speech patterns is that they are all taught to use standard broadcasting English, a form of pronunciation in which no letters are dropped. For example, they must always say “fishing,” not “fishin’.” They also speak more slowly than people do in daily life in order to be easily understandable, Caples said.
There’s the added fact that most broadcasters are emulating the voices of their role models, and so speech patterns get passed down. “I think there’s a lot of patterning,” she said. “If you’ve grown up listening to a certain anchor, or admire someone on TV, then there’s a subconscious effort to mirror that. A lot of women want to sound like Oprah, for example; she has a great voice.”
Not all modern-day broadcasters believe in the value of “the voice,” and it may be fading out among radio announcers. Adamic, a radio host at KOHL 89.3 in California who goes only by his last name and teaches classes in the broadcasting program at Ohlone College, said, “The days of the big announcer voice [said in a big announcer voice] went away a long time ago. The goal of radio now is to just sound like a person — just somebody’s friend, keeping them company as they drive to work.” [ Radio DJs Stay On Air For More Than 2 Days ]
How to Sell Your Story to Movie Producers
Presenting a story idea to a local news station is not as easy as just walking in and talking to a reporter. You must call and speak with the appropriate people, in a professional and respectable manner, before you will get a chance to see your story on the evening news. If you take the time to present all of your facts and ideas to the proper news people, you will have a good chance of having your story heard.
Research the kind of news that your local news stations run before calling to pitch them story ideas. If you notice that some of the networks stick to very conservative news stories, and seem to only run information that speaks well of public officials, law enforcement officers, and public policy, they would not be the place to call with a story about corruption at city hall. However, if you notice a network runs a lot of very controversial stories about politics, human rights, and things of that nature, then they would probably be interested in at least hearing your story pitch.
Act professional, courteous, and respectful when talking to news people. You may be very upset and even angry about something that is going on, and you may think it needs to be told to the world, but if you start off by screaming and yelling at the news people you are trying to pitch your story to, they will not want to deal with you. And if the first or even third news department you call cannot take on your story, remain reasonable and courteous with them. There can be many reasons they feel it is not a news story they can handle, and screaming at them or treating them rudely won’t make them change their minds.
Call to set up an appointment to speak to someone from the newsroom. Do not go into the news station without an appointment to talk to a specific person at a specific time. Most news stations are secure buildings that only allow people with appointments to enter and speak with employees. They are also usually very busy places, with reporters and producers coming and going frequently and seldom just sitting at a desk where they would be available to talk to someone who comes in off the street. The phone numbers for TV stations are listed in the local phone book, usually under the call letters (such as KHQ or KXLY) of the station. If you call their direct line they will either have an automated system that can lead you directly to the newsroom phone, or a receptionist who will transfer your call appropriately.
Speak with a producer or assignment editor. Do not ask to speak with an anchor or reporter first thing, as often they are the last people a story idea will go through. In many newsrooms it is a news producer, executive producer, assignment editor, or newsroom coordinator that initially handles information regarding stories. They will speak with you, get your information, decide if it is a story that the news department can handle, and then make sure it is taken care of by the proper reporter or anchor.
Stick to the facts of your story. Do not try to pitch a story idea using information you have gotten secondhand, or are not sure of, or only think might be true. It is important for the integrity of the news station to report things that are known to be true, and so they won’t want to do a story based on just assumptions and rumors. Once you have given the news person you are speaking with all of your facts, then you can tie them up with some speculation if need be, but only do this as a last resort. Keep your story pitch reasonable, honest, and fast. News people do not have a lot of time to listen to a long list of details on the phone. If your story interests them after your initial pitch, then when they meet with you in person you can give them more details. It is not a good idea to start off by saying anything that sounds deluded or crazy, either. If the first thing a news person hears is that the local health department is trying to kill you, or you think satellites are watching you from space, they may decide they can’t help you and end the conversation. Unfortunately news stations get a lot of calls from people that are mentally unstable and can’t be helped by them, and if you pitch your story in a fashion that sounds unreasonable they may think you are someone they can’t help.
Join the Community
The main objective for a TV news reporter is to deliver stories that are of interest to the show’s viewers. TV reporting jobs are extremely competitive; the reporters who understand how to present relevant stories that interest and inform viewers have the best chance of getting hired. TV reporters find and investigate news in their community as well as write and deliver compelling news stories.
A television news report writes and delivers compelling stories about a community.
Some TV news reporters specialize in stories on a certain topic such as crime or politics. They may also specialize in human interest pieces that are used to fill in spots in the program when there isn’t other local news to report. A human interest story could be anything involving people in the community, such as tenants fighting eviction by a landlord who wants to renovate the building and increase rents. Television news reporters also report on local events, such as fairs and festivals. Some TV news reporters are correspondents who cover worldwide events, such as the Olympic Games.
A TV reporter often spends a lot of time getting ideas for stories. Investigating community happenings and interviewing people is something that most television news reports do almost daily. People who hope to become TV news reporters must have excellent communication skills in dealing with people. Good listening skills and getting accurate information are also important.
Interviewing people is something that most television news reporters do almost daily.
Television news reporters must always meet deadlines when creating a written presentation to read on the air. Some TV reporters work with other journalists to prepare and present television stories to viewers. A TV reporter must always be sure his or her stories meet broadcast regulations as well as standards set by each news channel.
TV news reporters are often sent to crime scenes to collect breaking information about investigations.
Television news reporters must always maintain professional journalistic standards by presenting stories with honesty and integrity. A TV news reporter who reports live must be able to work well under pressure and chaos. For example, reporters at the scene of a fire must speak loudly over wailing sirens and interview people who are likely to be panicky or upset. TV news reporters communicate with many people from children at a school fundraiser to celebrities or high-ranking political figures.
TV news reporters may report updates regarding a local trial. TV reporters may comment on footage of live events that is being filmed from their station’s helicopter.
Crowdfunding Advisors, FundRazr Team
You have read our tips for Facebook and Twitter; now, we are going to teach you how to pitch your stories to news media!
Statistics suggest that campaigns that receive news coverage (either online or offline) raise 2 to 3 times more than campaigns that don’t. Furthermore, campaigns with news coverage also receive more anonymous donations. Examples of news covered campaigns include the Orly’s campaign and the Mama Jade campaign.
This blog post is going to teach you the basics of media outreach: news outlet selection, contact, email content, and follow up.
New outlet selection is very important, and it’s important to make sure your story is relevant to each outlet you pitch. For example, TechCrunch covers tech while TMZ covers gossip.
For basics, we recommend you tell your story to local newspapers because:
- They are easier to obtain coverage because they cover a niche area, so there will be less competition.
- Your story is likely to be about someone in the community, so it’s very relevant to the readers; therefore, very likely to be covered.
Local newspapers include community papers, county papers, municipal papers, and provincial/state media.
If you don’t know any local media sources in your area, a simple Google search termed “___ area newspaper” will give you plenty to choose from.
To ensure coverage, we recommend that you contact at least 15 to 20 media outlets (TV, newspapers, online news, radio). After all, the more people you pitch to, the more likely your story will be covered.
To contact a News outlet, you must first find their contact information. For most sites, the contact page is located in the footer. However, the contact page link isn’t always obvious, so you can use CTRL and F (for PCs) or command F (for MACs) to find the contact page link. Here is also a great article written by HubSpot that describes 3 ways to find any email address. There are also tools like MailTrack.io to help scan the internet for email addresses.Once you are on the contact page, you will be faced with usually 3 types of submission structures:
1) The simplest format is the the News Outlet giving you an email to submit your news tip/story. The email address will usually be [email protected]_____news.com or [email protected]______news.com. You simply copy down the email address and send them your pitch.
2) The second type of format is a hosted submission box. This format is also very straightforward as you just copy and paste your story into the box and press send.
3) The third format is a long list of reporter/editor emails. For this format, you should look through the list and find the reporter/editor you think would cover your story. For example, if your story is about a new gadget, you should probably send the email the tech reporter. This format often has the general email address like [email protected]____news.com available as well, so you could opt to send the story to the general email as well as a reporter’s email.
Note: Do NOT send your email to more than 2 reporters from the same site. It is recommended to just send to one reporter plus general tip or editorial email.
Although your email is telling a news outlet your story, the most important aspect is to emphasize how the story is relevant to a news outlet and why they should cover it.
Your pitch email should include the following:
- Reasons on why your story is relevant to a particular news outlet
- The main points of your story (Don’t be too long, just need to get the main points across. They are writing the story, not you, so just answer the big questions)
- Previous news coverage (links!)
- Links to your campaign
- Your contact information
Hi ____ (“reporter name” or “editor” for general email),
Given the holiday season and your previous coverage of local philanthropic stories, I thought I share with you an inspiring story of a 9 year old boy, who is raising money to buy pyjamas for kids in need.
The Christmas Pyjama Drive was born in 2010 out of the compassion of local boy, Reese Shelly. After discussing with his parents that not all children receive gifts at Christmas, Reese wanted to make Christmas a little brighter for disadvantaged children so he began collecting pyjamas. Together with Browns Restaurant Group, they were able to collect $45,000 or approximately 2250 sets pyjamas in 2012.
This year, the need for pyjamas is greater than ever, so Reese has decided to collaborate with online social funding platform, Fundrazr, to reach a bigger audience. Reese hopes to collect 3000 pairs of pyjamas and deliver them to local Christmas bureaus and charities in time for Santa’s yearly visit. You can find their FundRazr campaign here.
“Anyone who has received a pair of pyjamas when they were a kid knows how good it feels to leave some milk and cookies by the fireplace and then snuggle in for the night to wait for Santa.” (Todd Shelly (Reese’s father))
They have been covered in previous years by news outlets such as Global BC, News 1130, and Richmond News. Given the local angle, holiday spirit, and touching story, your readers would be interested in this story. To see their campaign and story, click here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fePjf
For additional inquiries, please contact [Your Name] at [your email] or [phone number]
[name] [email] [phone]
You are not guaranteed to get coverage from a news outlet by just one email. Often, you would have to send the email 2 to 3 times before you receive a reply from the news outlet. We recommend sending a follow up email if you don’t hear back from a particular news outlet after 3 days to stay top of mind. Try not to send over 3 emails to the same reporter/news outlet.
Some news outlets will also have their phone numbers posted on their contacts page, so sometimes the easiest way to tell them your story is to give them a call right after sending your follow up email, while it’s still fresh.
Sound off any question you have in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them. Good luck!
11:00 AM PST 1/30/2015 by Andy Lewis
- EMAIL ME
Annie Award Lee Mendelson – H 2015
After 50 years of making the specials, Lee Mendelson is getting an Annie Award on Saturday. He opens up about CBS’ early complaints about the now-classic Christmas special and the big issues that the cartoons tackled.
This story first appeared in the Feb. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
A month before A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted on CBS in December 1965, producer Lee Mendelson invited the animators who helped make the show — the very first Peanuts special — to a private screening. As it began unspooling, with the opening wide-shot of children skating on a frozen pond, the haunting and bittersweet Vince Guaraldi instrumental filling the air, Mendelson grew increasingly despondent. “I thought we ruined Charlie Brown,” he recalls. “[Director Bill Melendez] and I said, ‘Oh my God — it’s so slow!’ But then one of the animators in the back stood up and said, ‘You’re crazy — this is going to run for a hundred years.’ “
That animator was half-right — 2015 marks the 50th consecutive year A Charlie Brown Christmas will be broadcast on network TV (ABC picked up the rights from CBS in 2000), making it the longest-running animated special in television history. It has been translated into dozens of languages, shown in 73 countries and has spawned nearly 50 other Peanuts specials (all produced by Mendelson), as well as four feature films, with a fifth — the first computer-generated Peanuts movie — due in theaters this November. THR chatted with the 81-year-old producer in advance of the 42nd annual Annie Awards — held in Los Angeles on Jan. 31 — where Mendelson will be one of three legends honored with the Winsor McCay Award for his career contribution to animation.
You started out as a documentarian and were going to do a documentary about Peanuts. How did that turn into A Charlie Brown Christmas?
I had done a show on Willie Mays — my first big network special — and a month later, I was reading a comic strip about Charlie Brown. I looked [Peanuts creator] Charles Schulz up in the phone book — he lived in Sebastopol, Calif., at the time and was listed! I said I would like to do a documentary about him, but he wasn’t interested. I was about to hang up, and I asked him if he had seen my Willie Mays show. He said, “If Willie Mays can trust you with his life, I guess I can trust you with mine.” We hired a young San Francisco piano player, Vince Guaraldi, to write the music for it, and Schulz got his friend Bill Melendez to do a couple of minutes of animation. We took the documentary all over, but we couldn’t sell it. Two years later, Coca-Cola called and asked if we’d ever thought of doing a Christmas show.
When CBS first saw the Christmas special, the network had problems with it. What did CBS complain about?
They thought it was too slow. They didn’t like that we used kids instead of adult actors. They didn’t understand the jazz music. They just didn’t get it. They said, “We’ll put it on the air, but we are not going to buy any more.” It went on the air and got a 49 share. One of the executives called on Monday and said, “We are going to order four more shows, but I want you to know my aunt in New Jersey didn’t like it, either.”
The specials often tackled big issues such as religion, history and illness. How did that come about?
For the Christmas special, Schulz said, “I’m going to have Linus read from the Bible.” Bill and I looked at each other and said, “I don’t know if you can have cartoon kids reading from the Bible.” He said, “If we are going to do the Christmas show, we have to talk about the true meaning of Christmas. If we don’t do it the right way, why do it at all?” That was certainly a breakthrough. And when we did the show about the little girl who had cancer [Why, Charlie Brown, Why?] and how everybody reacted to that, no one had ever done a cartoon like that.
One of the enduring parts of the animation is the way the grown-ups talk — “mwa-mwa-mwa.” What is the origin of that?
Since there were no adults in the strip, there would not be any adults on the shows. So I went to Vince Guaraldi and asked if there was an instrument you could use that would sound like a person talking. He had these fellows with a trombone come in. A year ago, I was speaking at a school, and a little girl told me her great uncle played in the Vince Guaraldi trio and showed me the trombone he played 50 years ago. Talk about serendipity.
Do you have a favorite piece of Charlie Brown memorabilia?
It’s a funny thing. I don’t have a single cartoon from Charles Schulz. I would have felt presumptive to ask him for one because we were close friends. This was a friendship first and creative team second. I don’t really have any memorabilia, as strange as it sounds. I guess it’s the 50 shows we did.
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What is a News Reporter?
News reporters and correspondents (also known as journalists), gather news and information to keep the public informed about important events. They obtain their information through a number of sources. These may include personal interviews, contacts, wire services (news transmitted via satellite dishes), news briefings, and question-and-answer periods.
A news reporter gathers and assembles this information to be relayed to the public. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations rely on news correspondents to keep their readers, viewers and listeners informed.
In this article:
- What is a News Reporter?
- What does a News Reporter do?
- What is the workplace of a News Reporter like?
What does a News Reporter do?
News reporters play an active role in gathering information on current events. A large portion of their day is spent investigating news before sending it in as a story. Some work as correspondents in offices located far from head office. They are sent to the places that important events are likely to happen.
Whether it’s working for a newspaper, TV channel, radio station or news website, there are two sides to reporting that must work in sync with each other: reporting and editing. The reporter compiles all the information needed to create a story and then edits the story to fit a specific news page or bulletin.
News reporters sometimes work in a specific ‘beat’ that fits with their writing talent. A beat is a media term for the area or topic a journalist covers, like crime, politics, sports, business, etc. They may work in one or several beats at a time depending on the size of a news organization.
Generally, there are two kinds of newspapers that reporters work for – dailies and weeklies. Reporters for dailies usually have less time to find and report the news. They may work in only one beat. Reporters for weeklies have more time to do their research and typically have to cover several beats at a time. They may take photographs for their stories in addition to their regular duties.
Television and radio reporters usually have less time to write and edit than those in the newspaper department. The news is often broadcasted immediately after or during an event. Reporters in this area learn very quickly how to convert information they receive into news clips suitable for broadcasting.
Are you suited to be a news reporter?
News reporters have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also investigative, meaning they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.
Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if news reporter is one of your top career matches.
What is the workplace of a News Reporter like?
The work of a news reporter is usually hectic. They are under great pressure to meet strict deadlines. Newspapers have to get printed and delivered to people’s homes on time. This means doing whatever it takes to get a story written and edited on time.
Some news reporters work in comfortable, private offices; others may work in large rooms filled with other reporters. In an even more hectic environment, some reporters are on scene trying to get a story while sirens and police or curious onlookers distract from the task at hand. This kind of work can also get dangerous as reporters cover wars, political uprisings, fires, floods, and other disasters. It’s important that reporters are able to stay focused and safe.
Working hours vary. Reporters that work for a morning paper often work from late afternoon to midnight. Radio and television reporters are assigned to a day or evening shift. Magazine reporters usually work during the day. Reporters have to keep their days flexible in order to meet deadlines or follow breaking news. This kind of work demands long hours, irregular schedules, and some travel.
News Reporters are also known as:
Reporter General Assignment Reporter
A feature story for TV news can be more difficult to write than a hard news story. There are rules that govern hard news coverage, but feature stories are all about the reporter’s storytelling ability. A “feature” is a story with limited hard news value that is still worthy of being featured on television. Examples of this type of story are festivals, parades and “good news” human-interest stories.
Ask yourself why someone would care about the feature story. It is not enough that you or your co-workers find it interesting. The reporter must make the viewers care. Look for a theme that will appeal to most people. This could be a struggle against adversity, selfless work for a good cause, or something really funny or unique.
Think about your pictures first. Visuals are more important in a feature story than a TV news story. A news story can be driven by facts, but a feature story must have compelling pictures, or there is no reason to show it. Consider the pictures you have and can get, then build the rest of the story around them.
Interview people with the pictures in mind. Ask your interviewees specific questions that relate to your visuals and encourage them to reference the pictures. Make your interviews dynamic and active. Talk to the subjects while walking around an environment that has significance to the story. Interviews with people like festival cooks, animal handlers and cheerleaders always make for good TV.
Let the feature story tell itself. Walking and talking with an interview subject often works well in a feature story. Allowing him to talk while showing compelling video over his words is also a great device. Use plenty of natural sound in a feature story. Watching and listening to people going about their lives tells a great story without the reporter doing a thing.
Craft your feature story to build curiosity. Fill in the gaps by leading the viewers gently through the story. Use as few words as possible. Introduce the main subjects of the feature story, get viewers to care about them, present the challenges they face, then reveal the resolution or what is left to be done. The reporter’s job is to get the audience engrossed in the story.
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CBS News correspondent Holly Williams has reported from some of the most dangerous places in the world, gaining access that most Western journalists cannot. Most recently she’s been in Iraq and Syria covering the Syrian civil war and the fight against ISIS.
Williams took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to talk with the CBS Evening News social media team about what her job is really like. Below is an extended version of our chat with her.
Holly Williams reports from inside Syria CBS News
Much of your reporting is in very dangerous zones. What drives you to do that?
First of all, I always want to stress to people that we do go to places that are — where there’s kind of an inherent danger because there’s conflict. But, I don’t want to die and I really don’t want any of the people I work with to die. So we’re constantly doing our best to kind of mitigate and avoid actually going anywhere that we might die or be injured. But I want to go to those places for the same reason that I want to tell any foreign news story that I think is interesting. Because I think we live in a globalized world and what happens there matters here, and matters to our audience. And I want to help them connect with what’s happening — to see what’s happening — and maybe try to understand what it feels like to be in that place.
You’re a mom. How do you make it work?
I make it work the same way that any working parent makes it work. It’s hard if you want to have a career, and you’re passionate about your career, and you want to have kids — you have to juggle. I don’t think that my job is any different that any other job. And in fact I’m lucky because when I’m not traveling on a story, I’m able to be fairly flexible with my hours. If you want to be a working parent, whether you’re a mom or a dad, what you need is good childcare and I’m lucky because I do have good childcare for my daughter.
What languages do you speak?
I do speak Chinese because I lived in China for 12 years, and I studied Chinese at university. I kind of speak English (laughs). And my Turkish is alright. I’m learning Turkish, but it’s not great.
Holly Williams just outside of Mosul, Iraq, where U.S.-backed forces were preparing to fight ISIS to take back the city CBS News
Name an event in history before the time of media coverage that you would have wanted to cover.
My understanding is that news books started coming out in the 17th century or maybe even the 16th century. So before that, I guess since I’m in the Middle East, I would have wanted to cover Alexander the Great. I would have wanted to interview him because he was a pretty interesting character.
What is the secret to packing light?
I’m not sure I’m very good at packing light. I may not be the best person to ask that. In fact I always get in trouble with my producers for having a bag that’s too big for the back of the car.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Australia. When I was little I lived in Tasmania, and then I went to high school in Victoria on the Australian mainland.
What is a Tasmanian devil?
It is a real animal! Not just a cartoon character. It’s small, pretty aggressive. It’s small but could probably take your finger off if you got too close to it.
You’re in the middle of no where and you get a craving. What is it for?
I’m sort of famous for being the one who’s always hungry when we’re traveling. Nothing very unusual. Chocolate, and I’m always caffeine deprived. Vegetables sometimes when we’re in the Middle East and we’ve just had one too many days of kebabs for lunch and kebabs for dinner.
In Iraq, Holly Williams speaks with an American colonel who is an adviser to the Iraqi military working to take Mosul back from ISIS CBS News
How do you avoid getting emotionally involved in stories, particularly with children and refugees?
So I always get asked this question. How do you not feel emotional, how do you not get involved? But of course we do. Of course, if you see something that’s really upsetting, a tragedy that’s unfolding in front of you or someone who has lost a family member or who’s in terrible strife. I think you do get emotional. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling that emotion. If I didn’t feel it, I wouldn’t be a human being. You have to make sure that you try and keep your reporting fair and balanced and looking at things from a kind of broad perspective and you don’t get too caught up in that when it comes to your reporting. But when you’re there in the moment, it’s impossible to not have any emotion.
Holly Williams speaks to a Syrian refugee while comforting one of the woman’s four children CBS News
What is the most difficult part about being a female reporter in culturally male-dominated countries?
Actually, it’s really good being a woman in more culturally conservative places. For instance, parts of the Middle East. Because as a woman journalist, you get access to the men, who absolutely understand that the West is a little different and that women occupy a more public role. And you also get access to the women who wouldn’t necessarily talk to a male reporter in those more conservative areas. So I feel like it’s all a bonus being a woman.
Is there a place you want to cover that you haven’t been yet?
Africa. I would love to do reporting from Africa. And I recently went back and did a story in Australia for CBS which was really interesting — covering my own country for an American audience. I’d like to do that some more.
Cydney Adams is a senior manager of social media for CBS News. She is also a digital producer focusing on culture and social issues.
Last Updated: 11/06/20 6:31pm
Michael Carberry says black cricketers feel like they risk their careers if they attempt to confront prejudice in dressing-rooms.
The former Hampshire opener took his first steps in professional cricket with Surrey, enjoying a career spanning almost 20 years and playing for England on 13 occasions across different formats.
The 39-year-old bemoaned the dearth of black role models throughout the game in this country and says black players have to have a thicker skin than most if they want to forge a career as a cricketer.
“The numbers tell you everything,” Carberry told Sky Sports News.
“There are no black people in prominent positions in the game at any level, right the way down to playing level. There are no black people in positions where you can ultimately stand toe to toe and make the big decisions.
“It starts when you walk in the dressing room – people don’t think you understand normal English and they talk to you like you can’t speak properly. They comment on things you might wear, they comment on your physical body.
“This is the situation unfortunately that a lot of black athletes find themselves in – where they’ve got to weigh up ‘I really want to say something to put this guy or this person in their place, but how is it going to impact me down the line?
“And this is probably why you have so few people come out and really speak out about what is going on.”
In response to Carberry’s interview, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) told Sky Sports News: “We listened carefully to Michael Carberry’s interview and admire him for speaking out on this crucial topic. We know that systemic racism spans institutions and sectors across the country and we would be naïve to think that sport and cricket is immune.
“We truly believe that cricket is a game for everyone but understand that sadly barriers to enjoying our sport exist for many communities. We have made big strides over the past few years.
“Our 2018 Inclusion and Diversity Plan drove investments in diversifying cricket, breaking down barriers and reforming our structures. It supported reform in our approach to participation and growth with the launch of our South Asian Action Plan which showed how much we needed to do across the recreational game, elite pathway, coaching, attendance, media, communications, administration and culture.
“This is already having positive results for all BAME groups including the installation of non-traditional playing facilities in urban areas, the recruitment of BAME female community mentors and the delivery of cricket at schools with a higher than national average representation of BAME pupils. This is a lengthy process but we are committed to making it a success.
“We recognise that need to have a whole game approach to increase diversity in governance and management structures across cricket. At the ECB we have adopted the ‘Rooney Rule’ for coaching jobs across the England teams as part of our plan to support the progression of BAME coaches.
“We are also working with the First-Class Counties to support the introduction of this rule at a county level. We are currently expanding our Diversity Action Plan to improve the diversity and inclusion of the ECB workforce – critically, the learnings from the Black Lives Matter movement will help inform this.
“We know we have a long way to go until we are fully representative as a sport, particularly in relation to black communities. That’s why voices like Michael’s are so important and we will continue to listen, educate ourselves and face uncomfortable truths in order to create action and long-term change.”
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The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) told Sky Sports News: “We are currently editing a vodcast where Michael Carberry is a guest along with PCA Director Isa Guha, Mark Butcher and Dean Headley where they discuss equality and diversity.
“This vodcast is due to be released next week along with the PCA’s action to assess the current situation and outline what is going to be done to improve education surrounding inclusion and diversity from the PCA’s perspective.”
The Speak feature was incorporated into Microsoft Office back in version 2003.
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Can Microsoft Word read to me? Yes, it can. There are three ways to accomplish this task: The Speak and Read Aloud features in Word, or the Narrator feature in Windows.
The Speak feature was incorporated into Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.) back in version 2003. It was called Text to Speech (TTS) then, and it functioned much the same as it does now. Fortunately, it’s a very simple procedure to set up and use, so you can get started immediately.
Add the Speak button to the Quick Access Toolbar
1. Click the Customize arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar.
2. From the dropdown menu, select More Commands.
3. Go to Word Options >Customize the Quick Access Toolbar and locate the Choose Commands From box. Scroll down to the Speak command.
4. Select the Speak command, click the Add button in the middle of the screen, then click OK.
5. Word adds the Speak command to the Quick Access Toolbar at the end, and you’re ready to go.
JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide
Add Speak button to Quick Access Toolbar
Click the Speak button to listen to your text
1. Ensure that your system’s speakers or sound devices are turned on.
2. Highlight a paragraph of text, then click the Speak command button.
3. Word reads any text that’s highlighted, even the entire document. Press Ctrl+ A to select the entire document.
4. Click the Speak command button once to begin the reading session, then click it again to stop. There is no pause-and-continue option at this time, but many users have requested this feature, so we hope to see it in future versions.
Select the Read Aloud command
1. Another way to have your text read aloud in Word is to select the Review tab > Read Aloud button.
The greatest benefit of Read Aloud as opposed to the Speak command is.
(a) You don’t have to highlight the text. Just position your cursor where you want the reading aloud to begin and click the Read Aloud button.
And (b), when you click the Read Aloud button a second time, it stops. Click the button again to continue from that point on. So, essentially, you have a Pause feature with Read Aloud that is not available with Speak.
Change the Speak preferences in the Windows Control Panel
The Speak preferences are defined in Widows, not in Word specifically.
1. Click Start > Windows System > Control Panel
2. Select Ease of Access > Speech Recognition > Text to Speech, and the Speech Properties dialog window opens on the Text to Speech tab.
JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide
3. Under Voice Selection, choose MS David Desktop for a male voice or MS Zira Desktop for a female voice.
4. Click the Preview button to listen to each voice, then make your selection.
5. Use the slider under Voice Speed to adjust the pace (slow, normal, or fast) of the reader.
6. Click the Audio Output button to define the Sound preferences.
7. Click the Advanced button to select or change the output device.
Using Windows 10 Narrator in Word and beyond
Windows 10 Narrator is an accessibility feature designed for vision-impaired users, however, anyone can use it. It reads everything onscreen: documents, websites, comments, page instructions, commands, and more. It’s also not restricted to Word, as the Speak feature is.
Using Narrator is really easy, though learning all the commands may take some time. See Microsoft’s “Complete guide to Windows Narrator” for full information. (If you search elsewhere online for WIndows 10 Narrator help, check the date of the article and the Windows version before you start memorizing commands.)
There are two keyboard layouts available: Standard and Legacy. The default is Standard. Follow these instructions to change the keyboard (which changes how the commands function). For more information, go to Microsoft’s support page about Narrator keyboard layouts.
1. Right-click the Windows Start button and select Settings.
2. Select Ease of Access.
3. Click Narrator in the left panel.
4. Browse to Choose Keyboard Setting.
5. From the Select Keyboard Layout field box, choose Standard or Legacy.
6. Next, select your Narrator Modifier key (that is the key used to activate the Narrator commands). Options include Caps Lock, Insert, or Caps Lock and Insert. I chose the Caps Lock key, because its location on the keyboard is more efficient.
7. Once you have chosen the Narrator Modifier key, the instructions here and on the web will refer to that key as the Narrator key (or, in some cases, the SR key).
8. Exit the Settings menu.
JD Sartain / IDG
Windows Narrator keyboard settings.
The basics for using Narrator are this:
1. Press Windows logo key + Ctrl +Enter (simultaneously) to access or exit Narrator.
2. If you have not memorized all the “reader” keystrokes yet, the easiest method to read text is to place your cursor on the target word/sentence/paragraph and press Narrator key + Down Arrow. Press Narrator key (by itself) to stop, then Narrator key + Down Arrow to continue. There are other keys that perform this same function, but these are the easiest.
3. Most important: For a list of all the Narrator commands, press Narrator + F1.
4. For reading the current paragraph, press Narrator + Ctrl + K.
5. For the next paragraph, press Narrator + Ctrl + L.
6. For the current page, press Narrator + Ctrl + I.
7. For the next page, press Narrator + Ctrl + O.
The list goes on and on. In addition to the complete guide above, check out the support pages for Windows 10 Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures, and Windows 10 narrator reading text.
JD Sartain is a technology journalist from Boston. She writes the Max Productivity column for PCWorld, a monthly column for CIO, and regular feature articles for Network World.
I felt her staring at me on the playground as I called out to my daughter.
She must be someone’s grandmother, I thought. She must be curious, as people often are.
Then she took one step toward me — pink fingernails, dark blond hair — and opened her mouth, e-nun-ci-a-ting each word.
“Speak English,” she commanded. “You’re confusing the poor girl.”
My stomach dropped. I rose from the grass and braced myself to respond. And I did.
But not before an old, familiar feeling washed over me, a mix of fear and shame I used to carry like a knapsack in grade school. I was 7 years old, just two years older than my daughter is now.
You wetback. Dirty beaner. Go back to Tijuana. You sound like Ricky Ricardo.
So many days at Lake Marie Elementary School ended the same way for me: angry and broken, waiting by the rosebushes for my mom’s beat-up blue Datsun, wearing my knockoff sneakers and cheap, ruffled dresses from the swap meet. I thought I would never catch up.
Thirty years later, I have a career, a house, a husband, two cars, two kids and a dog.
I became a U.S. citizen, watched “The Sound of Music,” read Truman Capote, danced the hokey pokey, shook hands with two presidents and lived alone for five years in Oregon. I’ve looked up and memorized and practiced out loud every bizarre American idiom I’ve ever heard — cut the mustard, bite the bullet, burn the midnight oil.
I did all this, but, according to this stranger, I haven’t done enough — because I still speak Spanish.
I was in kindergarten when I left El Salvador.
My mom came first, after the civil war erupted and my grandfather was shot dead in his home. My aunt was killed and my father was exiled and my uncle disappeared — and the bodies of so many others, one by one, turned up on the cobblestone paths at sunrise.
She sent for me as soon as my visa was approved.
I arrived one summer night to a brown stucco house facing an alley in South Whittier. I was giddy to see so many faces that had left me in El Salvador — uncles, aunts, cousins I thought were gone from my life. My family gathered on the porch to welcome me and to hear me count to 10 in English.
I picked up the language fast and soon became their interpreter. They would take me to job interviews, doctor’s appointments, government offices and the DMV.
I was a superhero, dashing back and forth between two worlds. I knew then Spanish would always be a part of me.
When I grew up and got married, my husband felt the same way about his first language — Armenian.
As a clip of a baby gorilla played on air, Alex Housden told co-host Jason Hackett that the ape “kind of looks like you”.
By David Chipakupaku, news reporter
Wednesday 28 August 2019 15:54, UK
- United States
A white US TV anchor has apologised after saying her black co-host looked liked a gorilla live on air.
Alex Housden, a presenter of the KOCO-5 morning news programme in Oklahoma, made the comment to her colleague Jason Hackett as the show played a clip of a baby gorilla, saying the animal “kind of looks like you”.
She was visibly upset as she apologised for the comment the following day, with Mr Hackett sat next to her.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Ms Housden said, adding that she understood she had hurt people “out there” as well as Mr Hackett, who she described as one of her best friends.
Ms Housden had made the remark as the pair introduced a segment on the programme about an ape caretaker who had taken over the social media accounts of Oklahoma City Zoo.
Mr Hackett told Ms Housden that he accepted her apology and considered her a good friend, but said he wanted the incident to be a “teachable moment” and that “words matter”.
“We have to understand the stereotypes, we have to understand each other’s background and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” he said.
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“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”
But Mr Hackett’s acceptance of Ms Housden’s apology has done little to stop viewers airing their frustration.
Some have called for Ms Housden to be fired from her job at the TV station.
News anchor Alex Housden gets to tell her co-worker Jason Hackett he looks like a gorilla on live news and keep her job? Wow that’s absurd to say the least #KOCO5
@koconews you guys over their need to do the right thing and fire Alex Housden. She has truly been exposed for what she is, that racist commentary should have happened she needs to GO.
The stereotype of comparing black people to monkeys and apes has made headlines several times in recent years.
In 2016, the mayor of a town in West Virginia, US, commented approvingly on a post on Facebook which compared former first lady Michelle Obama to an “ape in heels”.
Earlier this year, radio presenter Danny Baker was sacked by BBC Radio 5 Live after posting a black and white photo of a man and woman holding hands with a suited chimpanzee after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth.
The slur was also used in 1971 by former US president Ronald Reagan in a phone conversation unearthed between himself and former president Richard Nixon.
“To see those, those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes,” Mr Reagan said.
Hosts, contributors, and analysts at MSNBC and Fox News spoke about against the arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez in Minneapolis Friday morning.
The journalists were arrested while live on air covering the Minneapolis protests — before being released with an apology from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.
In a statement, MSNBC declared, “We condemn the arrest and detention of a crew of @CNN journalists who were simply doing their jobs in a tough situation on the ground in Minneapolis. This is a time when the work of journalists continues to be necessary to inform and educate the public.”
“Any infringement on press freedom flies in the face of all of our freedoms and should not be condoned. We support and stand with our colleagues,” the network added.
Fox News issued its own statement Friday morning: “FOX News Channel has always supported the First Amendment and this instance is no different. We denounce the detainment of the CNN crew and stand with them in protecting the right to report without fear or favor.”
We condemn the arrest and detention of a crew of @CNN journalists who were simply doing their jobs in a tough situation on the ground in Minneapolis. This is a time when the work of journalists continues to be necessary to inform and educate the public.
MSNBC and NBC News talent also took to social media to condemn the arrest.
The CNN crew were live on the air, he was holding a microphone @OmarJimenez identified himself as a CNN journalist and his credentials were prominently on display. https://t.co/YtKwTRToSl
Every measured word of @OmarJimenez is impeccable journalism. He is what we reporters should strive to be. https://t.co/szWYYm9kmG
It’s hard to believe what’s going on in America right now
— deadly pandemic that’s killed 100k
— cops kneel on mans kneck, and he dies
— fiery riots in a major American city
— Police arrest a reporter on live tv. https://t.co/lvpKameXDz
Don’t forget, Minneapolis Police arrested a CNN crew, who were professionally doing their job, self-identified themselves and abided by police instructions FASTER than they have arrested the police involved in the killing of #georgefloyd
Talent at Fox News called the arrest “BULLSHIT,” “Insane,” and “Outrageous.”
The arrest of a @CNN crew in Minneapolis this morning was absolutely uncalled for and unacceptable.
THIS IS BULLSHIT. This is an American reporter. What happened to Omar is unacceptable. FULL STOP.
— Lawrence B. Jones III (@LawrenceBJones3) May 29, 2020
This is just wrong. @CNN journalist taken into custody for no apparent reason by Minnesota State police – watch below. https://t.co/SC3KfmcK59
Insane. Being arrested on the air for covering a stroy. The police in Minnesota are not inspiring confidence. https://t.co/X10LCEkc33
Police arrest CNN’s @OmarJimenez and his crew as they report live from Minneapolis.
This is an unacceptable attack on the free press and a violation of the 1st amendment.
Unacceptable. @OmarJimenez is the most gentle non threatening soul and a fantastic journalist. He had a right to report on what’s going on. This is totally uncalled for. https://t.co/7KqLv39zVy
Unacceptable. @OmarJimenez is the most gentle non threatening soul and a fantastic journalist. He had a right to report on what’s going on. This is totally uncalled for. https://t.co/7KqLv39zVy
At CBS News, Ed O’Keefe commented, “This is a professional journalist working for a network that regularly reports live from global hotspots. Wars, riots, coups. I can’t recall one of its correspondents ever being arrested live on TV for doing their job. But you do you, Minnesota.”
This is a professional journalist working for a network that regularly reports live from global hotspots. Wars, riots, coups. I can’t recall one of its correspondents ever being arrested live on TV for doing their job.
The network also released a statement, declaring, “No journalist should be detained just for doing their job.”
A black TV host is speaking out after his white co-anchor compared him to a gorilla during a live broadcast last week.
Jason Hackett, an anchor for Oklahoma’s KOCO-TV, was reporting on a story about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo when his co-host, Alex Housden made the controversial comments.
“Kind of looks like you,” Housden said as the segment came to a close.
Hackett pauses for a second, then responds: “Yeah, kind of does, actually, yeah.”
Housden, who immediately sparked outrage on social media, apologized for her comments on air the following day. Sitting next to Hackett on a couch, she tearfully told her co-cost she would “never do anything on purpose to hurt” him.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Housden said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt [Hackett].”
Hackett accepted the apology, calling Housden one of his best friends and referring to the controversy as a “teachable moment.”
“We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s no excuse. We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” he said during Friday’s segment. “We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”
The news anchor also said that while he and Housden had moved on, he did find her comments hurtful.
“What she said yesterday was wrong,” Hackett said. “It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community.”
Still, some viewers were not satisfied with Housden’s apology, with many taking to social media this week with calls for her to be fired.
LET’S WAVE PEOPLE! Call (405)478-3000. And DEMAND ALEX HOUSDEN BE TERMINATED FOR SAYING JASON HACKETT LOOKS LIKE A GORILLA ON THE NEWS SHOW! TIME TO SHOW OUT AGAINST RACISTS!! pic.twitter.com/mh36vQzdFa
Imagine coming into work and your co-worker tells you that you look like an ape on National TV SMH. I can’t make this up! @alexhousden_ should be ashamed of herself for that remark. @koconews obviously felt it was ok bc she’s back on air. wow! pic.twitter.com/Q7JLQxU97v
Microagressive behavior masquerading as jokes just don’t work anymore. This is 2019.
“HEY FOLKS! KOCO 5. HAS ALLOWED ALEX HOUSDEN BACK ON TV. I PHONED MANAGEMENT. THEY SAID IT WAS THEIR DECISION TO ALLOW HER TO KEEP HER JOB! If you do not agree with. https://t.co/WVhGvDPqT0
“Imagine coming into work and your co-worker tells you that you look like an ape on National TV SMH. I can’t make this up!” one Twitter user said.
As of Tuesday morning, neither Hackett nor Housden had released any further comments on the incident. Housden has not posted anything to her professional Facebook page since making the comments.