As promised, we present the worst TV story ever. Produced in 1979 for a station in Columbia Missouri called KOMU, the subject matter is fairly self-evident. The TV station dispatched the reporter, a University of Missouri student, along with another student (Kevin Sullivan, now a tireless CMO with a big Atlanta law firm), to the Lake of the Ozarks. They toted a CP-16 magstripe film camera, and 200 ft. of film. The students would make the 75-mile one way trip, shoot each other’s stories, then return with “team coverage” before that term was coined.
It ain’t pretty. This story stayed in a 3/4″ tape box for nearly thirty years before getting dubbed to DVD this week. If you have old stories on tape, get ’em dubbed now before this happens to you.
Let’s examine this.
- The photography is lame. Did you kids bring a tripod? If so, use it. Too many telephoto shots off the shoulder.
- The writing is middling at best. Did you really say there are “thousands” of conference centers in the Midwest that could accommodate such a meeting? Next time, leave the weed behind.
- This was a flavor piece without flavor. Did your professors teach you about “nat sound”?
- is it really news that Big Jim Thompson shopped for antiques?
- Surely there was an additional governor to interview.
- And then there’s the standup. You look mighty smug, kid– way too smug to spout a line like “governors are people too.” You did not just say that, did you? Tell me you didn’t. That line alone makes this the most wretched piece of TV news ever.
The only upside is the reporter’s plaid jacket and hairstyle. It may redeem you stylistically, but not journalistically.
Occasionally, this space gently chides TV news professionals currently in the business. In that event, know this: Whatever they’ve done cannot be worse than this bit of curdled, stinking drek.