Monday, February 12, 2007


A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend of mine. He used to work as a program director for several well-known radio stations in Jakarta, before finally pursue his passion in music industry and join a digital music distribution company.

Anyway, on the way back to the office, he mentioned that lately, he and his wife watched late-night news program on a daily basis to find out up-to-date information on the Jakarta’s flood. Turned out, he got so annoyed by the performance of late-night news presenters in several private TV stations in Indonesia.

In his opinion, these news presenters were acting and dressing more like infotainment presenters: they move back and forth on stage, then sit down, and stand up again while delivering the news, they wear informal dress with too much accessories, they put on these curly wigs with bright color (the model worn in sinetrons), and the intonation of their speech sounds so ‘infotainment’*--while according to his experience, there are certain tones and intonations that should be used by news presenters.

“News presenters are supposed to be firm, right? You’ll never find such news presenter perform that way in Al-Jazeera, BBC, DW-TV, just name it! Where are those days when a woman like Desi Anwar stood firmly in front of the camera and deliver professional TV journalism?” he murmured.

After I watched the late-night news program, I kind of understand why he and his wife got so annoyed—why, his wife is a mass communication lecturer, and she knows exactly how a news presenter should dress up!

Ideally, a “news anchor” or “news presenter” is someone who appears on screen in professional dress (a suit, a blazer), delivering the news in certain intonation with a firm gesture (and I heard there are special trainings for becoming news presenters!). But, I don’t know if these ‘infotainment-style' tendency has becoming a new trend in Indonesian late-night news program... does it mark the birth of 'newstainment' of some sort?

Probably because the news program was aired late at night, the TV stations thought that colorful wigs, constant movements, and fancy dress would be tremendously eye-catching; it prevents you from falling asleep while watching the news. Or the stations are just lacking of night-shift news presenters?

Hmm, are there certain patterns to follow in news anchoring? Anyone can shed some lights here?

*I have nothing against infotainment presenters. Really. They’re supposed to wear fancy dress and accessories. So, no offense! :)

note: image was taken from Corbis, with keyword tv program

No comments: