Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, December 14, 1998

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
KITV's Shawn Ching checks in with "Our"
Robert Kekaula during a live report.

‘Our’ discontent in
local news shows

People see stuff they don't understand, they call us. People smell stuff they can't identify; they call us too. Even when people hear stuff that sounds odd, they want to know, so they ask about it.

Which brings us to our question. Correction. That's "our" question. It has been observed that on local television news for the last year or so, whenever the anchorperson goes to the reporterperson in the field -- even if it's "live" from the other side of the newsroom -- the anchorperson oftens refers to "our" reporterperson.

KHON does it the most. Joe Moore will say, "We're going to go live to OUR Linda Jameson in a rat-infested cellar where poisonous chemicals fill the air," or Joe will announce, "We'll ask OUR Kim Murakawa what it's like to rub elbows with politicians all day, and if she'd rather be in the rat-infested cellar." That sort of thing.

It seems awfully ... possessive.

"Don't you know we OWN these people?" joked a reporter at KGMB.

"We do that? Huh," pondered Jim McCoy, KHON editor. "It isn't something planned. You don't tell the anchor to say MY reporter. I think it's just habit. It's a way of building a team."

"We don't do that consciously, but we ALWAYS introduce who's reporting," said KHNL news director Chuck Parker. "That's a directive. We want to make sure it's not a nameless voice. And -- unlike some other stations -- we don't discriminate between news and sports reporters."

"It's amazing what people notice about newscasts," mused McCoy. "We'll get calls about the suit someone is wearing, or the hairstyle, but they won't know what the story was about."

Yep, Jim, they're paying scarily close attention. We shan't tell you about the newly popular Linda Jameson drinking game -- every time she says, "Well, Joe ..." you take a swig.

Burl Burlingame, Star-Bulletin

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