Noddy goes to newstown

Yes, it’s hoaky headline Monday!

Like Doug Fisher, I missed this piece on BBC Newsnight about Channel 5 banning the noddy. It’s a nice piece (a little like a recent episode of Screenwipe, but well put together.) But why are 5 doing it?

Five news editor

(cut to interview) Because they are just cheats. It’s a small step towards installing a little bit of trust back in to news, that’s why.

So what are channel 5 doing instead? Whizz bang flashes, stretches and DVE’s! So let’s replace something that only a few editors and academics really worry about – most punters don’t care – with something that really annoys them.

Thanks for the reminder Doug.

4 Replies to “Noddy goes to newstown”

  1. Thanks for the link – I missed this first time too – and it really is worth seeing.
    Much has been said about this before, but the thing to remember, as you point out Andy, is that the viewer is key. TV seems to be pushing them aside at the moment whether it’s Inside Sport’s bordering on offensive ‘Coming up’ flashes every 90 seconds, or whether it is replacing a simple production tool with bells and whistles.
    Five seem to have forgotten that you cannot always guarantee a seamless response from an interviewee, and sometimes the interviewer needs to be heard asking the question.
    Given the fact that it is easier to consume words when the lips are visible, is it really such a sin to use the occasional noddy?
    Presumably, this would be permitted – if only theoretically – with mulitple cameras on set. But given the move towards videojournalism at network level as well as online, how is the lone ranger supposed to cope in the field? It’s like asking Jonny Wilkinson to play rugby without his left boot on…

  2. The noddy isn’t the problem, and besides it doesn’t have to be a vigorous “directline” ( insurance advert) noddy.

    It’s how it’s used and the context.

    Used contemporaneously and within the time frame of the interview, it’s still one of film making’s ( the cut away- reaction shot) strongest shots.

    The videojournalist interview with Andy and Paul on MELD night includes “reaction” or noddy shots, but at no time did I ask Andy to acknowledge with a head haka.

    I wrote about the context of use recently. I’ll go find the link.

    Effects might work within short snappy features adopted as a house style, but I doubt whether as a form or aestheticism it’ll have much currency in feature or long format pieces.

  3. David

    I agree. It seems like a bit of bandwagon jumping to me. The whole noddy think with Yentob turned out to be Yentob having a senior moment about whether he was there or not. So this strikes me as an editor making a mark rather than a moral point.

    If we get rid of the noddy (used in the right way) we dump years of established and regognised convention which the audience is comfortable with we end up having to educate everyone again. Producers and audience a like have to forget 50 years of convention and start again.

    It’s a braver man than me that starts that crusade.

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