Saturday, November 9, 2013

Should The Sports Anchor Act Like Ron Burgundy?

A Boise sports anchor did his segment (and more) while acting as Ron Burgundy, the fictional character played by Will Ferrell.

The video has gone viral.

Is this the funniest thing ever, as some people have claimed? Should journalists simply present information and not act like Hollywood characters?

Do journalists take themselves too seriously (and that's why this was seen as refreshing)?

Does it matter that this was on Halloween?

27 comments:

Tom Dougherty said...

I think if there's anything that we learned from class, it's that broadcast journalism is way more loose with its ethics than print journalism. So, I don't have a huge problem with it - plus, it was Halloween.

Broadcast news has a duty to report the news, but also have segments that entertain its viewers; just like a newspaper that has some sections that are way more soft.

Valerie Vaincoeur said...

I didn't see anything wrong with it since it was done on halloween. I think that there's this perception that journalists have to be so serious all the time and not loosen up and have fun. Of course the most important thing is Journalist's obligation to the truth but just because he dressed up as Ron Burgundy doesn't mean he isn't giving the news or make him less of a broadcaster.

Jeanie Davey said...

Having Paul Gerke act as Ron Burgundy not only was entertaining but still presented the information needed. Yes, there were some impromptu moments; however, it was Halloween and there were other ad lib moments from his fellow anchors. While some could say that his presentation of the news was a distraction, he still presented the information given and provided some humor which, in some stiff newsrooms, is needed. I think if we as Journalists take ourselves too seriously then we can not create a relationship with our audiences. This broadcast journalist took down the serious tone of a sports broadcaster and put on a character for the night. I'm sure TV watchers, who have seen "Anchorman", at home got a good laugh. At least Ron Burgundy is an "anchor" character, which is appropriate for the newsroom setting. For one day a year, this situation is not that terrible.

Albert Hong said...

I thought this was very clever and entertaining. Talking about sports and the weather in the way he did is totally acceptable, in my opinion, since none of those topics usually get too serious.

Like everyone has already said, it was Halloween so I felt that made it more acceptable. It also doesn't hurt to be good at imitating who you're dressed up as and still present your news in an informative way...unlike the "grape man"...

Lindsey Adams said...

I think it was enjoyable to watch because it was unusual, and I don't see anything wrong with the stunt. I think that if it were a common recurrence for Paul Gerke to dress as Ron Burgundy it would be difficult to take him seriously as a reporter, but because it was a one time joke I think it is a different story. I don't see any harm in having a little fun on Halloween and bringing some humor to the segment. The only thing I see wrong with it is that because Gerke's fellow anchors were unaware that he planned to dress and act the way he did-or at least they appeared to be taken off guard by his actions-it seemed distracting to them for the rest of their segment, causing them to have the slightest bit of trouble reporting. However they were able to improv some of the segment, making this only a minor issue, so I don't think it had too much of a negative effect on the segment.

Julianne Johnson said...

Anchorman is probably one of the greatest movies of our time, and helped me solidify my decision to study journalism, so obviously it's okay...

But on a serious note, he presented the stories correctly and efficiently. I understood the stories and got a laugh, too. He even threw in a few of the movie quotes, which was awesome. I thought it was clever and hysterical. I don't see anything wrong with it, especially with it airing on Halloween. Kudos, Gerke.

Kim Leung said...

I thought this video was entertaining, yet still informative. The journalist was not over-the-top and obnoxious, but he was still able to create some laughs. Every story was understandable. I think this behavior wouldn't be appropriate on normal days, but since it was Halloween, a little humor lightened the program. Also, I think it was appropriate because he was informing us about sports, which can be taken less seriously (unlike other topics such as hard news).

Steven Bohnel said...

This is a disgrace. Clearly, anyone who has watched Anchorman knows that Champ Kind was the sports reporter.
But to be serious, I don't have a problem with it. Like you said, it's on Halloween, so there's definitely an excuse to get dressed up. He still did present information even through the Burgundy impression, so I still got something out of his newscast. However, this isn't the funniest thing of all-time, because no one can come close to Will Farrell's original character. It's just not humanly possible.

Reyn Sugai said...

I think this is classic. It is nice and refreshing to see. This is ok as a sports reporter to me because the sports section is a lot more entertainment based than the actual news coverage section of the program. It could have been harmful if any of the other anchors were bringing very important news of tragedy or serious issues in the program and were taking it as a joke. I think it sheds a light that journalist can also have fun too.

Emily Rolen said...

I think this is absurd. It looks like this belongs on Saturday Night Live, not an actual news cast. I don't think it has a place here, where people go to get information. I think it is refreshing to see newscasters not take themselves so seriously, because they are not celebrities by any means, but this is too far. I think it makes the program look unprofessional. I didn't like it.

Geo said...

In a world where the conventions of journalism are constantly evolving, I feel more and more like a dinosaur every day by holding on to the principles of old school journalism.

But I have to tell you - I despised this segment. I think it made the dude look like a fool.

Public opinion of journalism in general is bad enough. Credibility is a massive issue, and broadcast journalism takes a lot of hits on that front.

This just makes broadcast journalism seem all the more ridiculous, in my opinion.

Then again, I'm an old dude. Who knows what the next generation of news consumers will want?

- George
(the teacher who thinks that sports should be entertaining enough without having to don a fake mustache and corny accent)

Ashlee Mericle said...

When it comes to broadcasting news, sports or anything other than entertainment, I think the reporters and journalists should be serious. Personally, I think this video made the guy look stupid (for lack of a better word). If this was an entertainment show that focuses on celebrities and fame then that would be a different story. It really makes journalism and such look like a joke. Like others have said, it doesn't look professional and it makes the reporters less credible. Even if it was on Halloween, I think it was a bad idea by the producers, directors, reporters, and everyone involved.

Chris Abruzzo said...

I do not like this segment. I understand it was Halloween, and I'm even fine with the anchor dressing up as Ron Burgundy, however, the anchor took it way too far. Instead of poking fun and appearing loose and funny, the anchor did not have to speak in the character's accent. The anchor made himself look like a fool. This does effect his credibility and makes it seem like he should not be taken seriously. I think it would have fine if he had just dressed up and participated in the Halloween spirit that way.

Erin Patterson said...

This news cast was refreshing and entertaining. Halloween is a good reason for the news sportscaster to dress up and add a little humor to the news cast. The information was still given raw, just in a different way. Adding some humor was funny and it filled empty space in the newscast. Overall, I enjoyed it and applaud this man's humor and bold decision to dress and act as Ron Burgundy.

Savannah Blake said...

I personally watch the news in order to gain information, not be comically entertained. This reporter made the report more about himself and the character he was portraying than the information itself, which is problematic for me. I thought that this "Ron Burgundy" act was ridiculous, and I don' think I could take this station seriously after that.

Gabi Vinogradov said...

Halloween or not, there is a limit to how far a professional can go on television. I personally don't think it was a good idea, because Ron Burgundy is kind of a stupid character. While it's funny that the anchor decided to portray an anchorman character on Halloween, but it's certainly not the "funniest thing ever" and I think it made him look a little dumb. It definitely makes him seem very unprofessional and based on this video alone, I wouldn't go back to him for news.

Don McDermott said...

Personally, I think journalists should be serious when on the job. The key word here is "job." This was his job. His work. His profession. He should have been professional. The fact that this was Halloween makes no difference. I can see why he might have thought it makes a difference, so many things are more relaxed on Halloween, but I believe that he was still wrong. It's a job.

Vincent Bevivino said...

I honestly think this whole bit was kind of corny and without a doubt unoriginal, but I do think the fact that it was on Halloween cuts it some slack. He didn't go overboard in trying to compensate being funny over still being informational so it could've been worse. However, to think someone labeled this as the "funniest thing ever" is over the top. I think those that are in love with Anchorman probably get more of a kick out this.

Paige Calter said...

The fact that this was done on Halloween does have an impact, but I believe that whether it is print journalism or broadcast journalism, there should be a certain degree of professionalism, and I think this sports anchor took it too far. It may have been funny, but it took away from the actual reporting.

Deanna Gormisky said...

I think it takes away from the news. I mean, the entire time, I was thinking about all the flaws the faux-Ron Burgundy had.

I mean, sure he was in character, but it made me focus more on the character... than the information.

Also: hurray for product-placement. Yay Dodge. (Ron Burgundy + Dodge = Advertisement.)

Mark McCormick said...

This is actually pretty funny, I showed a few of my friends this. Journalists hide who they are on national television because I think the news stations force journalists to be too serious. Since this is a local news station, I think the media crew wants to connect to their local audience a bit more though.

Andrew Vanech said...

It doesent matter if it was Halloween, the other anchors werent even dressed up or in character with the exception of a piece of headgear. The story will not always be interesting, but the journalist doesent have to make it boring. When reporting the news, a broadcaster should speak in a loud clear tone that would grab the attention of the viewer. As far as the Anchorman parody goes, its a poor imitation of a great character.

bspause said...

So this guy is no Will Farrell, but at least he tried. And on Halloween? Why not. Although there was some commentary, my favorite being "silly rookie" in reference to the Colorado State football coach, he was doing fair reporting and doing his best to make the news interesting.

It seems like new stations will do anything for viewers these days, so I don't see a problem with them having a little bit of fun.

Chengyang Yu said...

I think that's acceptable. Broadcast needs to attract audience attention more than press. Kind of fun is acceptable.

Jon Weaver said...

I think it was acceptable and funny. The sports section still had stories and a message while adding a comic approach to it. I enjoyed the video and think that it is acceptable to do occasionally.

Suchi Parikh said...

In my opinion, if the sports anchor covered everything he had to cover..acting like a Hollywood character is simply a bonus and it would definitely keep many people's attention, even people who don't usually watch sports news. I watched it and I thought it was creative and hilarious. There are definitely times when journalists have to be serious but with this particular story, I think its okay that he did what he did, plus it was on halloween which was another explanation.

Mariama Mansaray said...

i think it has gotten to the point in journalism were journalists have to compete for the attention of the public, and they would do anything to make that happen. so its really not a surprise to see a journalist dress as Ron. i mean its funny, and fits two criteria of news worthiness: its unusual,and it creates conflicts . it's not everyday we see a sport anchor dress as Ron Burgundy while reporting on television, there are discussions on whether he was right dressing up as Ron or not. I mean that's why we are having this discussion anyway.