Lakisha R Lemons, MMJ - Spectrum News 1 - Austin, Texas

Face To Face With A Critical Story

Posted 2 years, 7 months ago


Pretty much every TV news reporter, when doing a story, will instruct their subject, "don't look at the camera, look at me."

This makes no sense whatsoever.

It pretty much destroys any powerful emotional connection that the subject of the story could have with the viewer.

Unless you think looking into someone's ear is more powerful than an eye to eye, face  to face connection can be.

Here's a neat trick you can try. Go home to your partner tonight, and say, "I have something really important to tell you." Then, avert your eyes, stare at the wall, refuse to make eye contact and see what it gets you. Show them your ear.  "Look how professional I am!"

Tell me what happens. 

In the piece above, Lakisha Lemons, an MMJ for Spectrum News 1 in Texas, demonstrates quite nicely the power of eye to eye contact between subject and viewer.

It is impossible to look away.

The subjects convey through their words but also their expressions, the pain, the fear, the anger and the angst that they feel.

This is how television news should work.

All the time. 

If you don't have your subjects avert their gaze, then your viewers will not be able to turn away either.  

That's how you make powerful stories. 

And, of course, shot entirely on an iPhone. 

And done by one person. 


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