Don’t Blame The Anchors, Blame The Corporation

Don't Blame The Anchors,
Blame The Corporation:

What happened to Sinclair could’ve happened to any of us

Don't Blame The Anchors, Blame The Corporation:

What happened to Sinclair could’ve happened to any of us

Written by News Gal
🕒 April 12, 2018

As a news anchor, I record promos for my station all the time.

Usually, they’re very generic, and talk about how we are the news station to watch because we have the best and most in-depth coverage of our local area.

Most of the time, I never hear anything about our promos. To be honest, most of the time I never hear anything about any local TV station’s promos. Until now.

Sinclair decided to send a script to all of its stations, and make the anchors read it word-for-word.

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Most of the time this wouldn’t be an issue, but what Sinclair decided to do is causing an uproar.

The anchors say several things that people say are pro-Trump. For example, one of the lines is, “We are concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”

The anchors go on to say,”The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories without checking facts first.”

As we all know, the President is extremely critical of the media and calls a large majority of our country’s news coverage ‘fake news’…

And most people think Sinclair’s latest promo agrees with President Trump.

In their defense, I understand what Sinclair was trying to do.

The corporation was trying to reach the growing American audience who believes that local news is fake news. Sinclair was trying to say that its coverage is fair and that you can trust what they tell you.

But the problem is, Sinclair has already been criticized for using ”must runs”, which are pre-produced and mandated to be aired on all of the company’s stations, and many feel that the stories they force stations to air are only favorable to the right and critical of the left.

So now, the promo is seen as a continuation of Sinclair’s alleged right-leaning coverage.

I’ve seen a lot of people post on social media that the anchors who read the scripts should have refused, or should have quit.

Here’s the thing, TV news contracts are tricky, and hard to get out of. If these anchors quit they most likely can’t just jump to another TV station in their area because of non-compete clauses in the contract. Many of the anchors would have to pay thousands of dollars if they quit, because of the way TV news contracts are written.

I know some anchors at Sinclair stations who would love to walk out, but they can’t. They can’t afford to quit their job.

As for getting fired, that’s a tricky thing, too. If you get fired, in many cases your non-compete clause still remains. That means they still can’t work in the same city.

So don’t blame the anchors who had to read the scripts, blame the upper management in Sinclair who decided this was a good idea.

I also think we all need to take a step back and calm down. If you don’t like the way Sinclair covers news, change the channel. If their ratings drop, that will send a message to corporate that something isn’t working.

I feel bad for the anchors who are facing so much backlash from doing something they were forced to do.

I feel bad for our entire industry for having to deal with people asking us every day if we are ‘fake news’.

The best way to get through this tough time is to go out and do great journalism. Remind people that we are here to hold the people in power accountable, and we’re here to share the triumphs and tragedies of our communities.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s not “what happened to Sinclair”, it’s that Sinclair “is happening to any of us” in the first place.

    This is extremely dangerous to our democracy, and Sinclair wants more.

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