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p_c_u_k2,069 posts since 27 Mar 2004
The whole incident is really quite odd, and I think you'd only know the particular circumstances if you're Sally or in the gallery. At some point someone, presumably in her ear, "makes her laugh" at something to do with the previous story. And then as far as I can see it goes like this:
- Some VT footage is shown to do with a story about beached whales. Then, unexpectedly, the sound of an interviewee in what had presumably previously been a longer report starts playing out.
- A caption appears on screen over Sally, presumably the name of the person whose voice is still intermittently playing out over her.
- Sally then reads out something from the autocue suggested Art School work "has ... been ... completed".

This is where we hit meltdown, as the gallery presumably correct something that is incorrect on the autocue or which has been read out wrongly. This is somewhat worse than a technical malfunction or just the autocue breaking completely, because it's factually incorrect. At which point you can't just dismiss things and plough ahead, you need to correct the error. You've already read it out, so you can't just skip past it. We have the drawn out process of getting the facts right, at which point panic presumably sets in and the autocue goes to the wrong place.

Like I say, without knowing who's at fault (or what) I can't say for certain the best course of action. In this instance, I'd say it was understandable to bring things to a halt until some clarity could be established. By the sound of things everything was considerably out of kilter. If this was happening every single week it's not great, as a one (or perhaps two at this point) off it's not a disaster.

Having said all that, this is BBC Scotland which is looking to position itself as a broadcaster of a national and international news programme in the very near future. If it starts doing that on a new unproven show it'll be dead before anyone gives it a chance.
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p_c_u_k2,069 posts since 27 Mar 2004
The problem for me here is it appears the mistake is going to lead to a factual inaccuracy. She reads that work on something has been completed, then presumably is told down the earpiece that what she's just read is wrong. In those circumstances it's not a technical fault you can sweep past or explain away, you have to clarify what's happened. It doesn't look great, but I think she did the right thing. Especially in the ultra-sensitive spot BBC Scotland finds itself these days post-independence referendum.
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STV Today1,254 posts since 20 Mar 2005
STV North Reporting Scotland
Sally Magnusson is a veteran presenter...the tactics she used will be the best tactics in this situation - of that I am sure. Having been in many tv galleries, I can guarantee something factually must have gone wrong. The joke is now on the presenter who everyone can see react to the muck up. The cock up is more a reflection of those behind the scenes than the one person in front of the camera, who will inevitably take all the flack and have the bitchy comments coming in her direction. Oh and I hope she skelped a few chops after 7pm!!
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Square Eyes7,584 posts since 31 Mar 2001
Most presenters don't usually refer to 'the gallery' during a technical problem, a term which I expect would be completely lost on the average audience member. Isn't the usual routine to at least attempt to cover up when it's chaotic behind the scenes?
Whataday9,130 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Unless i become a news presenter, i do not think I can offer Sally Magnusson any critique/feedback. Equally, until she does my job, i doubt she can give me critique.


You don't have to be a news presenter to find it unprofessional for someone to shake their head huffing and muttering about their colleagues on screen.
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Steve in Pudsey9,469 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Something REALLY bad must have happened,this time, the clip belows shows she just give up last time it happened, this time it clearly looks like she was getting extremely fed up, I think she would have bust a few chops..


It may be something along those lines, in the earlier incident it was obviously a tech failure, nobody's fault, these things happen, everybody is doing what they can to get through it. The more recent one was perhaps more of an issue where she perceived that somebody had screwed up and it was being compounded by her not being given info she needed to be able to continue.

That - which I stress is pure speculation as an example - could explain the difference in attitude.
Write that down in your copybook now.
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