What Would Murrow Say?

That’s something one of my co-workers would ask as he’s writing for his show and working out his lead story for the top of his A Block (the first segment of his newscast).

Sometimes we’d wonder what one of the greatest journalists in American history would say about some of the things that end up in our newscasts. I’ve covered plenty of breaking news. It comes with the territory. Then there’s the feature segments that make it into our morning and midday shows: gourd art, humping cows (sorry Mom! I didn’t know you were watching that!), holiday fashion gifts and the results of an AP/Yahoo poll that shows who pet owners want as the next President of the United States.

Now for your online viewing pleasure: behind the scenes moments on the desk. Thanks to the magic of YouTube and other video sites, viewers get to see what news anchors do during commercial breaks:

I found out about this video on ShopTalk’s e-mail newsletter. The Chicago Tribune posted the 2:40 extended routine. The Trib also posted recommendation for my Alma Mater.

The two are shown going through an elaborate routine—complete with coordinated paper-shuffling, precision gestures and various grunts and giggles—that they perform during the first commercial break of their weekend newscasts. They are awesome. And they should consider teaching this at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Granted, this fun anchor tradition is conducted during a commercial break.

Still, what would Murrow say?