TQS’s bare-bones “news”cast

So everyone Richard Therrien has been talking about the new half-hour weekend newscast that premiered on TQS tonight. So I decided to take a gander.

TQS, you’ll recall, essentially shut down its news operation after it couldn’t find a buyer and decided that amputation was the best way to stop the bleeding. After the CRTC pointed out that providing news and information programming was a condition of license, the two fought it out and CRTC caved, allowing joke newscasts of a few minutes a day.

What we’re left with is this piece of utter garbage produced by an outfit called ADN5 (actually @DN5, cause that kind of typography is cooler).

Here’s the skinny:

  • The “studio” is just some woman standing in front of a green screen, which replaces it with a white background and “1730” going round and round in the background.
  • Most of the news is in the form of voice-overs and B-roll, stretched to the point where it becomes awkward. These things work for 10-second briefs, but not minute-long reports. And the lack of any text on screen only makes it worse.
  • There are standard news packages about fluff local news, one from each of the regions that TQS is supposed to cover: Saguenay, Quebec City, Trois Rivières, Sherbrooke and Montreal.
  • The letters “TQS” are not spoken during the newscast. I’m not quite sure why this is (does ADN5 plan to sell this crap to other media?). The reporters seem not to know whether to sign off their reports with “ADN5”, just their names, or nothing at all.
  • Have you ever been annoyed by the sound of someone tapping their fingers on a table? You know, that sound where all four fingers hit the table in succession, starting with the pinky and working its way up? This newscast seems to be in love with this sound, and uses it any time a super comes up to identify someone during a report. It’s distracting and pointless, but I guess someone thought it sounded cool.

I wish there was something good I could say about it. It could have been much worse. At least it wasn’t a trainwreck.

And it makes Global Quebec’s newscast look professional by comparison.

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