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Weighing Anchors cover
Evening News Stars Often Fail Us. Can You Spot Their Mistakes?

Weighing Anchors

A Veteran TV Newswriter Critiques the Top Network Anchors

By Mervin Block

$18.95 • Trade Paper • ISBN 9781936863396

 Broadcast Journalism

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When network anchors murder the language—which they do night after night—thank goodness there's Merv Block to perform the autopsy. No one has a better ear or sharper pencil than Merv Block. He's a one-man quality control department for the broadcast news business. His wise and witty dissections of TV's highest-paid poobahs and their verbal blunders are both hilarious and appalling. After reading his collection of spot-on critiques, you'll never watch TV news the same way again. —Robert Feder, media critic, Time Out Chicago

Merv Block writes with precision and pushes every journalist to do the same. If you feel uneasy while reading this, it may be the unsettling feeling that you, too, have committed every one of the sins he exposes in this book. —Al Tompkins, author, teacher, senior faculty, Poynter Institute

For anyone interested in TV news, Weighing Anchors is a great read. In his unique and entertaining style, Mervin Block not-so gently points out broadcasting's high crimes and misdemeanors—from the spectacular to the mundane, offering example after example of what NOT to do to keep your credibility in TV news. This is a fun and delightful book from the very best teacher of the craft of news writing in America. —Valerie Geller, consultant, author, Beyond Powerful Radio

Long-time network newswriter Mervin Block doesn't just watch and hear evening newscasts; he listens. Block, who wrote for Walter Cronkite and other anchors at ABC, CBS and NBC, examines today’s network anchors, their scripts and their journalism. Instead of writing about anchors' delivery, wardrobe or favorite desserts, he points out distortions, deceptions, discrepancies and abuses of broadcast writing style. Block shows how newscasters

  • fudge facts;
  • tinker with time;
  • label stories exclusive that aren't;
  • utter grammatical grotesqueries;
  • present old news as breaking news;
  • exaggerate medical stories;
  • hammer home hype.

Block's sharp wit will leave you amused, fuming and shaking your head over today's network anchors. Reinforced with tips, tests and quizzes, Weighing Anchors gives anyone who watches the evening news the tools and insights to identify write from wrong.