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B-Roll Madness

I’ve noticed an odd trend in news coverage lately. It involves the B-roll that runs as they’re narrating segments. Quite often it has little or nothing to do with the story. Today, while catching some coverage of the Plan B contraception in a colleagues office, someone else pointed it out as well.

As they explained the difference between RU-486 and Plan B, the b-roll showed what we assumed to be the butts of three teenage girls in mini-skirts. It had nothing to do with the narration, and nothing to do with the story, but there they were – three skirt-wearing asses to accompany the story.

After my colleague exclaimed, “what the hell was that?” We began the discussion of the bizarre uses of b-roll we’ve seen lately.

Have you noticed any odd footage lately? Images of small puppies during Iraq War coverage? Flowers and candy during stories of car crashes? It’s happening all the time, and I can’t figure out why…

Written by Michael Turk