The live cross to a journalist on location is a given these days, especially in commercial TV news. I don’t have too much of a problem with that providing they have something new to say.

Unfortunately though it’s often just used to show ‘they are there’ and adds very little to the rest of the report.

But more recently I’ve noticed something else that’s started creeping in to these live crosses and it’s driving me round the bend!

It’s usually in the reportage of what a person has said to the journalist, but it’s not on camera so the reporter tells us as part of their live cross:

“Police do say charges are expected to be laid tonight…”


“Hospital staff do believe he has a long struggle ahead of him…”

Now I’ve always understood a verb to be a ‘doing’ word but surely the doing is in the saying and believing?

“Police say…” or “hospital staff believe…”

And there’s no reason at all for this extra ‘doing’ to be included in there.

It sounds like something from a 19th Century novel:

“Oh do come quickly…”

Another I heard recently:

“Compared to what we did see today…”

What on earth is wrong with saw?

So calling on all journalists and news editors/directors if it’s something you say yourself as a reporter, or you know someone who says this, please, please, please do ask them to stop!

Just saying.