Exclusive: “A story published or broadcast by only one source.”

Seven News goes on the record about when to apply the 'E' word.

Those with long memories may remember a time when both Today Tonight and A Current Affair, head to head in the same timeslot, would often have stories on the same subject (or even the same talent) with the word ‘Exclusive’ on it.

In Breakfast TV it has also been a sore point with rival shows applying the term with regularity.

In these 2017 images below, Today made a claim with a Usain Bolt interview going to air after an earlier one on Sunrise.

This week Seven News in a promo, gave a little more detail on their definition of the term.

According to Seven the term applies for “A story published or broadcast by only one source.”

I tend to think it’s a little more complex.

For instance I might suggest “A story published or broadcast first.”

It’s impossible to control -or even know- what info other outlets have, but if you beat them to the punch, that’s bragging rights. I’ve sometimes run Exclusive announcements before other media are given the same information an hour later, because it’s a relationship I’ve nurtured or possibly info withheld for an agreed timeline. A deal was in place behind the scenes…

But Exclusive should also be applied to information of value.

For instance, I could theoretically use ‘Exclusive’ on just about every interview I run (as Today Tonight used to do) because those quotes, spoken that way, were only said to me.

But it’s not a view I embrace.

I can’t remember the last time I applied it to a Programming post for example.

It’s a term I’d generally apply to an interview of significance, where something is revealed or announced, and to news stories of importance. There are always exceptions to the rule depending on the story and circumstance, of course.

Now that Seven has gone on the record it will need to be doubly careful of where it uses the term… and me!

3 Responses

  1. Get the “E” word almost every night on Seven news. Switching to Nine news the “E” word pops up there too often on the same story (just a different reporter and people interviewed) so what’s new?

    1. Yep, it’s almost as if the word has become so overused it is meaningless. And people often post it first now on social media…is #Breaking the new Exclusive?

    2. From what I’ve seen, Ten News First also uses the “E” word on a regular basis, though not as much as Seven or Nine. Not sure about the ABC or SBS.

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