Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I was listening to a newscast on KLBJ-AM radio yesterday afternoon. One of the stories concerned the tragic fatal accident on Ben White Blvd. where a pedestrian was struck and killed in traffic. The news reporter referred to the victim as a "guy". I believe the quote was something like: "the guy was hit in the westbound lane", or something to that effect.

Excuse me? "Guy"? Isn't that a bit too slangy, too casual, too informal, for a news report? What's wrong with referring to him as the "man" or the "victim"as I was taught in journalism school? I have worked in both the television news and the newspaper and magazine businesses and I don't recall ever writing copy in which someone was referred to as a "guy". This is lazy, sloppy journalism. Where's the news director or copy editor to catch this stuff and fix it before it goes on the air or into print?

I know, I know. To most of you it doesn't matter and I'm making a mountain out of a molehill but it bugs me.


  1. I agree. I prefer my journalism a little formal. Makes it more believable, maybe, if the wording seems educated.

  2. Hmmm, Godfather II, Rocky, Annie Hall?

  3. I think 'the dude' would be proper in this situation.

  4. Unfortunately, copy editors don't exist anymore.