Thursday, February 13, 2014

The best-dressed TV news correspondent for the 2014 opening of parliament and the State of the Nation Address? Andrew Barnes of eNCA.

It wasn't even a competition. Not even close. The best-dressed TV news correspondent covering the 2014 opening of parliament in Cape Town and the State of the Nation Address was eNCA's Andrew Barnes.

None of the roving reporters, correspondents or anchors on eNCA (DStv 403), SABC News (DStv 404) or ANN7 (DStv 405) came close to looking as perfectly put together as Andrew Barnes did when he covered parliamentary arrivals and did red carpet duty on Thursday late afternoon.

Andrew Barnes is a veteran when it comes to live on-location TV news reporting - and it very clearly shows.

Out of all the TV news channels in South Africa Andrew Barnes was the single TV correspondent and news anchor dispatched to parliament who has the most experience, on the spot insight, and the most technical hurry-up-and-wait and stand-and-deliver man hours under his belt.

He also very clearly did his preparation and memorised things to say - which viewers would think all TV news correspondents would do as a normal part of the job but clearly doesn't happen. Andrew Barnes is also a spiffy, snappy dresser.

Being a TV correspondent isn't about clothes. It's about the get, its about the delivery, its about the story, it's about the perfect sound bytes which brings understanding.

Yet on Thursday afternoon out of all the roving reporters it felt as if only Andrew Barnes on eNCA really made any effort to fit the part - just as he did late in 2013 when he also did exceptional live coverage from parliament following the death of Nelson Mandela.

Clothes do help to make the man, but on Thursday Andrew Barnes helped to make eNCA's live parliamentary coverage great.