If you watch any amount of television news, chances are you’ve seen a news anchor or reporter put their finger up to the side of their ear as if they’re trying to hear something. That’s what’s happening. A tiny earpiece with a long cord attached is how producers, directors, camera operators, live truck operators and anyone else with control of a live situation in television news could be talking with the anchor or reporter.
The device is called an IFB which stands for interruptible foldback. It’s a fancy term for one-way communication. It essentially gives us direction for which camera to look at, if a story has changed or if we learn the world is ending, we’ll get notification that we need to take a commercial break to gather our thoughts.
Here’s an Instagram pic of my bungled pile of IFBs and cords; my go-to kit when a piece breaks or a wire loses its life.
Peter Jennings Image: WSU