Reporter Can’t Keep Her Boston Accent at Bay in a Viral Outtake Clip

Local Newscaster Lets Boston Accent Slip

Photo: Screenshot from Twitter

On-camera reporters do their best to stay polished and professional, but every once in a while, something happens that takes them out of the zone. And usually, it's utterly charming. That's certainly what happened to Ellen Fleming, a Massachusetts State House reporter for the NBC News affiliate WWLP-22News. In a short clip she posted to Twitter, Fleming lets her Boston accent slip for a moment before she stops and gathers herself. Though the flub didn't happen live on air, it went viral once Fleming posted the outtake online.

In the clip, Fleming is standing in the State House, delivering serious news. She says, “parts of this bill are similar to the executive orders that have already been put in place in New Hampsha.” She then quickly stops and corrects her pronunciation to “New Hampshire.” The endearing moment won over lots of people, with many recounting similar slips in their past.

Several reporters shared their own experiences with trying to keep their natural accents at bay, with one commenting that after watching the clip, “[she] felt seen, except with a NY accent!” Another mentioned that the same thing happened to her often on air, but that she “still love[s] my accent.”

Fleming's clip has now been viewed millions of times and, for the most part, people have been supportive. Whether sharing their own stories, stating that they love the accent, or posting funny memes, people have given her a lot of laughs with their comments. “It’s been a lot of fun, people certainly have their opinions on how they feel about the Boston accent, but it’s been mostly positive!” she shared.

So why do newscasters speak in a neutral accent instead of working with their natural voices? Simply, it opens them up to more job opportunities. Journalists are taught a non-regional accent when studying broadcasting to make them more appealing in reporting any market. Many reporters move around the country frequently and speaking without a regional accent makes it easier for them to get work. This is because it's been shown that viewers don't trust the news as much if it's being reported by someone with an accent that isn't local. To keep themselves available to report in any part of the country, on-air journalists will polish a General American accent.

Still, as Fleming's goof shows, it's harder than it seems to keep those accents at bay.

Newscaster Ellen Fleming recently let her natural Boston accent slip while getting ready for broadcast.

After posting the outtake, she got an outpouring of support.

h/t: [Upworthy]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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