It’s beautiful, read the news and drive home – it’s not. Conversation with Sandra Zviedri / Article /

Viewers of Latvian Television (LTV) are used to seeing Sandra Zviedri in “Dienas news“. The experienced narrator tells about the events in Riga and about the events in the counties, however, the career paths of more than 20 years have made LTV Sandra greet both the viewers of the morning program, “Panorama” and “Night news“. In an interview with, Sandra reveals what is the hardest thing at work, what is the most enjoyable, and why she is confused when to talk as a host.

From “Morning Boom” to “Daily News”

Sandra LTV came 20 years ago, becoming the host of the show “Rīta bums”. Prior to that, she worked in regional television. “The leaders changed there and I was addressed. I went to rehearsals. I didn’t understand what I was doing there at all! I had come to Riga to live from Valmiera, two years had passed – I had worked in all places, and I was approached and went to rehearsals, where there was a very, very strict director – Arta Giga. And I passed those tests! In a week or two it was the first ether, ”Sandra recalls. It was rather unexpected: “I’m the kind of person who does something and then, like a rabbit, gets into a corner and thinks – was that really me?” However, everything went well.

In the morning program, she worked in tandem with Jānis Markovs. After a while, Sandra was approached by the head of the News Service (then a journalist, Gundars Rēders), and he invited Sandra to lead the “Night News“, but later she could also write on her CV to lead the most important public television news program – “Panoramas”. True, after that she refused herself: “I went to our manager Iveta Elksne, I said that my faces had to change and at that time I recommended Laura [Vondu]. Laura came to “Panorama”, I went back to “Daily News” and I am very pleased about that. ”

It is also related to the “Morning Boom” that is one of Sandra’s first ethereal curiosities, which the audience at that time probably did not notice as much as it would today. Sandra’s colleague had to read the news that a zoo in Mexico was in serious financial difficulties, so in order to sustain large carnivores, they had to feed the smallest inhabitants of the zoo. “I don’t know in what eclipse he said that those big predators are feeding visitors,” recalls Sandra, who had to read the next message, “I started laughing so awfully, and I thought – everything, now I’ll be in the frame right now.” However, he somehow managed to “gather”, and this has been remembered as a bright moment from the beginning of LTV’s work.

Wet back and election night buns

According to Sandra, the most difficult part of her work is the complicated news releases – special releases or programs that have often been in the past months in the Covid-19 crisis. “You have to react, you have to plan, you have plan A and you have plan B. […] It is not easy. There have been situations when you come out of the studio and – without exaggeration! – you feel how sweatballs flow on your back because [studijā] there has been a telephone conversation, an interview in the studio, a telephone interview in which you do not know whether a person has been called at the other end, ”says Sandra.

It is difficult for Sandra to say what she does not really like or is not satisfied with at work: “Sounds extreme, I don’t know … Pompos maybe? But I like absolutely everything in my work! ” Sandra has never given up any additional work not directly related to her responsibilities. “The viewer may get such a deceptive idea – well, a shot man? This means coming to work, gracefully sinking, going, reading and leaving home. That is not the case! We also do a lot outside of work in our team.

I have even helped to spread the buns on election night, and I have no complaints [pret to]. As they say, every job that is needed is necessary and must be done, ”the narrator is convinced.

Mission or work culture?

Photo: Ģirts Raģelis

Sandra Zviedre in June 2020

“Well, you know, after 20 years of work, it will be difficult to talk about the mission …” a little flirtatious, but undoubtedly Sandra really points out. You can feel that her work culture and professional attitude stand above the slogans and any imagined image of a news manager. Sandra is real and the ability to maintain this authenticity is really respectable. “I am always very confused when it comes to talking to us as broadcasters, because in fact their content is already created by our colleagues. However, I really like the fact that the approach has changed in recent years – journalists write the so-called “stands” themselves and they also appear in the frame, and not impersonally only in refusal, ”the narrator is convinced.

Speaking about her work, Sandra is cautious: “I am as much as I can, well [mēģinājusi] do your job. I’ll be happy if someone really found it useful. ” Sandra also highly appreciates the work of any other colleague, because she is aware that behind her as a news host there is a team, without whose honest work the announcer could get into an unenviable situation. “I have an inner need (and this has been the case for absolutely all the airwaves) – I have a holy duty to go on directing and say thank you to everyone! [..] It’s not because it’s just polite, indeed, when we’ve had those complicated ethers, I’ve told colleagues that I’m honored to work with them, ”emphasizes Sandra. Whether it is the person who puts the subtitles or the director who says in front of the headset, it is very important not to feel alone in the studio.

“Of course, we all have a mission to tell the truth, to analyze, to make the viewer think,” says Sandra. She emphasizes that “everything is not as fluffy as we would like it to be”, and this is precisely why journalists – not only on LTV but also in any other independent media – do their work, which is often ungrateful and repulsive, even though the aim is to one, “to make people think along to analyze what are the priorities in their lives.”

Respect and empathy – the narrator’s allies

Many may not know it at all, but Sandra is not only a narrator of “Dienas news“, but also a producer. This means that she is responsible not only for how the messages are read, but also for what messages appear in the program and in what order. Sandra admits that this is the reason why she tends to feel contradictions in her work. “On weekdays, I am also a producer of” Daily News “, and from that point of view I want to tell me as much news as possible. On the other hand – maybe it should be more balanced, but this producer often prevails, ”admits Sandra.

“In my opinion, the viewer must get an understanding that the viewer is respected – a respectful attitude! This has been the case for me all the time, and I did not work for the first year, but nothing has changed, ”says Sandra. According to her, first of all, it manifests itself in the manner of reading the news and in the tone of the narrator: “It is necessary to find a balance – it must be understood that people can have different situations at home during the news. One may have huge joys, someone may have an anniversary, but another may have mourning … You have to find that neutral positive when you don’t cry with everything, but a person at the TV can smile at you. ” Of course, there are also situations when the whole show, in Sandra’s words, is “black”, but even in these cases you have to get your hands on it and at the beginning and end of the show you have to give yourself and the viewer a smile.

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