Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Naked News, billing itself as "the program with nothing to hide", is a subscription website featuring a real television newscast prepared in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The male and female anchors read the news fully nude or strip as they present their news segments. "Naked News TV" is its offshoot pay-per-view or subscription service.
Naked News originally took its idea from a concept developed in Russia, as a means of increasing viewership to their thought-by-many-to-be-highly-edited news. It has since increased in popularity and appears in parts of Australia, among other places. In the interest of fairness a male member was added to the original female cast, though there are currently more female than male anchors. The female announcers have been featured in Playboy magazine and as guests on the Howard Stern radio show.
Most of the show's announcers have been recruited through classified ads in alternative newspapers in Toronto. As such, most of the show's crew comes from the Toronto area. The show features occasional on-the-street interviews by topless newscasters, which are made possible by Ontario's Topfree equality laws.
Regardless of the gender of the anchor, the male demographic is particularly high for the show. One of the male co-anchors, Joshua, recently announced he was gay in the pages of The Advocate magazine. Although originally targeted towards female viewers (at one point said to be 30% of the website's audience), the male show now openly promotes itself as news from a gay perspective.
Naked News TV aired as a late-night television series on the Toronto television station Citytv, and (until February 2005) on British satellite channel Get Lucky TV . The show is or has been available on pay-per-view or by subscription in various markets in the U.S., Australia, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and even France (dubbed into French).
The website was popularized entirely by word of mouth, and quickly became an internet meme. During the height of its popularity, the website was promoted as receiving over 6 million hits per month. This number did not refer to the number of actual subscribers of the site, which was believed to be vastly lower. Part of the large amounts of web traffic in the site's early days was because the entire newscast could be viewed for free, though subscribers got access to a higher bandwidth feed and other extras. By 2002, only one news segment could be viewed freely, and by 2004, no free content remained on the website.
Opinions of Naked News
Naked News has earned some praise from established journalists for its coverage of international news items not often covered in mainstream news media. Victoria Sinclair , the first NN announcer and one of only two with journalism experience, has also received some praise for her newsreading ability.
Naked News has generated some controversy among the media, and even within its own staff. Critics charge that the nudity is little more than a gimmick that trivializes important news events, while proponents argue that such gimmicks exist on most television news already; nudity is just a particularly successful one. Sinclair herself has questioned the appropriateness of disrobing while reading of tragic events. She did not undress when she read the news of the death of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and no broadcast was prepared for September 11, 2001. The anchors have all since continued the tradition of reading tragic events fully clothed.
Among the current female anchors are:
- Victoria Sinclair (the first NN reporter, she originally performed solo before additional news anchors were added. Sinclair left the show in Sept. 2001, and returned in Nov. 2002)
- April Torres
- Erica Stevens
- Ashley Jenning (from Australia)
- Athena King - a.k.a. "Athena the Greek"
- Roxanne West
- Sandrine Renard
- Lily Kwan (originally from Hong Kong, also works as a bondage model)
- Michelle Pantoliano (former radio & TV broadcaster from New York City)
Past female announcers include:
- Diane Foster
- Brooke Roberts
- Holly Weston (who continued on the show thoughout her pregnancy)
- Carmen Russo (at age 42, the oldest cast member)
- Devon Calwell (at age 19, the youngest cast member, now goes by the alias "Jennifer Black")
- Erin Sherbrooke (sports reporter)
- Allyson Jones
- Gretchen Frazier
- Kaye Grant
- Kelli Graham
- Sarah Winters
- Gia Gomez (a.k.a. "Hazel Lorraine")
Male announcers include:
- Lucas Tyler (the first male anchor of the show, now also producer and director, said to bear a strong resemblance to NBC newsman Matt Lauer)
- Raoul Santos
- Derek Shaw
The initial success of the show's concept spawned several imitators, mostly on the websites, but also including "The Daily Flash ", a news program on Playboy TV.
Among the imitators on the internet:
- www.strip-news.de, a now-defunct German language webcast with both male and female announcers.
- Radio Tango - Oslo, Norway radio station once featured stripping female weather readers on their website.
- "Comedie" - This French cable TV network ran a series promos featuring males and females casually undressing as they read jokes. CAUTION: Adult Content
- Naked News website CAUTION: Adult Content
- Celebrity Nude Database: Critical commentary on the bodies of most of the male and female announcers. CAUTION: Adult Content
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