Several times, in newspaper columns and in this blog, I have mocked TVNZ reporter Jack Tame as a lightweight, chosen for accelerated promotion through the newsroom hierarchy on account of his cute telegenic appeal rather than journalistic ability.
Well, today I formally recant.
The boy wonder, as I like to call him, was recently posted to New York as TVNZ's correspondent in America. And over the past week, in particular, he has proved himself up to the job.
His coverage of super storm Sandy was first-class. Like all good reporters, Tame thrives on big stories. He was popping up all over New York - rather like a jack-in-the-box, if you'll pardon the pun - and seemed to be on the job around the clock.
He segued from Sandy into another demanding assignment, the presidential election, and did a similarly impressive job. He still has that puppyish enthusiasm (and that grating Kiwi accent), but he reports with clarity and authority. He's relaxed on camera and ad libs fluently.
Now, if he could just work on that voice ....