When writing for television news, would it absolutely wrong to use present tense in reported speech? We need to get a sense of urgency and make it sound like the incident or statement was a recent one.
So would it be wrong to say:

"The Prime Minister said the nation is in a soup?"

Thank You
I'd say you can say:

"The Prime Minister >says
because if a reported speech is introduced with a a phrase in present tense, the reported speech tense remains and is not backshifted.
Hi, welcome to the forums (btw)..

"..in a soup" ? <- I've never heard that phrase used.

"..in hot water", "..is experiencing turbulent times", “..skating on thin ice”