Monday, 9 March 2015

Introduction to The News

Part 1:News Stories.

A starting sequence is what the news begins with, like an introduction into what the news is about. It is what the audience first witnesses, which means it has to be eye catching and short to be remembered easier. Here are two examples on a starting sequence:

This is the national news introduction and various different versions of it. It is captivating the audience by the tension building and demanding music, could be described as a 'heart beat' sound because of the way the tone is set in a pattern. It makes the audience prepared for what is coming up in the news, it is also repetitive which means that it can be remembered and recognised by the public. The graphics are interesting because they seem to represent a sphere form which could represent the world which is why it has been used on the national news, additionally the graphics of different countries shows that this particular news, reports worldwide. The colour scheme is predominantly red and white, which is known as the main BBC colour scheme, they could use this in the starting sequence because it is recognisable to the public but also red is a striking colour and draws the attention of the audience. 

This is the opening sequence for the different English regions, we can see the difference through the sound, the music is not as sinister, but more exciting, which could suggest it is not as important, due to the fact it is not a national issue but a regional issue, resulting in only effecting the public in that particular area. The colour scheme is lighter, there is more white than red this reinforces the idea that there is a less demand for this news rather that the national news, therefore the introduction doesn't cause as much tension for the audience. 

After watching Sky News 9th of March 2015 the order of the stories were:
-Free schools opening up almost double under conservative government in next general election.
-Missing school girls found in turkey crossing the boarder into Syria to IS militants.
-Crufts dog poisoned from meat, other dogs have fallen ill since.
-First solar plane which is charged by the sun sets off for a worldwide travel.  
-Child diabetes is rising in recent years
-Toddler rescued from a car that had crashed 14 hours earlier, alive.

In the first main headline story is to do with the general election and a current government (conservative), the reason this is the 'lead story' is because it is relevant to the whole of the UK, the politics of the country affects the people which in a sense shows that the lead story is the lead story because of its rev to the public and whats in the public interest. The second story has some relevance to the public because it was English girls that have been radicalised and the news is trying to raise awareness about radicalisation to try and prevent it from happening. After this we slowly see how the relevance decreases in the public interest and the other stories have a main purpose to inform the public of what is happening around the world. Additionally with the main headline there is always the audio effects that has a sharp sound to emphasis the importance, also has the footage that compliments the story and gives the audience a visual understanding of the story. They finish the news agenda with a positive story of a toddler being found alive 14 hours after the car had crashed, this leaves the audience with a hopeful and positive feeling. (Read down for more information on news ordering).

Part 2:The Role of Presenters

The job of the presenter is a very arduous task, they have to prepare their own scripts and incorporate formality and personality while ordering the news stories. They often start with the main shocking story and then lighten it up as they go along, they link stories by merging each topic into the next, for example if they were on a topic about schools opening or school issues the next story might be about a family linking the school, to children, to a family issue. Their duty is to tell the story in an engaging way, using personality within their speaking and not just reading off of a script, they often use a deeper and stern voice when talking about high profile events and a lighter and different tone when talking about a lighthearted story. Usually there is a female and a male presenting the news, this could be to represent the two sex's and ruling out criticisms of being sexiest, the male is usually a mature age roughly 40-50 and the female possible 10 years younger 30-40 or late twenties. However this is changing in the present and younger male and females are taking on the roles of being a presenter, this could be because they are younger and possibly more outgoing/bubbly than others, or they are using convergence to connect to a younger audience. They have an ear piece in where the producer, director and floor manager give them instructions on what to say and where to look, some cameras change and they have to be told to look in the correct camera, they also have to be informed if the producer has suddenly taken a story out of it, or they here instant breaking news and have to report the information right away. They have people speaking to them in their ear while they are talking and delivering the stories for the audience and have to handle it calmly and know what they are doing, Multi-tasking seems to be a key skill in managing a presenter job. It's said that when there is a light backdrop they tend to make the presenters wear darker colours to stand out and look more formal, however when there is a dark backdrop they tend to wear lighter colours so it doesn't look dull and gloomy to the audience and create a negative effect. Overall the role of a presenter is a challenging one but also enjoyable because you can incorporate your personality and be on the ball knowing exactly whats happening in the world and translating that for the audience to comprehend.(3)

Here we have examples to show a presenter while reporting, the papers on the table are usually sub headings into what they need to remember to talk about as well as reading the information on computers. However some may argue it could also just be for show, to make them look as if they have a lot of news to present to the public.(3)

Presenters have to keep quite neutral to the stories they report they cannot show any emotion towards a subject and therefore must keep neutral and use a stern tone to stay professional.

Part 3:Ordering of the news.

The importance of ordering the news is crucial, you must be able to attract the audience with whats called a 'lead story' this is the story they have the most information on and therefore go into the most detail. The lead story is often the most shocking and most relevant to the public and in their best interests, usually national or possibly international if it affects them. In ordering the news there are round ups, for example all the local news might be presented by one presenter who rounds up all the local news in a certain area, national and international stories can also be 'rounded'. Sport is another popular subject that usually has a separate presenter where that subject gets rounded up. The main stories are always said at the beginning with a hyperbolic audio effects and usually visual images to attract and engage the audience in a story that is relevant to them. Other stories are often mentioned by the presenters without any visual effects or audio because they may be of not great importance or relevance to the public interest. The ability to think and act quick is important because the news is changing constantly and the presenters and the news need to keep up with whats happening in the world and report that as soon as it happens. The term 'slow news day' is when there nothing major that has happened with great importance or relevance to the public interest and therefore there is not a quick and busy day full of information, they tend to tell less important stories that some of the public may have an interest in, however some may not. Then there is the final news story of the broadcast, the term is the 'and Finally' story, the news usually delivers a lighthearted story mainly to entertain and to leave the audience with a positive story and a positive feeling rather than a deep and negative story leaving them with a down feeling. The duty of the news is to inform the audience of whats in the public interest and what can effect them, whether it be international or national or local.

The term 'news values' determine how much importance a news story is given by a media outlet, and the attention it is given by the audience. Galtung and Ruge (1) wrote about different types of news values, firstly frequency(1) which is the unfolding of an event has to correspond with the needs of the news media, the daily news tends to focus on events than longer trends. Secondly the threshold(1) which is the more bigger the event, the more shocking the story is, the more casualties/fatalities the bigger the story becomes and the more newsworthy it is because it grabs the audiences attention in shock. An example of this is the Japan earthquake/tsunami over 1,000 casualties made this one of the news's top stories in 2011. Thirdly the lack of ambiguity(1), the clearer the motive of the story the easier it is for the audience to understand, an example of this is Quantitative Easing it should be a huge covered story, however because it is harder to understand for the audience it is not high priority in the news, the news likes to spoon feed the audience more and gives them simple stories to comprehend. fourthly the meaningfulness(1) which is within the cultural environment there has to be significance or relevance behind it, linking it to the audiences interests, for example the honouring of the UK military service from withdrawing from Afghanistan, it has relevance to the country and the audience, it has meaning to the public. furthermore predictability(1) this gives an accurate foresight of stories featured in the news,for example the armistice day, poppy's laid in UK service Honor in WW1, this is predictability is because it is predictable that they will hold a massive event to Honor service to the military in WW1. this follows to unpredictability(1), unexpected events are newsworthy because they also shock the audience and out of no where makes it more hyperbolic, an example of this is 9/11, it was an unexpected terrorist attack which shocked the world and became the 'breaking news' taking over every news channel in the UK and the US. Next is continuing news(1), if something is already newsworthy it will be continued even if its importance decreases, an example of this is the royal baby, it was on going because it was royalty and royalty is seen as a high importance topic. Composition value(1) is a balance of sport news, celebrity news, international and domestic news is required it keeps the audience up to date with all the latest on whats happening within the world. Following on there is Elite nations and Elite people(1), with economic power or political power are more newsworthy because they are consider the top of importance, and what actions they take could effect the audience. News should be presentable in terms of the personal(1), this means now and again they should focus on the 'ordinary' person and therefore the audience can relate. Lastly negativity(1) in the news is considered popular and newsworthy because it is clear, concise and easy for the readers/viewers to understand, an example of this is the story on Ebola a disease that has taken 9,976 lives, one of the biggest epidemics seen in years.

Part 4:Broadcast about the Chowles.
The story was about mortgages prices that are rising and people cannot keep up with their mortgage repayments and the amount of people who's houses have been repossessed has double within a year. The Chowles have recently brought a 1 bedroom house for 57,000, however Mr. Chowles recently lost his job due to ill health and since then, they have fell incredibly behind on their mortgage payments. The broadcast shows the struggles the family have not only being behind on their bills but they also have another baby on the way and with only one parent working, their struggle will only get worse. The people involved in the broad cast are Mr and Mrs Chowles with their 1 year old child, they are represented in a way to make the audience empathise with them. We see this in the first piece of footage of Mr Chowles walking up to his recently brought house, he slips on the ice but regains his balance, this creates an effect to make the audience empathise because it shows he is vulnerable and makes him seem weak. In the next piece of footage it is Mr and Mrs Chowles playing with the baby and it's toys this shows they are a loving family that really cares about their child and that shows innocence which when they talk about how they are struggling it makes the audience feel bad. This could be a reason that, that particular piece of footage came before the couple spoke about their struggles to make the audience judge on what kind of people they are and then the next footage creates a feeling from the audience of empathy. The next piece of footage includes the Chowles sitting on the sofa with their baby in their arms talking about the struggles, Mr Chowles states that he wanted to 'finally do something responsible' and do something good for himself and ends up worse off than he could have imagined. This makes the audience empathise by him telling a story of how he wanted to improve himself and had high hopes and they came crashing down and now he and his family are in a terrible situation, it gives the characters in the broadcast and innocence which is why the audience feels sorry for them when they talk about their situation, in a sense the audience could feel they don't deserve this because they have been presented as nice and innocent people.

I personally did feel sorry for the couple and fell into the broadcasts plan to empathise with them and their difficult story, the fact that Mr and Mrs Chowles voices also had worry and innocence in them, made me feel sorry for them even more, and actually made me believe the story more because they genuinely seemed distraught. The news story was narrated at times when the Chowles weren't talking, for example when Mr Chowles slips and when they are playing with the baby and it's toys there is a narrative there talking about how difficult the struggle is and about them purchasing the house, giving the audience information but also giving them a visual effect that makes them empathise with the family. The narrative also helps the audience follow the events what happens, if the footage is shown on the screen without a narrative it would confuse the audience into why they are showing us this and what has happened, with the narrative it bases a story around it and involves the audience into these peoples lives.

Part 5:Broadcast I have chosen.

The story I have chosen is the Michael Brown Ferguson shooting, reporting that tension are high with riots and police are armed and heavy. The people involved in the story are the rioters with footage of them, the police forces with footage of them in action and the news station speaks to Thomas Jackson who is in the Ferguson police department, there was also footage of the lawyer of the Michael Brown's family making a statement that they want the name of the police officer that shot their son, and the news correspondent who is reporting from Ferguson, John Yang. Additionally there is a statement from the president Barack Obama. In the story they show an image of armed authorities aiming their guns to black man with his hands up, this creates a feeling to the audience to feel sorry for the people of the community, people who are standing up for their rights and being threatened for their freedom of speech. Then it shows the other side, the town itself has been vandalised by the rioters, this may change the opinion of the audience because they have destroyed a town for those who are not participating in the rioting and suggesting that the way they protest is violent and this is why the police forces are so heavily armed. Then you see the protesters again yelling at the police, could be taken to make the protesters look like they are in the wrong. However they back track in favour of the protesters saying how they walk with their hands in the air and are still threatened by the police, they also repeat how Michael Brown was 18 years of age, unarmed and was killed and shot more than once. Which makes the audience empathise with the family of Micheal Brown especially when they lawyer makes a statement with word stress that they want the name of the police officer who killed their son to be released, the audience can relate to this and puts them in a place that if that was their son what would they do. When they interview an officer from the police department he defends the shooter saying they will not release his name while he is receiving so many death threats, this could potentially make the audience be more understanding of the police situation. I personally feel sorry for the protesters to me it sends the message they are protesting and the reason they are being violent is because no-one is listening to their calling out, therefore they use violence to make people/police listen to them. The story is narrated to show the images complimenting the voice over, for example the voice over comments on shops that are reopening after the looting riots had taken place, while showing images of the shops getting ready to re-open, this helps the audience follow the story and keeps them up to date with an understanding of whats happening on the screen.

Part 6: Bias.
There is bias through selection by a pattern of news stories that coincide with the agenda of either the left or right, while ignoring stories with the opposite view.(2) An example of this is printing a story released by the conservatives or the green party and then ignoring the studies or stories on the same or similar topic from the Labour party (the opposing group). It creates a bias between the selection and that it is a possibility a news station has a certain agenda or opinion on the topic and that in a sense is forced on to the audience because they are only seeing one half of the story, what that particular reporter wants to you to know/see. also can be seen by how much airtime a certain party receives, if the Conservatives received more airtime to talk about their policies longer than the liberal democrats then the importance what the news station believes is more important to the public is shown, through how long or how much they talk about one specific subject.

Bias through omission by leaving one part of an article out or a series of articles out over a time scale, by leaving a certain part of the story out it shows only half a perspective or even a part of the story that actually is not how it happened.(2) An example of this is when Sky News chased after a woman called Brenda Leyland who had been a known 'twitter troll' and wrote abuse to the McCann family, when Sky News found her at her home she repeated that she was not answering any questions and had 'no comment', what they didn't show was that she offered an interview instead where she apologised to the McCann family. The result of sky news's omission, the public abused Brenda Leyland and a few days after the news release she was found in her hotel room, she had committed suicide. The results of omission are rarely extreme as this but this shows just how effective it can be, not showing the truth within a story. 

Bias within placement is a measure on how important the editor considers the story, placement of headlines is key because it is the most important part of a newspaper and the part that everyone reads before they purchase the newspaper is has to be the biggest story that is most relevant to the public interest.(2) An example of this is today's news:

This shows that what the news believes is of the highest importance of the British public interest is the final
budget decisions for this parliament, slowly followed by another political story of the new government in Israel
and then to obesity, followed by the northern lights being seen in Britain. However the headline
is the key mechanism to attract the people and the fact that it is placed on the front, directly addresses the audience and show the significant importance.

 Bias shown through the camera angles and shots used when covering a story can show a particular way that the news presents this story and how they look at it and in what way they present it to the public to think a certain way about it.(2) It places a narrative to the image the way it is presented via angle, arguably manipulating the way the audiences see the images on screen from how they would see it off screen.

This is an example of how they are showing employment, a low angle shot this shows the subject in the image as dominant and in this example the businesses are dominating over the public because unemployment has
grown to 1.86m. In this case the news may be trying to scare the public and worry them about this by using this image, it is oppressing the public making them vulnerable.
The camera angle used here and the labelling of 'Budget' could suggest that if effects everyone or will affect everyone's day to day life. By presenting it this way it creates fear for the public and therefore they want to learn more about this subject and what exactly is going to happen when the budget is announced.

Lastly bias through the naming and the captions is used to describe a person in a certain way that you want the audience to see them and possibly make a judgement on them just through what they do for a living and what the news has labelled them as.(2) For example the news may call someone a 'Terrorist' and some may call them 'Freedom Fighters' it all depends on the perspective and the motive behind the news stations and how they want to present a certain subject, how they name/label the subject is a crucial factor. Bias through the use of language and phrasing on a certain topic, can show an opinion on the subject by using emotive language on an issue, seeing the presenters opinion of right and wrong. Here are examples of both bias's:

An example here is 'AFGAN VIOLENCE' this is just what the news has labelled it has which shows an opinion/motive of what they believe is happening. Some news channels might call it the 'Afghan Revolution' it all depends on the perspective
of the news channel and what their perspective is and how they have been told to present it to the audiences

Here we see the news describing the London Riots, the phrase 'Skirmishes' is very elevated for the news to use and for the
public to understand, this could be used to emphasis how serious the riots were and how serious the situation is. Additionally
'youths' when the public hear the term 'youths' some may argue there is already bad thoughts about it, this is emphasising that and making out the youths to be anti-social and destructive, this is where we see the opinions and views of a news broadcast and how they present that to their viewers and pass on that opinion to make the audience think a certain way.

Politics is a big subject not only on the news but in society and the news channels play a big part is trying to not show a certain side of what party they support, however we can tell by the amount of air time a politician gets from a  certain party and also how the news channels talk about their policies and compare them to other party policies. For example here they are talking about the prime minister from the conservative party the use of the phrase 'Welfare shake-up' doesn't necessarily have positive connotations and therefore develop a view point the audience will carry and make the audience possibly
reconsider who they are voting for. Where as if they were speaking positively and called it 'Welfare Revolution' or 'Welfare changes' something neutral even, then it would not be placing an agenda on the audience members.    

The phrasing here of 'crisis' is in place possible to make the public fear and therefore they will be more interested in listening because they want to know more information of what's going on and to understand the fear they are being presented with. It is in place to make the audience feel a certain way it could be every time the euro comes up it is a 'crisis' and that could not necessarily be the case.


1 comment:

  1. Alana,

    There is some really well-found information here and it is evident you understand the construction and possible manipulation of the news. Your written English skills are something you need to work on (they are be no means bad but you do make a fair few errors in yours posts) but the points made are strong.

    You are missing the section on starting sequences and you need to analyse a starting sequence (think sound, graphics, visuals, colour scheme, etc).

    You also need to add far more clips and images throughout the first 2/3rds of the post to back-up points made.

    Finally, add sources. You have researched relevant information but you haven't credited it - this must be done.