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Why study the news?
TV News reports genre, codes,
conventions, style & language.
WHY STUDY THE NEWS?
Window to world: Provides us with our view of
reality? Window blurred by technology, ideology,
political/economic pressures, time & regulation?
Entertainment: Is it entertaining and should it be?
Bias, narrative, characters & performance…
Increased choice: Access to lots of types and
sources of news. BBC1, BBC3, Channel 4, Twitter,
Al Jazeera and even citizen journalism. However we
watch it less and less…
NEWS GENRE: Style and Form
Just as any genre such as horror or soap operas
news is understood by audiences, as it contains a
repertoire of familiar elements.
TV news programmes obviously have their own
sets of codes and conventions and create their
own variants of these by repetition but difference.
By using this repertoire of elements sub genres
such as current affairs & news bulletins exist.
NEWS GENRE: Style and Form
You need to be able to analyse, contrast and
compare 2 different news programmes and to
do this you will need to understand the codes,
conventions and stylistics of TV news.
We are going to start off looking at TV news
reports and packages and then move onto the
whole news programmes including news
anchors, grammar use of the news studios and
sets as well as titles and graphics.
NEWS PACKAGE CLIP:
Look at the lead story on BBC1’s News at 10
from Tuesday 20th September and consider all
of the techniques employed in this one news
story and the package used to cover it.
We will use it to demonstrate how news
packages language, codes, conventions and
stylistics work to tell you the story.
NEWS REPORTS: Language 1
News package: A single news feature linked to from
the TV studio. These are pre-recorded and edited
Outside broadcast (OB): Live feed to a field reporter
at the location of the story. Gives appearance of
capturing news as it happens.
Piece to camera (PTC): Reporter addresses the
audience straight down the lens. Could be in a live
feed or part of news package.
NEWS REPORTS: Language 2
Voice Over (VO): Reporters voice tells us the story
and the facts with GV’s as wallpaper.
General Views (GV’s): Shots used to illustrate a
story. Visuals important in TV.
Interviews: Interviews with key people involved or
experts about the story.
Vox Pops: Short interviews canvassing the opinion of
the public. Voice of the people.
NEWS REPORTS: Language 3
Astons: Graphics in the bottom third of the screen
that give the name and title of the interviewees or
reporters. Adds kudos to them if experts or special
Royal Correspondents etc.
Graphics: Displayed on screen to give facts and
figures about a story or graphical representation .
Re-enactments: Sometimes used to show what
happened in a situation if no footage exists. Must
always state they are re-enactments and not real.
NEWS REPORTS: Language 4
Links to studio: Field reporters on location link back
to the studio and the news anchor often signing off
with their name and location.
Library footage: Archive footage used as GV’s for a
story when no other footage is available. This may
from own archives or news agency.
Idents: Brand is important in TV news and the idents
of the news programme are important in a multi
channel, multi-platform age.
NEWS PACKAGE CLIP:
Look again at the lead story on BBC1’s News at
10 from Tuesday 20th September.
Fill in your worksheets considering all of the
techniques used in the story and giving an
example of every one from the clip.
It will demonstrate your understanding of news
Packages and the language, codes, conventions
and stylistics used.
NEWS PACKAGE CLIP:
Look at the story from Anglia News about the
school losing it’s bus service.
How does it use language, codes, conventions
Compare this to the BBC1 news story and the
techniques it employed.
NEWS PROGRAMMES: GENRE 1
Studio presenter/s: Often called news anchors they host
the show reading or introducing the stories and doing
interviews and provide the spine of the show.
The studio set: Will usually have a table or desk and seats
or a sofa.
The studio background: This is likely to have images or
graphics on it connected to the stories. Some show a
busy newsroom to stress the urgency of the news. mainly
bold colours but predominantly blue though.
NEWS PROGRAMMES: GENRE 2
Direct address to camera: The most privileged shot in film
& TV looking straight at the audience and adressing them.
Makes the audience connect to them.
Outside broadcasts: TV crews and reporters at the scene
of the story. Gives impression of being ideally placed for
story developments as the news happens.
Interviews: This includes IV’s in packages but also the
anchors may IV their own experts or people making the
news in the studio or worldwide.
NEWS PROGRAMMES: GENRE 3
Captions: As mentioned in news packages captions and
astons are likely to be used to state the name and title of
interviewees, journalists & experts for kudos
Graphics: Used to add clarity to news stories. Give facts,
figures and statistics to highlight the main points. Can be
inventive and play on story imagery.
Formal codes of dress: BBC1 & ITV are very formal with
shirts and ties for the gents to reinforce the importance
and seriousness of the news.
NEWS: BRAND IDENTITY
As we have mentioned different news programmes aim
at different audiences by playing with news codes and
conventions to create their own brand identity. When
Channel 5 news started it did this by the following.
The pretty, youthful, blonde presenter Kirsty Young.
News presenters perching on front of desk.
News presenters walking around the studio.
More vibrant use of graphics, music and editing.
A more informal mode of address
A more tabloid news agenda
NEWS GENRE CLIP:
Look at ITV’s News at 10 and also BBC1’s
Newsround and compare how whilst both being
news programmes they are different.
Fill in your worksheets considering the different
use of generic codes and conventions and how
they have reinterpreted these to create their
own brand identities.
NEWS: Modes of address
This is the style of delivery of presenters and reporters.
It sets the mood and tone and is usually authoritative.
Direct address straight at viewers down the camera
Use personal pronouns: Thank you for watching etc.
Very clear smooth, fluent and articulate diction.
Any accents on national news small. Huw Edwards.
Straight on MCU for news presenters.
Title sequences capture fast moving pace of news and
national/international. Music adds importance.
News presenters announce top stories at the start.
High angle LS of studio at start to emphasis size.
Interviewees generally look off camera to reporters.
NEWS: Grammar of TV News
Due to time constraints TV news has developed its own
linguistic conventions. Soundbites reign supreme.
The use of present tense creates sense of urgency.
Future tense often used as means to prediction when pre-
empting what the news may be.
Active voices to add drama. Emphasis and pauses.
The hook. Main news element at start of stories.
Verbs (doing words) to add urgency and action.
Audiences “teed up” for information. Before quotes given
persons name is announced.
Stories must be concise, one sentence = one idea.
NEWS GENRE CLIP:
Look again at ITV’s News at 10 and also BBC1’s
Newsround and compare how they have both
used the grammar of TV news.
Try to find examples of all of the techniques we
have talked about from the sequences from the
two news programmes.