News Values. A Level Media. Reality in the news. How realistic is the news? Can you think of any way that the news may be constructed? What is the role of the newsreader?. Reality in News.
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News Values A Level Media
Reality in the news • How realistic is the news? • Can you think of any way that the news may be constructed? • What is the role of the newsreader?
Reality in News • News programmes which feature high in the ratings, appear to be the ‘most real’ and least mediated programmes on TV. • In Britain and America the news on TV is widely seen as more reliable than any other source of news (esp BBC). • We expect an impartial and balanced summary of significant events. • BUT, presenting, writing and documenting news is a selective and partial process. • It uses specific media language and narrative reflecting the perspective and bias of the creator. • This can influence the audience’s perception of the events portrayed.
Reality in News John Fiske • “News, of course, can never give a full, accurate objective picture of reality nor should it attempt to for such an enterprise can only serve to...decrease people’s opportunity to argue with it, to negotiate with it.”
The Newsreader • Presented as a ‘neutral’ observer. • Appears to speak “the objective discourse of the truth.” (Fiske) • Sitting behind a desk reduces their body language. • Yet, we ARE directed by the newsreader. • Our gaze follows their gaze. • Everything seen seems to support what the newsreader says. • Although the content may be far from reassuring, their manner is always friendly, reliable and reassuring. • The ‘tail piece’ offers a happy ending.
Reporting of events • Few events are directly observed by reporters – most stories are repackaged from secondary sources. • News agencies, press conferences, spokespeople may have biases. • News often report what prominent people say about events, rather than the events themselves. • ‘Experts’ and special correspondents are used to comment on events (purely stylistic feature). • Library footage serves to ‘authenticate’ stories. • Live TV – gives a sense of ‘nowness’ but tends to disguise the constructedness of news.
Structure and Narrative • News programmes tell stories. • There are principal and minor characters, connected sequences, heroes and villains and a beginning, middle and end. • Fiske argues... • “the basic structure of a TV news story follows Todorov’s outline of narrative structure..”
News Values • It is often argued that news has an agenda setting function. • By what is omitted as well as what’s included, newsmakers may influence what we think is important. • News is selective. • Often focuses on issues of cultural concern – Madeline McCann...poor parenting...paedophilia...medical malpractice...mistrust of foreigners.
In the news today... Homework! • Watch an episode of the news this week. • Write an analysis of the programme based on Dutton’s news values.