Variety in Television News

Of the various television programmes that you see today, the news would arguably stand lower in terms of entertainment value. But Television is an audiovisual medium and making the programmes entertaining would be the key to its success. Over the years various methodologies have been tried by programme producers to keep news entertaining even as the serious message is conveyed to the audience.

What started off with serious looking anchors soon changed to glamourous anchors presenting news.  Instead of one news reader, two were tried.  Sometimes even 3 or 4 with specific segments being presented by different anchors such as those for weather, sports, business etc.

And the innovation in news formats continues even today. STD GFX, STD VO, Package etc are some of the formats that have been discussed in the free lessons.  An in-depth study of these formats is available in our ebook.

While some formats are used only to add variety to the news item, others are used as they are presumably one of the preferred methods of telling the particular news story. Further, existing pure formats have given way to combining more than one to give a new feel.

The use of on-screen graphics is another area of innovation. A news scroll is a common feature in most channels.  But some channels have decided to over-convey the news they have gathered.  Besides the scroll, there are top bands, bottom bands, full-frame graphics etc.  When and how it is to be used has also evolved over the years. Of course one cannot blame a newbie who would be flummoxed with so many different types of texts on the same subject for a news story. To say the least for such a person creating these could be a daunting task.  For some viewers, such increased amount of text on screen takes away the audiovisual feel of TV. So it does push us back to the same argument about news content vs entertainment value.

I strongly feel that though content is king, how you present it would decide the number of viewers a particular programme is able to attract.