Television News

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Choose 1 form of television news — national network evening news, cable news, or local news — and watch a half hour of it. (It should be a form of TV news that you think is important.) Then, in a short essay of 500-700 words, do the following:

  • Describe which form of television news you watched. Include details about which network you watched and how you watched it (on a specific channel when it was shown, or online). *Note: If you watch online, you should try to watch a half-hour segment as it would have been televised, so you will probably want to go through the network’s own website rather than, say, choosing a series of individual clips on the network’s YouTube channel.
  • List, summarize, and categorize the news stories that were covered, using the categories provided on p. 4 and p. 6 in the 2010 Lear Center report (from last week’s readings) or any additional categories you encounter.
  • Briefly explain what, if anything, you learned from each story. What new information did you gain? Or, what new understanding or explanation of information you already knew did you gain?
  • Explain why this specific form of television news is important to the future of television news, in your view, and in what ways it should look different in the near future, if any. For example, are there kinds of stories that should get more coverage, or less coverage? Or, are there ways in which stories should be covered, or should not be covered? Be sure to identify what kinds of changes you would like to see — industrial (the TV news industry), economic (such as the reliance on advertising), technological (such the ways in which you can access and consume the news), cultural, political, and/or other (be sure to identify what that would be) — and what it would take for those changes could occur.

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