Monday, February 25, 2013

You're the producer of a brand new television newscast. How would YOU set it up?

Postman talks about how newscasters have to be slim and attractive to be viewed as being credible. He also says, "As a producer of a television news show, you would be well aware of these matters and would be careful to choose your cast on the basis of criteria used by David Merrick and other successful impresarios. Like them, you would then turn your attention to staging the show on principles that maximize entertainment value." then Postman continues to write about the importance of music in our media with catchy themes to draw our attention to the screens. These are all aspects of shows that we've viewed as successful, but they are also aspects of the media that (some of us) have disagreed with.

I'm going to open this up to you as the reader to agree or disagree with Postman is suggesting. If YOU were the producer for a TV show or news program, would you follow the suggestions he presents? would you have attractive celebrity-tailored news cast and promote them as being famous? Would you have overly sexual masculine and feminine reporters? Would you spend more then fourty-five seconds reporting an article? Would you have a catchy theme?

8 comments:

  1. I think I would do EXACTLY what Postman is suggesting. The attractive news cast, catchy theme songs, and short stories are what we've come to expect when we turn on the news. They are there because that's what we wanted at some point and we have now gotten used to being entertained first and informed second. I might make the stories a little longer, but not too much because people just want the basics and often that is all they have time for. If I wanted my TV show to be successful, I would follow the status quo.

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  2. I agree with Kaleah. The purpose of having a television newscast is for people to watch it. The only way people will watch it is by doing the things Postman talks about. People like to see attractive newscasters and they do not want to think about one subject for more than 45 seconds of course.

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  3. I think that there is a lot of truth in what Postman is describing, and some people don't agree that it's the best method to present the news, but I don't think that it can be changed significantly and still expect to be successful. I think that each medium is different, and with television stories have to be shorter and more visually appealing because that is what that particular audience not only expects but wants.

    I would try to feature a more in-depth piece among shorter stories, or follow up on something if it is newsworthy and there are new updates from an earlier broadcast. I think that people on television need to be relatable for an audience, and at least seem trustworthy and as though they care about what they are discussing, or no one will want to watch or hear. I think that reporters need to look nice, and professional. They need to be attractive enough to catch the attention of the audience, but not so much that no one pays attention to what news they are talking about because the focus is soley on what they are wearing or how their hair looks. The job should go to the most qualified journalist, not the most beautiful. I also feel that a catchy theme could make you stand out, and viewers would be able to know that the show they want to watch is on because of it.

    I think people need to realize that television is not the only news outlet, but if done appropriately a viewer should be able to connect with the people, music and other aesthetics of a station for successful news.

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  4. Like Melanie, I don' t know if the question is as much "would you" than it is "could you do anything else?" Though I agree that a news show should not be structured this way and I would rather not set up my own in the same fashion, it would be difficult to create a successful show without filling the mold of the times. Viewers are used to a specific type of show, and if they don't get it, they are likely to automatically see the unusual one as badly put together instead of just utilizing a different set up.

    If I were not limited to these restrictions, I would like to play with using a different musical theme each show, one that matches the types of stories being covered that day. I think it would really shed some light on whether the theme gets viewers because it is catchy and recognizable, or because it meshes well with the program. In addition, it would add to the broadcast rather than distract from it. I would also cover less stories so that I could make each one longer. Despite all of these things, however, I think the most important thing I would change would be to hire anyone who was most qualified for the job. Appearance would not be an issue, as long as the candidate agreed to dress nicely for the broadcast.

    As I said before, I don't know that structuring a news show this way would be effective, but in an ideal world, this is how I would run one.

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  5. I agree with Tierney and Kaleah. I would probably run my news station the same way they're run today. I would make a few changes to the story process though and make the story segments a little longer. It is horrible that though that things depend so much on someones appearances to sell a story or a news stations appeal.

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  6. I seem to agree with the majority here. If I wanted to be a financially successful news producer, then I would have to play upon the themes that Postman highlights, themes that are often problematic. And I think this says a lot about how culture. We seem to always make money the first priority. The need for money trumps the social issues. I wish Postman would acknowledge the fact that news is fragmented because of the business model of television. Instead he just laments about television's problems.

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  7. Well I would definitely try and have a theme. But it's hard for the news stations - because in a way they are trying to appeal to the mass public. Without the public there wouldn't be any ratings and the show would be cancelled or taken over by someone else. In society we want news that's entertaining and not sad or boring. As hard as this is for me to say this - we want people who "fit" this criteria. Would you rather here the news from an old monotone man or woman- or from an upbeat attractive man or woman. It sucks to write that but the public will want the later. If I owned my own station I would hire based on personality and passion. I would stray away from those who are more interested in the persona of being a newscaster and look for those more obsessed with giving the news.

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  8. If money and ratings were not an issue, I would strive to do my best to create a program that rid itself of all of the major network tropes meant to pull in viewers. Serious discussions about topics that matter, intelligent hosts, and little to no flash would be on my to do list.

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