On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, WTAE's five o'clock news (till five thirty) consisted of several different news segments. The first category was the news being reported from the studio which was only 13 minutes. The second category was from the reporters in the field which resulted in nine minutes of coverage. Lastly, eight minutes consisted of commercials. This goes to show a viewer that a half an hour of news is really not a half an hour. I always knew that there were a lot of commercials, but eight minutes is almost as much as the time the reporters in the field were given.
On Thursday, August 27, 2009, I watched WTAE's five o'clock news again to determine if I would get similar or mixed results. The time of news from the studio was 16 minutes. The time from the reporters in the field was six minutes. Finally, the rest of the time consisting of commercials was eight minutes.
After comparing two days of news from WTAE, I decided that the news companies want to lure their viewers in because they want them to watch the commercials and hopefully that will result in them buying something that they would have not before. The news companies hope for this because the commercials help pay for the broadcasting of the news.
So, is the news business a money making process or is it designed to only provide information to the general public?
The second prompt for this text assignment was the comparison of WTAE’s news reporter and a journalist. After reviewing the details of both jobs, I discovered that they were both similar because of what they demanded. A journalist seems to require skills that a teacher would have and the WTAE reporter must have these skills, but also have flexible time and work schedules. The requirement of being available for almost anytime of the day is very demanding for a news reporter because if you want to go somewhere and an event occurs, then you must go to work instead. I guess we must take strides in the demands of life, but a news reporter does not have an easy job. I must say the same for a journalist because they, too, have to be on-demand and ready for work and the interaction of people.
I want to leave you with a question of how do the job descriptions of a news anchor, news reporter, and journalist differ? Is there a bias put on these job descriptions because of how demanding the news field really is?
Click here for the course web page devoted to Broadcast Journalism.