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September 27, 2005

Media Analysis

For my in-depth article I decided to revise my media analysis in accordance to the tips Dr. Jerz gave me when he graded it. He wanted me to use specific examples to back up my claims. I have also added a few ideas that I have thought of since I originally wrote it.

In different kinds of media, you find different kinds of stories. The stories that are covered in a newspaper are not always covered on TV, or even on the internet. And how the stories are covered, can also be very different. A story on TV usually includes much more visual kinds of coverage, and for some stories this coverage might be even more effective, than the same story covered in a newspaper. This might be because you can often get the information from the television more quickly and with less activity on the audiencesí part (which is perhaps why so many people prefer to watch TV then read the newspaper). And it might also be because the life-like, animated visuals are particularly helpful in seeing the true impact of a story. A good example of this is the Hurricane Katrina coverage on WTAE-Pittsburg Chanel 4 news on August 30th. Three fourths of the hour-long news broadcast that night was footage of hurricane damage and interviews with people who had lost close to everything, including their homes and even family members. The devastation that swept Louisiana and the surrounding area made for an emotional effect that would keep viewers hooked.

A newspaper just cannot give you this sort of visual coverage. They do provide pictures, but there is only so much room to do so. But, television news is also somewhat limited by this need for visual appeal. TV news is also limited by the time factor. They can only pick stories that they feel have the most relevance of all the stories they are capable of covering. They are the gate-keepers that have to decide what people are going to be interested in, so that they can decide what to put on the news. A news broadcast which is an hour-long simply canít cover more than what can be fit into a hour. And unlike a newspaper, or the internet, the TV news has to try to keep the viewerís attention constantly if they want them to continue watching for the duration of the program. No one can flip through and decide which stories they want to hear about like they can in a newspaper. (Well, at least not yet.)

The newspaper has more room to maneuver when it comes to choosing which stories to cover. The newspaper can cover a broader spectrum of stories and have more flexibility. Relevance is still important, because capturing the interest of readers is just as important in newspapers as it is on TV. But in edition to events, a newspaper can have other things of interest, like editorials, or letters and other feedback from readers that TV news doesnít usually have. Also, newspapers can be more local and therefore appeal more to people in the area. They even give information about upcoming events to let readers know when something they might be interested in will occur. The Tribune-Review has an entertainment section entitled "Ticket" that is dedicated to informing readers about movie times, concerts showing in the local area, and exhibits that will be opening soon. The television rarely does this because they can't show many visuals on something that hasn't happened yet.

Online news is also different in what it can cover. Timeliness is of extreme importance because the internet is much more instantaneous than both the TV and newspapers. People who read news online want the most up-to-date stories and the most up-to-date information on big ongoing stories. So once again, online news can cover more topics than an-hour long broadcast of TV news, but they canít usually cover as much as a newspaper, because they constantly have to worry about updating and replacing stories.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at September 27, 2005 10:54 PM

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