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Media Analysis/Comparison

In a media comparison done August 30, 2005 I examined a news story that appeared in print as well as online and on television. The newspaper that I used in this study was the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the website and television station which I viewed were both produced by WTAE channel 4, an ABC affiliate. I think the biggest difference between each of these forms of news media was the methods that each of them employed in order to present the same information.

Though the newspaper is one of the oldest forms of news communication and in comparison to the television and the internet it almost feels outdated and seemingly obsolete. Examining the same story in three different areas of journalism was very interesting. I found that the most appealing to my tastes was indeed the television broadcast. This surprised me considering I pride myself on being someone who ‘lives in the age of technology’ and the online version would seemingly have been my preferred media.

One very obvious difference between these presentations of the same information came in the use of brevity and timeliness. The television broadcast is limited on the amount of on air time that they are allowed and for this reason they’re use of timeliness is very good (WTAE Pittsburgh). Only the most interesting and life altering of the stories seemed to actually make it on the air where as the less trivial and less humanistic ones were left to the website to be viewed at leisure by those surfing the net.

On the WTAE broadcast there was a story regarding local politics and that is something important that can affect the lives of everyone in the Pittsburgh area. Therefore it was deemed newsworthy. This is a time where some peoples only source of information is the television and for this reason it is important to showcase stories that really matter. There appears to be a need to only broadcast the ‘real’ news not just flowery pieces on gardening and baking.

The same way that the newscast implicated timeliness effectively can also be said about the news station website’s use of brevity. All of the headlines on the internet site are bolded blurbs. This makes it easier to choose what story you are going to read and I think this comes from the idea of headlines which was originated through print media.

The website and the television also offered a different type of visual appeal through audio video technology. Obviously the broadcast was visual but the online website provided news clips regarding current stories. The newspaper sadly only used photographs in select areas of coverage. I suppose the general rule of thumb is that the use of visual effects is very attractive and helps to facilitate viewer and reader interest depending on the media format.

In regard to the idea of proportionality I noticed it particularly in a story regarding a cocaine drug lord that was recently found guilty of trafficking narcotics in the Pittsburgh area (The Pittsburgh Channel). The article gave both his and the prosecutor’s versions of the story and quoted both parties equally with one quote from each side. Even though the article could have been slanted by the fact that the man was already convicted the author still included the defense’s statement which took away from the possibly condemning stance that can be presented in such a one sided article. Overall I think that the biggest difference between these three forms of media/news is the presentation and appeal which they try to present to the audience.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 1, 2005 12:11 AM.

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