Codes (rule-of-thirds), and whether or not the

Codes and Conventions of News Programmes BBC NewsThe news can be centred around a number of topics and themes with the general idea of it being that it is designed to be mixture of entertaining, intriguing and informative. “The News” is a collective umbrella term for a compilation of stories referred to as packages. There are similar styles of news packages from a plethora of news outlets (Channel Five, Channel 4, BBC, ITV News, to name a few); but they have common themes. The first news distributor/broadcaster I’ll focus on is BBC News. BBC itself has many forms of news outlets from a website to multiple radio shows, but for now I’ll focus on the TV news. The entirety of the news show consists of multiple news packages, around ten give or take two due to duration and content type, that range from one minute to ten minutes in duration. The content itself focuses on sport, local news, news from around the world, pop culture, weather, etc.To achieve everything within a news show there are a lot of factors and jobs that need to be studied and carried out. Just one of those aspects is the technical side; to get the footage for a lot of the segments directors/reporters must consider things like what type of shots they need. The type of shots BBC new tends to use are wide angle, pan shots, establishing shots, close-ups, timelapse etc for regular news packages. Establishing shotHowever for interviews they usually use low/high angled views and over-the-shoulder shots. They must also consider the sizing of their shots, is all the imagery a consistent size? (rule-of-thirds), and whether or not the sound matches the on screen visual. Times when the audio is present without an onscreen visual is during “OOVS”, this is when the reporter will narrate what is happening in the shot but instead of the camera being focused on them, the audience will see on screen graphics and/or footage of the subject at hand.Graphics shown with a segment plus presenterThis is to make the story more vivid and clear. During a segment that relies heavily on OOVS, this is when on screen captions for the audience are usually available by BBC news themselves or by the viewers local TV broadcaster, and the transcripts for the presenter are displayed on the prompter.Symbolic issues within the visuals of the news are also a key feature. Things such as dress code are incredibly important as it must remain as a combination of stylish as well as appropriate. For example neutral coloured suits for men are usually worn and neutral with a few bursts of colour pant suits/dresses are usually worn by women. This is done so that the presenters remain respectful and intelligent looking when presenting the news. They are essentially a public figure therefore it would ill-advised/disrespectful to appear formally on national television wearing a tshirt and jeans.Style exampleBesides fashion however, some presenters take on multiple jobs. Some presenters are responsible for sourcing multiple stories that are included within the overall news. They make take on the role of two presenters should their co-host be absent.A popular style of news reporting that is common with all news companies is on-location reports. This is when the reporter will report live/pre-recorded from the location of the story to the studio. When it’s live it allows the viewers and those in the studio to acquire real-time information and stay the most up to date. It is also a good way to get public reactions/opinions on the matter either by showing them what is going on or by directly asking someone who was involved in the subject directly. The importance of a direct opinion from a member of the public or an expert on the subject is that it allows for a more detailed and/or accurate news report; essentia for a news company. Location reporting is also a good way to set up the atmosphere of the situation and work as an appropriate back-drop to the topic at hand. For example BBC news often meets or takes the people they’re interviewing to the location of the subject as its more effective and makes for an even more interesting segment if the interviewee is addressed at the place of the subject.The way in which the audience and interviewee is addressed is also imperative to upholding BBC standards. BBC tends to interview influential people or those with a lot of merit within their field, and then only use “family-friendly” public opinions. This is because the main distributor of news within the UK and they have retained a level of integrity and actuality within their reporting and news presentation.London Mayor and cameras/interviewer in the back of shotThis level of integrity is not only maintained by filtering and monitoring what type of content they present but also in how they present it. The tone and pacing is important to all presenters as it can change how well the audience hears and understands/perceives you; for light-hearted stories, BBC presenters tend to deliver the story at a casual pace and with a smile; however when stories of tragedy and devastation are spoken of they tend to keep a calm expression and speak slower so the audience can hear and feel the gravity of the situation. Overall the serious attitude the BBC has for itself and its audience is what keeps it as one of the top news programmes within the UK. Its established itself as reliable and trustworthy.However they are not the only UK news show to present themselves with journalistic integrity. Channel 4 is another national news presenter that has a range of interesting and up to date news segments. There are however clear distinctions between how both news shows present. Channel 4 tends to have similar stories but they are presented in a more hands-on and depending on the subject, cheerful interactive manner. They actively encourage all generations to input of news stories and they tend to focus on more social news.Once again in terms of technicality, they tend to have similar shots but Channel 4 tends to use more establishing shots, OOVS and for interviews eye-level/objective views. By using these type of angles the presenter can put out a vibe of being social and more personally interactive with the viewer.Friendly laid-back posture is shown during a more casual segmentAnother matter that appears to be consistent throughout all news shows is package duration time and the styles of such. One to ten minutes seems to be minimum and maximum of package time again. This could be so they can neatly fit a variety of stories into tone news show but also so it stays interesting and straight to the point for the viewers.In terms of dress code, whilst it still maintains the common trait of being formal, it is a little bit more relaxed and experiential. The styles continue to remain very specific to each gender though.Style News readers themselves, much like BBC switch terminology, tone and pace depending on the subject and who their audience is/are. For example duringinterviews of a serious nature Channel 4 tends to show establishing shots and justthe interviewee instead of a cut back and forth between the interviewer/presenter andinterviewee. On location interviews are also another feature Channel 4 has in common withonly BBC news but nearly all other major news shows.News shows tend to cover the same stories but in varying ways. This is so they can stay on trend with public news and ensure viewers are well informed on all sides of an argument/topic.Friendly/social style interviewThe last news package I will look at is for a short segment. Specifically a 60 second news show. Before BBC Three moved strictly to online streaming, they had 60 second package that would run through three to four stories in one go; it was more of a bitesize news package then a full one as due to the time restraints a lot of details were omitted. Any additional information or just what couldn’t be read in time by the presenter was ran along the bottom of the screen for entirety of its showing. This was good because they could add more details to stories and/or update the viewer/listener on channel changes without focusing too much on it.The presenter similar to the other reporters dressed formerly even though the news came on later and had shorter air time. This further shows that majority of news shows like to uphold a standard for the public and keep their interaction formal and smart rather than relaxed.Majority of the footage used for this segment was either snippets of main stories from other channels and/or B – Roll footage. Due to this the presenters and those who worked on this segment rarely if at all had to leave the studio to acquire footage. This does also mean camera angles were predetermined (nothing live) and the only technical issues to worry about were whether or not the segment aired correctly and on time.In conclusion, despite the variety of topics and individual ideas, nearly all news production teams and companies follow the same plan and general flow; they wear formal attire in addition to addressing the viewers calmly and formally every time the segment is aired to keep up a consistent narrative/image of their establishment. They keep details short, unless its a major story, and coherent to make sure the viewer has the full story. Without news teams/presenters working so well to provide the public with information about everything from world news, celebrity news and sports, nearly every nation would be left to their own resources.


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