This week as you are reading in your text about the news I’d like you to watch a 1/2 hour local newscast, a 1/2 hour national newscast, and a 1/2 hour of cable news. That’s a total of 90 min of news. I’d like you to analyze the newscast.
Please give the name of each newscast, channel, time and date you watched.
Then proceed to answer each of the following questions about each newscast.
1. Was there a bias or opinion in the reporting or was it strictly factual? Explain and give specific examples.
2. Were there obvious questions a viewer might have about a story that went unanswered.
3. Were any stories sensationalized (media hype)?
4. Did you see any examples of fear tactics being used to entice viewership or scare the viewer unnecessarily? Meaning the information is not necessarily factual. Think back to the article you read called”The Media Scares Us and We Like It.”
5. What newscast did you enjoy most (local, national, or cable)
Just in case you need help knowing the difference local news is something like NBC 7 San Diego. National news is like CBS World News Tonight. Cable news would include FOX, MSNBC, CNN etc…
When it comes to news, if it isn’t “breaking news” that is being reported you can fairly sure the coverage began with some kind of press release. Public relations (PR) firms or specialists are often behind these press releases. A well written press release will catch the eye of an Assignment Editor or News Producer and they in turn decide whether or not to “cover” the event, product, etc…
This week I would like you to either watch a local newscast or read a local news paper and look for stories that you think may have originated from a public relations source.
1. Share the name of the story and tell us what it was about.
2. Share the news source you used.
3. Share why you think the story originated from a public relations firm or press release. Details please.
It is important to read this week’s assigned chapter before answering the DB. It will help tremendously.