“Our Top Story”: Analysis Of News Conventions In The Nbc Nightly News

3537 words - 14 pages

News broadcasts have been a staple in the lives of many long before the invention of the television. As technology changed, the place of the newscaster shifted from the radio to the television screen. These earliest years of television news did not adhere to the same conventions as the modern newscast. Moving from radio to television as the major source of broadcast news brought on new challenges. In order to do so, networks were forced to experiment with how stories and new anchors would be presented to their television audiences (Conway, 2007). Newscasters who were once popular among audiences could no longer be certain that this popularity would remain. Audiences who had once been captivated by the voice of an unseen man being transmitted over the airwaves were beginning to lose interest watching a man, eyes down, reading prepared lines from a card (Conway, 2007). It became apparent that the format so often used for radio newscast would no longer be sufficient when applies to a visual medium like television. As years went by, television networks began trying new ways to captivate their audiences once more. In this early period of news broadcasting many of today’s familiar conventions would be developed often times through experimentation. The use of graphics, video footage, images and other visual aids to the anchor on set were all developed in some of the earliest years of television news (Conway, 2007). These developments could then be employed as supplementary additions to the anchors delivery of the news and give the audience something more to view on their screen. The use of visual aids allowed for newscasts to features instances “where the newscaster appeared on camera, other times his voice guided the viewer through the visuals of the selected story” (Conway, 2007). As modern times approached the technology and resources available would become more sophisticated, but the visual structure of the newscast would carry on with this tradition.
The NBC Nightly News displays a natural progression of conventions formed from the early years of televised new broadcasting. The broadcasts operate within classic conventions indicative of the newscast while relying on more modern technologies to supplements stories. Much like older news broadcasts, the anchor Brian Williams delivers news by both engaging directly with the camera as well as providing narration over graphics and video footage for the nights’ stories. The NBC Nightly News features multiple news correspondents providing information to viewers. Their style of dress expresses professionalism to the viewer. Although the news appears objective and trustworthy, it is not without its biases in regards the hard issues they deliver to the people of America each night. These concepts situate NBC’s news broadcasts in line with the traditional conventions of the genre. It is only set apart from these older broadcasts because of innovations in technology that can be seen in the...

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