Here are some points that we use in class to point out the good and bad in TV News stories:
Rules for the TV News Consumer
- Excellent reporting seeks out all points of view
- Excellent editing of natural sound and non-staged video serves clarity
- Excellent reporters seek independent verification
- First hand sources and direct evidence help you seek the truth
- Social media is only one source of information
- Context is essential to developing a comprehensive understanding.
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! Introduced music and sound effects are a warning sign
Be Aware of the Sinners
- Be aware of the stories that show and refer to only one point of view
- Be aware of hype - language and or production techniques that can manipulate your emotions
- Be aware of stories that have little or no independent reporting
- Be aware of stories with only one eye witness; no sourcing
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! Will the questions push a source to one answer?
To Get The Most From TV News
- Be active, not passive: Keep your brain engaged
- Supplement TV news with web, radio and print news.
- Understand TV’s limitations, rely on its strengths.
Lastly, when evaluating TV news, think about these questions, which are unique to TV News
- Are you being manipulated by video, audio or production techniques?
- Skilled video editors say “Ears don’t blink” and they use sound to tell their story as much as the visuals. Pay attention to sound, particularly music. How does it change your perception of the story? Is it natural to the scene or has anything been added, especially music.
- If this isn’t a story best-suited to TV, should you look for more reporting online?