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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS062167)

Change of Style and Contents of TV News from Moving Image Analysis and an Audience Survey
No.62, p.167-192
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Purpose: Television news plays a central role in the news media. Although there is a marked tendency to portray news more entertainingly and sensationally which is sometimes criticized, there have been no empirical surveys on the tendency of TV news so far. Therefore, the authors conducted moving image analysis and an audience survey to verify the rate of increase of soft news, and the degree to which excessive decoration is introduced into news.

Methods: One hundred news programs that had been broadcast in June 2008 were recorded. These programs consisted of 1,697 news stories provided by NHK and five broadcasting stations in Japan. The news stories were categorized by news category, theme of news, type of news, newscaster, form of interview, sound effects, moving image effects, and the use of telops. The user survey was conducted to study opinions on TV news from the audience.

Results: From the categorization and analysis of features of news stories, it was found that (1) daily news occupies the majority, (2) violent news accounted for 42.8%, (3) the share of soft news was 37.2%, (4) most news programs used the reporting style in which the main newscaster and a subcaster read news stories, (5) background music was used in 48.5% of news stories, (6) telops were used in many news stories, (7) telops were used to visualize utterances as strings of characters, (8) character size, font, and color of telops were frequently switched. The use of sound effects, moving image effects, and telops has increased compared with the preceding study (1997). Introducing excessive decoration into news has increased whereas the ratio of soft news has decreased in the last ten years. The survey respondents had been watching TV news daily, and were satisfied with it. However, since critical opinions were frequently written in the questionnaire, it is conjectured that viewers are potentially discontent with TV news.

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