NBC Nightly News: Final Presentation


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  • In our research into the nature of the NBC coverage generally, we have essentially re-discovered and validated many of the systematic functioning issues that are common criticisms in media studies. Today, we want to give you a good idea of the function NBC Nightly News serves for the public, where we believe it falls short, and we will offer some theories as to why the network, and the Nightly News segment in particular, possesses these failings.
  • - Appeals to an older audience: As a non-cable network news network it holds a different position from CNN, for example, in terms of their goals and their intended demographic 2nd oldest viewership after CBS Primetime slot: NBC is up against ABC and CBS’s nightly news programs on their local affiliate channels within this timeslotRatings:#1 for 77 consecutive weeks as of March 6, 2011Although in the past 30 years there has been a steady decline in evening news viewing but of the major networks NBC has faired the best (stateofthemedia.org) W/in Parent Network:NBC Nightly News is the (MS)NBC network’s news program that is formatted in the way that news was prior to 24-hr coverage. This format is intended to provide viewers with the most important stories of the day.*will talk more about this later as we believe this position within the network is one of the limitations of the program.- Online Presence: NBC Nightly News’s website has many stories that are online only. In addition, the have several video clips and links that break down stories by topic. The website is put together very well and is extremely easy to navigate NBC Dominates in web traffic compared to ABC and CBS but they are 3rd overall after Yahoo and CNN (although interestingly enough they are used more often than The New York Times.
  • The NBC Agenda: talks about the same things as everyone else. Depending on the situation, they either follow the standard agenda of the mainstream media or they set that same agenda… Example: WMD. This example shows how the agenda setting by MSNBC and other mainstream news media organizations made the public worry about the presence of WMD in Iraq when there was almost no actual factual basis on which these fears could rest. (discovered later and covered by NBC as the fault of the government for lying. Failed to look critically at themselves and ask why they reported as facts things that were not evidentially supported. Pathos: This relates to NBC’s goal to elicit emotions in that through their extensive coverage of the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq they create an identity for the government’s cause and not only help to further the government’s agenda, but they also provide an explanation for the government’s actions that appeal to the sensibilities of the public.
  • RATINGS: The reason for the personalization is for ratings. People are more likely to say “Did you hear about that woman that lost her house because of foreclosure?” rather than “Did you see that story where they listed a bunch of facts about foreclosures?” Personalization adds a touch that strikes a chord within people and brings out PATHOS.ROLE OF ANCHORS:1970-1982: John Chancellor as co-anchor after this troika (3 rotating anchors) broke up, Chancellor was never able to succeed over Cronkite and the CBS Evening News1982-2004: Brokaw attracts more viewers, CBS slides into third place with the loss of Cronkite.2004-Present: - Brian Williams - becomes more favorable among viewers for his coverage both during and after the 2005 hurricane seasonThroughout the past 40 years, NBC’s Nightly News has been constantly competing with CBS and ABC, the constant strive to achieve the number one spot has led this organization towards appealing to a broad audience while building a stable relationship between viewers and anchor.This can be effective, however, personalization is only effective when it is used in small doses. NBC overdoes it with the personalization, ESPECIALLY on NBC Nightly News. They could do more general stories and not oversimplify things in order to get a better news broadcast, but this would likely negatively affect ratings. This is the main problem with attempting to critique a prime time newscast.
  • They tend to be NBC correspondents. Very rarely does NBC pull experts from someone that they are not directly associated with. Sometimes the experts they select are good ones because the people that work for NBC are extremely qualified, but sometimes NBC could use to bring in other experts that are more qualified than the ones they have in house.9/11 and HK: portrayed as disasters in which the U.S. government had relatively little controlFinancial Crisis: Maria Bartiromo – technically a correspondent so she is not an actual authority and should not be used as such.War Coverage: VP (Chaney), SOS (Powell), SOD (Rumsfeld)IRAQ: trusting these particular sources becomes problematic in this particular crisis
  • Bureaus: Although they do not have any bureaus in Africa, they have more than ABC and CBS overall and particularly in the Middle East Online Presence: Twitter account can be confusing indicating to us that they are not necessarily sure how to effectively utilize all of the technologies and developments, but their presence is evolving and they are attempting to maintain a relevance with the new technologies: First Person: a tool for citizens to upload video or photo content to the web for NBC to use on air.
  • NBC Nightly News: Final Presentation

    1. 1. NBC Nightly News<br /> Cecilia Kohler Elizabeth Ritter<br /> Veronica Houk Andrew Catalano Martin Weiss<br />
    2. 2. “The networks offer entirely too much decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. And without courage and vision, television is nothing more than lights and wires in a box” –Edward R. Murrow<br />Our Agenda<br /><ul><li>The Identity of NBC Nightly News
    3. 3. The Goals
    4. 4. Problems in coverage
    5. 5. Limitations of Television
    6. 6. Some Positives and Future Potential</li></li></ul><li>NBC Nightly News: Profile<br /><ul><li>Appeals to an older audience (62 median age)
    7. 7. Primetime Slot: 6:30-7pm nightly
    8. 8. Ratings: most watched newscast
    9. 9. NBC Nightly News within parent network NBC
    10. 10. Online provides more coverage of different things </li></li></ul><li>NBC Nightly News: Profile<br /><ul><li>Appeals to an older audience (62 median age)
    11. 11. Primetime Slot: 6:30-7pm nightly
    12. 12. Ratings: most watched newscast
    13. 13. NBC Nightly News within parent network NBC
    14. 14. Online provides more coverage of different things </li></li></ul><li>NBC Nightly News: Feel it.<br /><ul><li>Pathos: an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion</li></ul> Or: eliciting an emotional reaction from the audience<br /><ul><li>Likelihood to remember a story increases
    15. 15. Positive feelings about the source arise
    16. 16. The desire to elicit an emotional response leads to:
    17. 17. Episodic Framing and Personalization
    18. 18. Agenda Setting
    19. 19. Sources used </li></li></ul><li>Agenda Setting<br />agenda setting:<br />the central idea is that “by giving differential attention to certain issues, the media set the agenda of public discourse.”... “by covering some issues and ignoring others, the media influence which issues people view as important and which they view as unimportant” <br />(Iyengar & McGrady, 2007, pp. 210)<br /><ul><li>The NBC Agenda
    20. 20. WMD</li></li></ul><li>Personalization<br /><ul><li>Personalization
    21. 21. Ratings
    22. 22. The Walter Cronkite Effect:
    23. 23. Brian Williams and anchors in NBC history
    24. 24. In coverage
    25. 25. Is it effective?</li></li></ul><li>Sources<br /><ul><li>Heavy reliance on Official testimony
    26. 26. Headline format pattern: “________ discusses ________”
    27. 27. Credibility
    28. 28. CRISES
    29. 29. 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina
    30. 30. President Bush – major presence
    31. 31. Firefighters and Police Officers
    32. 32. Citizen Sources/Victims
    33. 33. Financial Crisis
    34. 34. Financial correspondents
    35. 35. Wall Street sources
    36. 36. Average citizen
    37. 37. War coverage
    38. 38. President and other government officials</li></li></ul><li>Limitations of Television<br /><ul><li> Reliance on visuals
    39. 39. Passive audience consumption is more likely with television
    40. 40. Time constraints
    41. 41. 22 ½ minutes as opposed to 24-hr coverage
    42. 42. cable vs. local channels
    43. 43. CNN and other cable channels can generate revenue from subscriptions (Comcast, et. al), not just advertising
    44. 44. More significant reliance on ratings to make money and keep loyal audiences
    45. 45. “General Audience” is problematic
    46. 46. Corporate ownership</li></li></ul><li>Some Positives and Future Potential<br /><ul><li>Larger international bureau than other networks
    47. 47. Online Presence is evolving and comprehensive
    48. 48. Twitter
    49. 49. First Person
    50. 50. MSNBC third overall in web traffic
    51. 51. only after Yahoo! and CNN
    52. 52. Top of Big Three
    53. 53. Stable Audience
    54. 54. The audience is clearly defined and they now strive to appeal to this audience’s prurient interests</li>