Thursday, February 19, 2009

Broadcast News vs. Reality TV

Are broadcast news considered as reality TV
since it covers real events as they happen?

"Reality TV is a misnomer since real-time broadcast can only be achieved through live feed. So-called reality TV shows like "Survivor" (the one that started the trend) and our very own "Pinoy Big Brother" are called that because certain individuals agree to take part in social experiments wherein cameras will record their every move. Gatekeeping, however, is still observed as raw footage are edited for better presentation of the narrative. In this context, broadcast news as a whole is not considered reality TV but there are segments of it that depict reality in "real time" through the live feed of unfolding events."
- Prof. Danilo Arao via e-mail correspondence
*Prof. Danilo Arao belongs to the Department of Journalism, College of Mass Communication, UP Diliman.

When the anchor tells the name of the correspondent followed by the buzzword "LIVE", there are two possible events that can happen:

1. Broadcasting of current situation at a certain area of coverage, at a "particular air-time."
For example, the live coverage of the President's SONA at exactly 4pm.

This LIVE coverage does not require journalist's skill to polish a story set for a better narrative. Rather, this requires field correspondents to be: (1) keen, alert observers and (2) articulate communicators. This is for the fact that sudden changes can immediately happen during the live feed. However, responsible journalists prior to their call may: (1) establish an estimate for crowd bearing situations (2) have listed the proper names of public persons involved in an affair of "national interest" (3) other important points/ information (essential to be addressed) at that particular moment.

In essence, these situations call for impromptu and the pressure of telling the story accurately, without exaggeration.

2. The broadcast of stories delivered by field correspondents but with "prepared video clips." For example, the long period of investigation of Hello Garci scandal in a session at the Senate, which started from 10 am without an assured dismissal time.

In contrast, this allows journalist's intervention to tell the story significantly. With the advent of new media, current media outfits have engaged themselves to variety of choices which in turn calls for good narrations -- fast and effective. Included in the choices are soundbites and package. Soundbites may be a cut from a long speech or an interview with authority or even the average man on the street. A package refers to an edited set of video clips for a news story common on television newscast narrated usually by a reporter. It is a story with audio, video, graphics and syntax. In essence, this kind deliberately shows what had happened in the past hours using the edited video clips. The role of the reporters in live events like this becomes less intricate, as they are to tell only the latest happening up to that certain moment of call to report.

To be continued.


Reena said...

Hello! Nice to read your blog again.

Is Dev Studies under BS journalism ba?

I like the drama in reality tv! haha. But i don't think they're real at all. We all have the tendency to be pretentious in front of a camera, diba?

I'll link you, okay? :)

yfur porsche p. fernandez said...

No. It's a social science course, however since it is grounded on social issues/concerns, it teaches me what to write. :)

Thank You! Hehehe.

"We all have the tendency to be pretentious in front of a camera, diba?" - Yes. I agree.

As to the link, no problem! :D