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Newscasters Need To Stay On Topic

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Do the newscasters in today's television news show enough emotion? The newscasters move in and out of one story and go right into the other without even a pause, reflection, or thought. The news today in television, radio and the press is all politics. The news has become all about who has the highest ratings, who is popular in the world, whose face is on the front page and who is the top story about. The news has moved from actual news to who deserves the most focus. It is very simple what needs to happen as far as trying to fix or regain what the news used to be. They do not need to focus on such a broad range of news and focus on smaller things in more detail. What this means is that, the local news programs should focus on more local events and local news while the World news or national news can cover what is going on in the country or the world. Yes, the local programs should and need to give a brief summary of what is going on in the world but when that turns into half of the program, the newscasters are giving it too much time.

The news program that I watched recorded and am writing about is KELOLAND Television. KELOLAND is a local television news program that is based out of Sioux Falls, and covers news for most of the Eastern side of South Dakota. KELOLAND airs a half hour on weeknights at 5pm and has a weekend edition on Sunday mornings. The news broadcast is aired on CBS, which gives them the ability of using other reporters through CBS for more of their national and world news. Two primary anchors Doug Lund and Angela Kennecke make up the news program with a chief meteorologist Scot Mundt and a few reporters out in the field.

The newscast starts with music and KELOLAND Television written in gold coming across the screen. The show then goes to the two anchors that introduce the show by saying "Good Evening, Welcome to KELOLAND TV." As far as the form goes, KELOLAND is no different that any other newscast really, they introduce a story and as the anchors are talking about the story and giving information, the viewer is shown either video or pictures on the topic. Something that was noticed was that when one of the anchors or while both were discussing a story, the camera was not on them but still either showing the video of say the person in trial or a person being interviewed. When the anchors are on camera however, they are never looking quite into the camera, it almost looks like they are looking just to the right or just to the left of the camera. As far as camera placement, it is always taping them from the same angle when each of them gets their small sound bite.

Rarely in the half hour segment did any anchor or reporter have more than a 15-second sound bite. In some of the interviews however, some of those did last a little bit longer, which is probably a good thing that the news is being more focused on the person interviewed verses the person doing the interviewing. This gives the viewer more of what other people feel about an issue being that the newscasters do not give any personal feelings.

Commercials were more of the annoying part of the show. Each time they would go to a commercial, the anchors would give a preview of what is to come in the news. The part of this that did become annoying was that the stories that were towards the end of the show would be mentioned two or three times before you even heard the story. Because the time is coming around for elections and voting, most of the commercials aired were about Amendments; which ones hurt the most people, where taxes should go, and which is the "best" for South Dakota. The other commercials that almost had just as many were for cars. At least every time the show went to commercial, they would show at least one car commercial if not more. Car companies such as Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, and Honda were the primary companies getting their name out there. Funny how all of these commercials have started airing more and more now that the DOW is at the highest level in history.

When it comes to content, this is where KELOLAND needs a little work along with all local news programs. Yes, it is important to give the viewer some information on what is going on in the world and across the country but when more than half of the stories are of worldwide events, there are getting away from what a local news program is all about.

The content is where the news program needs the most work. When the viewer watching at home hears about how Sioux Falls schools have an increasing amount of drug and alcohol use. That the use of drugs is now more popular than the use of alcohol and the anchor can sit there and tell the viewer this without showing any emotion and just moves right into the next story, and almost does so by ending one and starting the next in the same sentence even. An issue like that deserves a lot more attention and deserves to be cared about. An issue like this is no different from say a robbery or murder. They are all important issues that the public does need to know and needs more information than what they are given.

As stated in the passage from "The Age of Show Business" by Postman, the news programs that we watch are not to be taken to heart. What the news is really telling us is that appearance of the newscasters, the opening and closing music, and the interrupting advertisements



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