Broadcast Journalists and The Inverted Pyramid Style of Presenting the News

Broadcast Journalists and The Inverted Pyramid Style of Presenting the News

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In 1965, American broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow stated, “We cannot make good news out of bad practice.” Although this quotation was originally in response to critics who wanted him to ignore racial problems to promote a better public image abroad, it can also be applied to the importance of presenting a quality newscast. In America, news media is considered the forth branch of the United States government. This concept stems from a belief that it is the news media's responsibility to deliver clear and accurate information to the populace in a compelling manner. Considering the effect the news has on society, as journalism scholars we need to ask why clarity and attention are important in a newscast and what can be done to ensure clarity and attention is used in a news video or news broadcast?

Using the 2010 textbook Broadcast News Handbook and personal experiences from Digital News class, we will analyze the following questions. To do so, we will examine the importance of clarity and attention in a newscast, and then finally take a look at three aspects to ensure clarity and attention is in a news video or news broadcast.

First, there is the importance of clarity and attention in a newscast. The history of delivering news has evolved throughout the years. From exchange information via radio to have a having a television channel’s primary objective be producing news, the news media have grown in the methods notifying the public. However, a couple of things that hasn’t change are the media’s goal of delivering clear and engaging products.

As Assistant Professor Dave Cupp of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explained in a 2010 article, “Today the world remains as confusing as ever, and new technolog...

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... a report remember to record scenes that involve some sort of action, the viewer will be persuade to pay attention because the are interested in what the people are doing.


By understanding why clarity and attention are important in a newscast and observing three ways to ensure these functions are used in a news video or news broadcast, we can see the responsibility the forth branch has to society. Edward R. Murrow attempted to accomplish these traits in all of his broadcasts. Canadian educator Marshall McLuhan’s contention is that “the medium is the message.” However, the authors of the textbook believe that the message is the message and the medium is simply a means to get that message to an audience. Regardless which statement you agree with, the main point is that the message is important and we, as reporters, have an obligation to present it.

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