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News broadcasting is the broadcasting of various news events and other information via television or radio. The content is usually either produced locally in a newsroom, or by a broadcast network. It may also include such additional material as sports coverage, weather forecasts, traffic reports, commentary and other material that the broadcaster feels is relevant to their audience.

Television news

Television news refers to disseminating current events via the medium of television. "News bulletins" or "newscasts" are programs lasting from seconds to hours that provide updates on world, national, regional or local news events. Television news is very image-based, showing video of many of the events that are reported. Television channels may provide news bulletins as part of a regularly scheduled news program. Less often, television shows may be interrupted or replaced by "news flashes" to provide news updates on current events of great importance or sudden events of great importance.

Cable news

Cable news refers to channels which are devoted to current events 24 hours per day. The originator of this format from which the name derives is CNN (as well as CNN International and CNN-IBN), which originally stood for cable news network in reference to the then-new phenomenon of cable television. As satellite and other forms have evolved, the term cable news has become something of an anachronism but is still in common use; many other channels have since been established, such as BBC World News, BBC News, Sky News, Al Jazeera, France 24, STAR News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Press TV, teleSUR and ABC News Now. Some news channels specialize even further, such as ESPNews (sports from ESPN), CNBCmarker, Bloomberg Television and Fox Business Network (financial).

A term which has entered common parlance to differentiate cable news from traditional news broadcasts is network news, in reference to the traditional television networks on which such broadcasts air. A classic example is the cable news channel MSNBC, which overlaps with (and, in the case of breaking world-changing events, pre-empts) its network counterpart NBC News.

Television news channel

Television news channels are television specialty channels which focus on presenting news content.

The world's first dedicated 24-hour news channels were BBC World News and CNN.

Radio news

Radio news is the same as television news but is transmitted through the medium of the radio. It is more based on the audio aspect rather than the visual aspect. Sound bites are captured through various reporters and played back through the radio. News updates occur more often on the radio than on the television - usually about once or twice an hour.

At most news/talk radio stations, newscasts run from :00-:06 minutes after the top of each hour. Some stations produce the entire six minutes on their own. Others begin with a network newscast, which covers national and world news, followed by a 2- or 3-minute local newscast. Most of the time, time is taken out of the news "window" for commercials and a weather forecast. In larger cities, traffic reports are also included. Some stations do traffic only during rush hour while others cover traffic around the clock.


Local TV news stations normally broadcast 3-4 times a day: 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning; noon; 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening; and 10:00 or 11:00 at night. Some stations carry newscasts at 7:00, 8:00, 11:00 or 11:30 in the morning or 4:00 or 4:30 in the afternoon. Many stations title their newscasts with catchy names like "Daybreak," "Good Morning (insert city here)," "Live at Five," "Eleven @ 11:00," or "Nightcast." These names are intended to set one station apart from the rest, especially for viewers who are chosen for audience measurement surveys. If the respondent was unable to provide a channel number or call letters, the newscast title is often enough for the appropriate station to receive Nielsen ratings credit.

Radio station newscasts can range from as little as a minute to as much as the station's entire schedule, such as the case of all-news radio.

  • More often, AM stations will air a 6 1/2 minute newscast on the top of the hour, which can be either a local report, a national report from a radio network such as CBS Radio or ABC Radio, or a mix of both local and national content, including weather and traffic reports. Some stations also air a two minute report at the bottom of the hour.
  • FM stations, unless they feature a talk radio format, usually only air minute-long news capsules featuring a quick review of events and an abbreviated weather forecast, and usually only in drive time periods or in critical emergencies, since FM stations usually focus more on playing music. Traffic reports also air on FM stations, depending on the market

In some parts of the world there are 'rolling news' TV channels that broadcast news 24 hours a day, such as CNN in the United States or BBC News in the United Kingdom. Many news reports presented on the Internet are updated 24 hours a day.

Newscasts consist of several different elements, introduced by a news presenter or presenters. The presenters read 'links' and do interviews.

Most news stories come in the form of short 'packages'. These are pre-recorded reports usually lasting from one to five minutes. News reporters gather and edit together interview clips, pictures and their own 'pieces to camera' to tell a story. They script and record a 'voice-over' to explain the pictures and link the elements together.

Some stories are done as live reports. This can be a reporter on the scene of a story either being interviewed by a studio presenter (sometimes known as a 'two-way'), a reporter interviewing one or more other people, or simply live pictures and sound of an event. The sound and pictures are sent back to the TV station via fixed cable links, bounced off a satellite through a satellite truck, or sent through microwave radio transmissions from a vehicle carrying a microwave transmitter. With the growth of "rolling news" channels the use , with help of the technical director, floor director and a crew of people running audio, graphics, telepromptor, and cameras. Most news shows are broadcast live.

Effects on society

The invention of telecommunications and broadcasting has resulted in "the uncoupling of space and time." Spatial distanciation no longer required temporal distanciation. Information can be transmitted over long distances with hardly any delay.

Broadcasting, especially news programs, have changed the way we perceive many people, ideas, jobs, etc.


See also

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