Visionaries in 1939 realized that they could use new technology to report the news with images and sound. That’s when NBC launched the first TV newscast and innovations in delivering the news began.
While fewer people make an appointment to watch TV news than they did in the last twenty years, TV continues to play a big role in American life. Journalists who work in TV news fulfill the First Amendment mission to keep the public informed and hold truth to power.
TV news has been important for Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and American’s increased their local and national viewing, according to the Pew Research Center.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has been a major national news story, dominating news consumption and prompting frequent presidential press conferences. But it is also an important local news story, with many Americans depending on their local media outlets for information about the outbreak.
In an April survey by Pew Research Center, conducted as part of the American News Pathways project, about six-in-ten Americans (61%) said they were following news about the coronavirus outbreak at both the national and local level equally. Around a quarter (23%) said they were paying more attention to news at the local level, while 15% said they were focused more on COVID-19 news at the national level.”
Fortunately for those of us who want to use video to tell stories, the newscasts rely heavily on video storytelling and good journalists. In addition to local news, millions tune in to network news broadcasts, which for the most part also use video storytelling. And an increasing number of serious news organizations including The New York Times, Vice, VOX, Buzzfeed, Quartz and many others use various forms of video storytelling techniques to help keep the public informed and entertained.
All of these news outlets use reporters, videographers and producers who swoop onto the scene of a story, synthesize what’s going on and figure out what video they will need to tell the story. In breaking news situations, they have to get it right the first time.
Video reporting challenges them every day, and this class will challenge you.