New news is better than no news

3 Feb 2014

There’s a different way of thinking about “news” and how it’s presented on television.


WE OFTEN talk about the news using the definite article: “Did you watch the news last night?” If we’re talking about television news, the news generally refers to the networks’ evening bulletins, timed to coincide with the family gathering at home at the end of the day after work and play. It might seem like a small linguistic observation, but perhaps it’s central to the way we conceptualise “news.”

In Stephen Harrington’s Australian TV News: New Forms, Functions, and Futures, research participant Eve speaks for many when she observes, “When someone says the word ‘news’ to me, you think, ‘(Sigh) that’s boring’. Well, to me it does, because you’ve grown up with six o’clock news that’s so serious, and you have to sit there and you never smile through it unless it’s some cute little story about a dog that’s been found…”

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Photo: John Goodridge/ Flickr

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