Thursday, July 12, 2007

The News

The book I'm working on at the moment is to be called "The News," to be published by Groundwood Press in Toronto.

Here's a short excerpt.

Morning Formats – Breakfast Television
It seems like every country in the world has their breakfast TV show. They all seem to follow the same format, mixing hard news and happy talk, weather, traffic, serious interviews, and silliness. Britain’s TV-am was for many years noted for its mascot Roland Rat.
The list includes Cock-a-doodle-doo, in Trinidad and Tobago; Telediario Matinal, in Spain, and Japan’s Good Morning Nippon.

In the Philipines "Breakfast Supersize" serves the Metro Manila area.
"Studio 23’s longest-running local show is taking on a new face! Wake up to the BREAKFAST threesome! Join hosts, JC Cuadrado, Patty Laurel and Atom Araullo as they dish out an all new morning experience. It’s everything you need to jumpstart your mornings, delivered fast and fresh --- exactly the way you want it!
Catch BREAKFAST daily, and you’ll get the complete course.News, traffic & weather updates The latest in the campus & work scene Tech lifestyle, fashion, entertainment featuresBargains, parties, events and gigs, health, cooking & de-stressing tips. Plus the hottest bands in local music today! "

  • live
    serious / frivolous
    gendered viewing
    magazine format - ie radical juxtapositions of items
    highest ratings and commercial success

In the US the morning shows play a key role for every TV station. For all the talk of the US majors (NBC, ABC, CBS) losing audiences these shows buck the trend. The "Today" show on NBC draws six million viewers daily and brings in $350 million a year. That’s three times more than the prime time news show.

The "New Yorker"'s media critic, Ken Auletta interviewed a leading producer.
"I think morning television may be an early indication of where television news is headed," says David Westin, President of ABC News. "By that I mean a balance of male and female, but with more of a female component; more story-telling; and looking at story-telling as a way to access news stories. And the reason I say this is that most of the research I see... tends to indicate that men and women tend to process news differently. Men tend to like fairly dry factual bullets, and the shorter the better." It doesn’t mean ‘soft news.’ It can be about Iraq, or social Security. But men and women access the news in different ways," says Westin.
Auletta adds, " If one regards the morning shows as the laboratory for this storytelling approach, it is easy to see why more resources are poured into’ Today’ [the morning show] than into the ‘Nightly News.’"