Television news programmes broadcast world events to the public. The purpose of this essay is to look at the various ways in which this is done by comparing and contrasting the presentational devices of “Channel 4 News” and “Newsround”. In “Newsround” the presenter begins the show standing, likewise on “Channel 4”. However this is done for different reasons on “Newsround” it is done to make the show seem more casual and relaxed. Whereas on “Channel 4” it is seen as a way of capturing the audiences attention and addressing them in a formal and standard manner.
The presenter on “Newsround” does not introduce himself and his name is not mentioned until an on location reporter refers to him as “Matthew”. As for “Channel 4” “John Snow” the presenter immediately introduces himself and previous to the show the announcer makes known who the presenters will be. “Newsround also uses a female on location reporter referred to as “Our light reporter Lizzy” and two children reporters one boy and one girl.
With regards to “Channel 4” in addition to John Snow they use one woman presenter who is later sitting behind a desk with him, and shortly after there is an Asian man sitting behind a desk, also there is a man doing voiceovers throughout the show. They probably use a variety of presenters so that they are not attacked on the basis of sexist or racist. “Channel 4” use an older generation of presenters in their forties and fifties this is probably because the target audience is slightly more older and may prefer to listen to someone more mature as it may seem more serious and professional.
With regards to “Newsround” using younger presenters and children makes it less patronising, and seem more like it is on a level that children can understand and relate to. Throughout “Newsround” they try to joke and make witty comments such as “the tails of two fish” on a story regarding fish moving tanks. They use quite simple language so that a viewer of any age and at any level of understanding would be able to comprehend what the story is about. At one point in the show, on a story concerning the date Matthew (one of the presenters) says “Freaky or What?!
” which shows that by using less formal and more everyday language they are trying to seem as if they are equal to and on the same level as their viewers. However I find that for a person of my age that by doing this thy are making the show more patronising. As for “Channel 4” the language tended to be very complex. They seemed to use much more alliteration such as “beaten, and burnt” when talking about a murder case. When they were dealing with that story a lot of emotive language was used such as “….. no-one yet knows who this poor boy is… “.
A number of different language styles and techniques were used such as Graphic Diction, adjectives, and sympathetic language are used. Which adults maybe able to stomach more than children. The set of “Newsround” is made up of purples and blues it has a desk which the presenter uses to lean against. The set is very basic as it is easier to look at and most of the stories are on location. Similarly “Channel 4” use a fundamental set however they have more than one set, they all have a large screen and a desk, however one is used for interviews as it has seating on both sides of the desk and the room is full of more purples and reds.
It is used as it looks slightly more relaxed and calming. Both of the programmes use a variety of graphics and for an array of reasons. They both use captions at the bottom of the screen giving a brief explanation of the story. At the beginning of the “Channel 4” news programme there is an “Image city” which is a lot of ostentatious graphics and photography of past stories. Which my opinion doesn’t need to be used as a simpler introduction would have the same effect. “Newsround” doesn’t have such a flashy introduction but simply uses the signature tune, and various displays of the logo.
In comparison both of the shows use a map of locations where the events they are featuring are taking place and use a small amount of voiceovers in their stories. The target audience of the two programmes are very contrasting as “Newsround” targets children at any level of comprehension while “Channel 4” aims their show at adults of a higher level of education. On “Newsround” they approach their target audience, using young adults and children presenters and use a child’s perspective of events, this can be seen in the hospital feature as they have a teenage boy giving his point of view on the treatment he received in hospital.
They also use simpler language that a greater audience can understand. These ideas are used so that the show is more appealing and personalised to children. Turning back to “Channel 4” they are aiming their programme at adults. To do this they use complex language, spend a long time and go into great depth on each story, they also use an adults perspective on news items such as the murder when they spoke to local adult members of the community. This is done to inform and educate the public on a higher level of understanding.
When comparing “Newsround” and “Channel 4” I found that they both choose a number of the same stories and subjects but treat them very differently. The stories included on both were “the train disaster in Egypt, violence in the Middle East, and the Olympics”. “Newsround” also included the Brit awards and a few short light hearted stories, the stories followed an alignment which was two easy going stories and by one story of a bad event. However “Channel 4 also included two additional stories featuring the murder of a child, and the protests of students.
“Newsround” not featuring these articles makes it seem as if they don’t want their audience to know the kinds of violence that are affecting people of their age, and issues that will be facing them in a matter of years, that they maybe involved in, in the future. However the opposing “Channel 4” may feature these stories a s the broadcast at a later time. “Channel 4” go into great depth with their stories and spend a long time on each. A number of people are interviewed on each headline so that they can put across as many opinions as possible. They do this to try and give a balanced, unbiased account of the features.
As for “Newsround” they spend a small amount of time on each story, the piece that got the most time was about the brit awards which was at the start of the show and lasted for about 2-3 minutes, this is because the show is more for entertainment value. During all of the stories the screen is constantly moving this is so that they do not loose the attention of the younger viewers. However “Newsround” only have half of the time allowance that “Channel 4” have so their devices must be different in order to comply with the 15 minutes there are allocated. In addition both of the shows are trying to inform and educate their audiences in some way.
In Conclusion I think it is a good idea to have the two different formulas for broadcasting the news. Even for adults things can be so complex that reasons for world happenings can be lost. In a programme like “Newsround ” the details are explained and outlined very simply so reaching everyone’s understanding. Such as the violence in the Middle East. Where if someone wanted to catch up with world events in great depth and detail they can do this easily by watching to the news on “Channel 4”. It is very pleasing that we have such high quality and a range of new programmes in Britain.