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|Title:||Informing a Distracted Audience: News Narratives In Breakfast Television|
Department of Media and Communications
|Abstract:||This thesis takes its lead from Baym’s (2004) suggestion that incorporation of entertainment techniques into television news undermines its authority and credibility. To explore this question, textual analysis was conducted on the news bulletins of Australian breakfast television programs Sunrise and Today with regard to narrative features and the spread of traditional news conventions compared to entertainment techniques. This analysis was followed by a discussion of the dominant meanings produced by the news narratives of Sunrise and Today. The two programs employed similar narrative styles that largely adhered to traditional news conventions, positioning themselves as impartial and authoritative relayers of news. However, narratives of both programs also diverged from traditional news: both used entertainment conventions – with Today often abandoning the traditional Inverted Pyramid news story structure for new structures – and contained briefer stories, with references to the opinions and personal experiences of the item presenters. In some breakfast news items, the short and sometimes personal narrative structure diminished the construction of impartiality. While entertainment techniques represented a potential threat to the overall authority of the news, in this analysis, the threat was mitigated by the dominance of traditional news conventions and authority was retained. In summary, departures from traditional news narrative structure and delivery are evident in Australian breakfast television, and may partly decrease its news authority and impartiality. However, the ability of these programs to retain distracted breakfast audiences may depend on the brief, entertaining and sometimes personal nature of the news items.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Department of Media and Communications|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses - Media and Communications|
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