Pondering & Appraisal

If you get most of your daily intake of news from television you have been short changed, by the end of this post you will have been convinced as I set about to prove it, that is unless you already get most of your news from the flowering, the CBS Evening News with Anthony Mason, or the PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff or news interviews from PBS’s Charley Rose, what do all the above have in common, they are broadcast with a very clean screen, with little or no screen clutter. Here are just some items that were on display on the screen the last time you watched what is today a standardized televised newscast in no certain order of importance; to add urgency to the newscast, a ‘breaking news’ banner, a news crawl, national weather temperatures, subject banner, repetitive image of the same person, split screen involving a location, females with flashy hair and make-up, an animated network logo, banner displaying what was just spoken, bite size simple language, distracting attractive graphics. Forgive me if I missed something or over emphasized an on-screen distraction. I’m from an old school, a kind of radio school, if you will, of descriptive illustration having a deeper longer lasting impact, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is only true when the information is simple, for a complicated subject, descriptive illustrated words are required. I hope you have been able to get the point by now. And, don’t forget the semi-naked dancer in the little box in the corner of the screen…just kidding. Every item placed on the screen must be processed by the brain, nobody knows how many items can successfully be processed at one time before some begin to drop off, leaving out some items or not being processed at all, experiencing brain overload is likely when overfed, what portion of the newscast is retained depends on how it’s being produced and who is on the receiving end, and that’s you. One last thought, with all this information demanding attention, the brain must reserve some room for, contemplation and evaluation, without which a this broadcast news (cast) will all be for a big fat NOUGHT…

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