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Mister Pulitzer and the SpiderModern News from Realism to the Digital$
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Kevin G. Barnhurst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040184

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040184.001.0001

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Newscasters Appeared Closer

Newscasters Appeared Closer

(p.121) Chapter 11 Newscasters Appeared Closer
Mister Pulitzer and the Spider

Kevin G. Barnhurst

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes the impact of location in network evening newscasts. The background surrounding newscasters is one indicator of location. Correspondents appear close to the action by going on location, where they stand before the scene itself. Or they can appear surrounded by the technology needed for direct transmission. Sitting in front of a simple backdrop or a typical TV studio set with a desk and chairs produces the impression of distance from events. Studio shots position the anchor at a vantage point for observing events dispassionately. The placement of the camera can also produce an impression of viewing newscasters up close or from a distance. Two main changes in the visual vocabulary of location were observed. Through a quarter century beginning in the 1960s, cameras moved in much closer on the faces of newscasters, conveying visually a sense of their proximity to the audience. Close-ups helped collapse the distance between the viewer and especially anchors. The other change involved the backgrounds. In the 1960s network news style amounted to a series of moderate shots of talking heads on a bland set. By the 1990s reporters began to appear on location more often than on any other backdrop.

Keywords:   television news, network news, news broadcasting, news anchors, news reporting, newscasts, evening news

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