Journalism and Broadcasting

After print media was established, journalists sought out a new way to spread the news and call attention to their work. The best way to do this was through other forms of media including newsreels, television, and radio programs. Newsreels are documentary films containing filmed news stories. Television quickly evolved from scheduled news broadcasts to designated news 24-hour news programs. Radio allowed public announcements to be made on a much wider scale.


Radio was the first form of broadcast journalism, first beginning in the early 1900s. Most radio newscasts can range anywhere from a minute to all-day, like dedicated all-news radio channels. The news is usually read in a bulletin format every hour. For all-news radio stations, they usually separate local, national, and international news into set schedules. Originally, broadcasts were community efforts focused on non-profit exertions. Later, advertising came into play in order to help pay for most of the programs on the air.

One of the pioneering radio news stations is the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, from the United Kingdom. Beginning in 1922, several telecommunication companies founded the corporation in order to experiment with broadcasting radio services. Soon, overseas stations began to compete for the international market, bringing a new popularity to radio journalism. Radio was a great way for the public to keep updated on war efforts, like WWII, as well.


Considered to be the most significant method for journalists to spread their work, television proves to be the main news source for society today, only with online news coming up quickly behind it. TV news programs are made up of a compilation visual effects, sound bites, fast changes of the camera angle, and clips of interviews from the field. There are local news, national news, and 24-hour news programs available to the public, allowing them to choose their source for information.

Often called a newscast or news bulletin, TV news programs update the public on all news including everything from local to national events. Sometimes scheduled television shows are broken up by breaking news in order to deliver more information on vital events or updates.

The news began on the television for the United States as early as the 1940s with NBC. Eventually, the 15 minute programs were expanded to 30 minutes. CBS and ABC began launching their own news programs shortly after, competing against the existing programs.

Local News

Local news is the reporting of the news in a local perspective, usually not essential to anyone outside of the general area. This usually takes place during a set time on a designated channel, often after the national evening news. In countries like the United Kingdom, the local news is broadcast in a way very similar to the national news. In those like the United States, most local news is aired on commercial broadcasting channels. Usually local news covers a wide range of topics, mainly focusing on events happening in the area. The core topics reported on are local sports, weather, events, politics, education, crime and justice, and business and economy.

Starting in the United States in the 1990s, a series of news shares agreements began in order to allow the sharing of major network stations and avoid having to start up a whole news department. This allowed a few hours of local news to be played on one of the large news networks in order to avoid any competition. Some stipulations of this included set times in which the broadcast could be played and the length of the broadcast. Due to these sharing agreements, the number of independent TV stations has rapidly declined. As of 2013, only around 15 minor network affiliates in the United States produce their own local newscasts.

Network News

National news programs on large cable networks usually air twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening for approximately 30 minutes each. Some networks offer weekend editions of their morning programs. Outside of scheduled programming, frequent news briefs are aired throughout the day on the networks. These consist of the day's top stories and usually last about two minutes.

24-Hour Television News

Dedicated to covering the news throughout the entire day, 24-hour news channels are available for those with fast-paced, busy lifestyles. The channels consists of news programming with the ability to keep the audience constantly updated. There has been debate on whether the stories have been watered down, however, due to the increased competition and profit demand that 24 hour news brings. The first cable news operation was CNN in 1980.

Breaking News

When a special issue arises that needs local or national attention right away, news programs resort to breaking news. Often called special reports or news bulletins, these are usually covered live and have been reported on previously. Special reports started back with radio broadcasting before the 1920s. In the early days of television, they were saved for only the very urgent news. Today, breaks happen often for anything from a car chase to a news story update.

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