Fox 9 News Viewing Log
I watched the Fox 9 evening news on Saturday March 29th beginning at 9:00 pm. Fox 9 has a reputation for having a conservative slant, but I decided to look at the program with fresh eyes instead of looking specifically rightest bias. Being objective is important in journalism, and I took this assignment as an opportunity to get into the mind set of a reporter.
1- What will be covered in the evenings newscast about 1 minutes
2- 10th anniversary of St. Peter Tornado about 4 minutes
3- Weather about 1.5 minutes
4- Traffic Crashes about 3 minutes
5- Murder pm Queen Ave and Highway 55 about 1 minute
6- Murders about 1 minute
7- A Mother's Deal for retrieval of daughter's body about 1 minute
8- Senior Scams about 2 minutes
9- Meat Packing plant blows up about 1 minute
10- Rider's auto theft incident about 1 minute
11- You Decide 2008 Hillary and Baraak about 1 minute
12 Republican Senate race about .5 minutes
13- Lowering drinking age about .5 minutes
14- Busline about .5 minutes
15- Palenty creates a day of remembrance for Vietnam about 1 minute
16- Iraq US and British Troops about .5 minutes
17-David Mcdougal / video of shooting about .5 minutes
18- Curfew in Baghdad about 1 minute
19- Condalisa Rice traavel restriction and peace debate .5 minutes
20- Somalian Civil War and attacks about .5 minutes
21- Bush's radio address concerning home owners about 1 minute
22- New York Long Island movement towards statehood about 2 minutes
23- Dog for autistic children 2 minutes
24- Teen steels car about .5 minutes
25- Fire truck overturns about .5 minutes
26- Brothers sue due to Tiger attacks about 1 minute
27- Lights out Minneapolis Spreading awareness about energy efficiency about 2 minutes
28- Holocaust survivors and US troops reunite about 2 minutes
29-Bike show about .5 minutes
30- Food collection about .5 minutes
31- Kevin Everate recovery about 1 minute
32- Jersey Boys art & culture segment 2 minute
33-Sports about 8 minutes
Total time: About 42 minutes, the rest is reserved for advertisements
This is Kelly Rudh reporting from my home office on the content of the Fox evening news and strategies used by the program to both engage and inform viewers. On the evening of Saturday March 29th, the Fox evening news began with a story that focused on the resilience of united communities. The documentation of the 10th anniversary of the St. Peter Tornado isn't exactly pressing information, so why begin with such a banal topic? Is this news? The 10th anniversary of a natural disaster as isolated as this one doesn't seem like much of an attention getter, so what is it doing? The basic theme this story was one of close knit communities being able to recuperate from hardship due to their protestant work ethic and sense of communal unity. This story might be important when considering the economic upheaval we are experiencing in the United States. The message implied by this first piece demonstrates the resilience of people in the face of disaster. Even though this piece serves to boost the moral of its audience, it also shows how fragile people's lives are. most of the news segments surrounded around stories that would make one feel uncomfortable or unsafe. About 20 minutes of the news was devoted to stories that cultivated a sense of insecurity in the viewer, stories about natural disaster, war, crime, traffic crashes, disease, and scamming. These stories inform the viewer that the world is an unsafe place to live in. These fear inciting stories perhaps create a reliant relationship between the news program and the viewer. The viewer would not be knowledgeable about these dangers without the broadcast, and the viewer may come to see the news as a protecting force because we often consider Information as power. Also, the exploitative nature of many of these stories, the ways in which they indulge in the misery of other people may feed a viewers thirst for drama. People's lives are generally boring when compared tot he drama filled lives of the people featured in news programs. I found one instance of obvious bias in a news story about a mother attempting to make a bargain with the man who killed her daughter. The man is going to be given the death penalty, but the mother was willing to plead for his life if he would divulge the location of her daughters body. The anchor covering this story had a note of annoyance in his voice while reading this story, and the picture of the murderer had been colored a deep red. This is making some kind of statement; that this murderer is dangerous, hence the red filter, and that he should not live, despite the distressed mother's wishes.
Out of all the stories featured in the evening news, only a few felt relevant to me. When we think about any kind of media, we must think about the viewer, and this is where I must be more subjective. The segment on Minneapolis' part in the blackout between 8 and 9 pm to promote energy efficiency helped me to feel more connected to the international fight for a greener world. This also follows a kind of genre.They don't call them news stories for nothing. The underlying theme of this segment was the power of a grass-roots movement, once again highlighting the power communities have when they work together. There were similar stories peppered through the forecast. Food drives, the Tornado anniversary, and a segment about dogs that help children with autism. All of these stories show that communities have the power to solve their own ills. Very few stories concentrated on a national community, most on local communities including the story about Long Islanders trying to break off from New York because they feel their tax money is being filtered away from the island. Apparently, from the news' point of view, the system of politics and the law is working, and we should have faith in it.
One final observation that I think is of importance. Taking this media literacy course has made me more aware of the blending of medias. During the news, the news' website was plugged about 8 times. It's a " great way to stay connected" according to the anchors. They even showed pictures of the website and said that it was " easy to navigate". This television news station is aware that more and more people are looking to the internet to get their news, and they are advertising their site with gusto!
Kelly Rudh signing off!