Live, immediate and informative?: A comparative longitudinal quantitative study of live news in the fixed time television news bulletins in Norway and the USA
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The fixed time television news bulletins operate in an increasingly competitive news environment. The news stories need to convey a feeling of “liveness”, immediacy and presence and the newsrooms are under increasing demands to report the latest news and developments. This has led to a stronger emphasis on live news stories in television news bulletins. Against this background the central research question of this master’s thesis is: has commercialization led to an increase of live news in the fixed time television news bulletins and reduced the informative value of the news? The study carries out a comparative longitudinal quantitative content analysis of two Norwegian television channels, NRK and TV2, and two American television channels, NBC and ABC during a routine period of time in 1997 and 2012 (n=2209). The empirical data demonstrates that there has been an increase of live news stories in all channels except TV2. The strongest increase could be found at NRK. The analysis demonstrates that the focus on “liveness” has increased over time, and how interpretative journalism is more visible in 2012 compared to 1997. The findings also indicate that live news stories usually have a lower amount of sources than pre-recorded edited news stories, and that live news stories cover “hard” news to a larger degree than “soft” news.