Tag Archive for 'tv news'

Left wing or right wing? MSNBC leans forward.

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UPDATE: Fox News have responded with their own “Move Forward” spots.

American cable news network MSNBC recently unveiled a new slogan and brand positioning. Directed by Spike Lee, these new spots ask us to Lean Forward, and suggests that the “the future belongs to the fearless”.

Conceptually its a poignant and aspirational message, likely to be identifiable to those generally offended by Fox News. And while Jon Stewart isn’t thrilled with it, it’s hard not to like the idea, with comparisons to Think Different sure to arise.

Unfortunately I’m not sure the execution of these two promos, filled with stock footage and web clips live up to the gravity of the message trying to be conveyed.

An American Breakfast.

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Breakfast television was invented in the United States, and continues to frustrate, entertain, inform and provide moving wallpaper to millions everyday.

Three network broadcasts dominate the genre, and all three are broadcast from New York City. The Today Show from NBC defined the genre in 1952, followed by Good Morning America from ABC in 1975 and the latest attempt from CBS in the form of the Early Show in 1999.

I’m still waiting for Aaron Sorkin to dramatize the world of morning television, but until then I guess we’ll have to keep tuning into the real thing.

Our first look at ABC News 24.

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The ABC attempted to launch a 24 hour news channel some fifteen years ago back in 1995. It was called TNC and it was going to be a subscription television offering.

Flash forward to 2010 and the imminent launch of ABC News 24 will fulfill a long standing goal for the broadcaster, and introduce Australian audiences to its first free-to-air news channel.

This 3-minute teaser started playing a few days ago on channel 24, with the launch expected to be as soon as next week. Check back for full coverage post-launch.

A day in the life of British news.

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The way a network presents its news, both visually and editorially says a lot about the channel. For the sake of comparison lets look at how ITV, BBC, Sky and Channel 4 covered today’s Ash-attack.

I’ll avoid making comment on the various broadcasters editorial skills, but to summarise the look and feel of each news bulletin:

– The BBC is the straightest, clean lines, serious look.
– Channel 4 is the edgiest, feels a touch alternative.
– ITV is the glossiest, very shiny, little to CGI heavy.
– And Sky News is by far the least interesting.

For some historical perspective, check out my 2007 edition of this exact same post.

With the launch of ABC News 24 getting close, I look forward to seeing how the ABC takes on the task of branding a whole news channel. Hopefully nothing like Sky.

Nine News gets a “makeover”.

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The occasionally highest rating news service in Australia, the Nine News (formerly National Nine News) got a visual refresh this month.

Unfortunately the new look is huge step down from previous incarnations, with superfluous lines flying everywhere and ever classy solar flares, accompanied by a confusing combination of orange and blue, its less flagship-news-bulletin and more lifestyle-travel-show.

The aerial idents of Al Jazeera English.

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An incredibly simple use of aerial footage, combined with the familiar beats of music that screams “you’re watching a news channel” create a surprisingly effective collection of idents for Al Jazeera English.

They express the kind of simple dignity that an international news channel broadcasting to over 100 million people should command, as opposed to say this.

– Big thanks to Sean for the videos.

Ten News changes its look, now even noisier.

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Channel Ten have rejigged their news branding, with before and after videos above, I’m sure you’ll be as dissapointed as me with the new look. And in case you can’t tell which is the new look, its the one with all the not so subtle Sony Vaio laptops and abrupt music transitions when they start talking about sport.

And you wonder why people make so much fun of broadcast news these days.

The eerie calm of a no news day.

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Jason Arber, a director at the London based motion graphics outfit Wyld Stallyons has created a rather spectacular, and surprisingly profound commentary on the state of telvision news, and all without saying a word. Jason explains that

“for a long time I’ve been obsessed by the look that news presenters have when the other person in a news presenting duo is talking”

And it was this unease that inspired him to create the video.

“I recorded a bunch of footage and then stripped out the talking news presenters and replaced them with non-talking ones. The effect was weird and unsettling, and so I paired it with some wonderful music from the composer Ben Frost that really seemed to suit the mood”.

While its recently been brought to Jason’s attention that a fairly similar video was created by the comedy show Time Trumpet, I think the success of Jason’s video is that its more effective in capturing the vulnerability of the newscasters, and is more subtle and poignant in its approach. Mitchell and Webb also recently did a very funny piece of news parody, exploring the concept that really, everything was just fine.

Jason’s video is beautifully executed on both technical and creative fronts, and its about as close to art I’ve seen television news get.

BBC News 24 is no more.

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More of the white space infused refresh of the BBC’s news output, including the new BBC News Channel, BBC News at 10, and regional BBC News service Points West.

The BBC have actually blogged about the changes themselves here and here, and have also compiled a video montage of the look of BBC News over the years here.

Among other things they explain the dropping of the 24 from their news channel:

BBC News 24 becomes simply “BBC News”… The channel is not just at the heart of BBC News. Now it is BBC News.

For videos from the newly renamed BBC World News channel click here.

– Thanks for the videos Craig.

The new look BBC World News.

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BBC World is now BBC World News, and BBC News 24 is now just BBC News. The renamed networks got a not particularly dramatic brand refresh as you can see.

UPDATE: Check out the rest of the new look BBC News here.

For a look at the before videos check out my previous post here.