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Narratives and Television News Editing
Unformatted Document Text:  Narratives and Television News Editing 23 time consuming and, therefore, expensive. At least, it is more expensive than training editors to create accounts. Weister’s Silver Gloves package, for example, required several visits to the boxing club in order to establish a relationship and a comfort level with the participants, as well as seven hours of shooting on the day he captured the footage. Some editors recognize the value of narrative editing for the benefit of the viewers. The resistance coming from some news managers, however, is indicative of an industry bound by financial obligation to shareholders over its social obligation to the viewers and this resistance is causing an identity crisis. News and the Identity Crisis One of the main themes that came up during these interviews is an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about the role and future of the news industry. According to these participants, commercialization of news developed an environment in which newsmakers feel that they must serve two masters. Harrity explains that, “We have to appease the shareholders but we also have to appease the viewers and we’re in a desperate struggle.” Before the Internet, Harrity says, television had a clear goal – to deliver the news also available on the radio or in the newspaper, but with the advantage of moving pictures. The Internet, however, reveals the viewer’s demand for visuals and information to be instantaneous. Television news has subsequently increased production in order to keep up with the amount of information available online. Harrity recognizes that, “we’ve lost our identity…we don’t know whether we’re the web. We don’t know whether we’re in depth. We don’t know whether we’re supposed to tell stories.” The trouble is that the Internet, by its very design, outperforms television when it comes to speedy information. What the Internet format alone does not provide are quality visual narratives, a technique held only by television journalists. Shea recognizes the Internet is not providing quality narratives when he says, “…I guess with the Internet thing, the thing that interests me is

Authors: Henderson, Keren.
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  Narratives and Television News Editing      23
time consuming and, therefore, expensive. At least, it is more expensive than training editors to 
create accounts. Weister’s Silver Gloves package, for example, required several visits to the 
boxing club in order to establish a relationship and a comfort level with the participants, as well 
as seven hours of shooting on the day he captured the footage. Some editors recognize the value 
of narrative editing for the benefit of the viewers. The resistance coming from some news 
managers, however, is indicative of an industry bound by financial obligation to shareholders 
over its social obligation to the viewers and this resistance is causing an identity crisis.
News and the Identity Crisis
One of the main themes that came up during these interviews is an overwhelming sense 
of uncertainty about the role and future of the news industry. According to these participants, 
commercialization of news developed an environment in which newsmakers feel that they must 
serve two masters. Harrity explains that, “We have to appease the shareholders but we also have 
to appease the viewers and we’re in a desperate struggle.” Before the Internet, Harrity says, 
television had a clear goal – to deliver the news also available on the radio or in the newspaper, 
but with the advantage of moving pictures. The Internet, however, reveals the viewer’s demand 
for visuals and information to be instantaneous. Television news has subsequently increased 
production in order to keep up with the amount of information available online. Harrity 
recognizes that, “we’ve lost our identity…we don’t know whether we’re the web. We don’t 
know whether we’re in depth. We don’t know whether we’re supposed to tell stories.” The 
trouble is that the Internet, by its very design, outperforms television when it comes to speedy 
information. What the Internet format alone does not provide are quality visual narratives, a 
technique held only by television journalists. Shea recognizes the Internet is not providing 
quality narratives when he says, “…I guess with the Internet thing, the thing that interests me is 


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