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We Interrupt This Newscast


  • 11 tables
  • Page extent: 244 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.35 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521691543)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$31.99 (P)

Local television newscasts around the country look alike and are filled with crime, accidents, and disasters. Interviews with more than 2,000 TV journalists around the country demonstrate that news looks this way because of the ingrained belief that 'eye-ball grabbers' are the only way to build an audience. This book contradicts the conventional wisdom using empirical evidence drawn from a five-year content analysis of local news in more than 154 stations in 50 markets around the country. The book shows that 'how' a story is reported is more important for building ratings than what the story is about. Local TV does not have to 'bleed to lead'. Instead local journalists can succeed by putting in the effort to get good stories, finding and balancing sources, seeking out experts, and making stories relevant to the local audience.


Acknowledgments; 1. A prologue: what this book is for Dante Chinni and Tom Rosenstiel; 2. The knowledge base Tom Rosenstiel and Marion Just; 3. 'I-Teams' and 'Eye Candy': the reality of local TV news Wally Dean and Atiba Pertilla; 4. The myths that dominate local TV news: the X-structure and the fallacy of the hook and hold method of TV news Wally Dean, Atiba Pertilla and Todd Belt; 5. The magic formula: how to make TV that viewers will watch Todd Belt and Marion Just; 6. Steps to better coverage Todd Belt and Marion Just; 7. Putting it all into action: techniques for changing newsroom cultures Wally Dean; 8. The road ahead: the future of local TV news Tom Rosenstiel and Dante Chinni; Appendix A. Design team members; Appendix B. Quality grading criteria and value codes; Appendix C. Content analysis intercoder reliability analyses; Appendix D. Sample of local TV news stations; Appendix E. 2005 follow-up study; Notes; References; Index.


"The book... is We Interrupt This Newscast. … Get it. Read it. And maybe, most important, buy a copy for your boss."
Charles Gibson, ABC News, from his Paul White address to RTNDA, 2006

"Finally, someone has collected the data to prove what I have always believed: you don't have to dumb down the news to get more viewers. The authors show conclusive evidence that if TV journalism is good, good ratings will follow. If enough news directors will just read this book, TV news could be changed forever and for the better."
Bob Schieffer, CBS News and Distinguished Professor, Texas Christian University

"We Interrupt This Newscast exposes the conventional wisdom of TV newsgathering and newscast production for what it is, a collection of myths. Give a copy to every person in your newsroom and every person in your promotion department, and hope that your competitors never know it exists."
Jim Boyer, WHO-TV, Des Moines

"All of us who have devoted our careers to local news should celebrate We Interrupt This Newscast. The authors marshal compelling analysis and data to demonstrate that local news can survive and prosper if it focuses on well told local stories that deal with important ideas and issues."
Mike Devlin, WFAA-TV, Dallas

"At last, here is powerful evidence that explodes the pervasive myth that serious political broadcasts are money-losers. This landmark book, with its guidelines for producing appealing information-rich local news, may well stop the steady slide of local news into civic irrelevance. We Interrupt This Newscast is a clarion call for much-needed reforms, grounded in the realities of America's news business."
Doris Graber, University of Illinois at Chicago

"We Interrupt This Newscast is must reading for everyone in local news—print and broadcast alike—and for any citizen or student who cares about the future of news in their community. Through compelling evidence and analysis, the authors demonstrate how and why audiences reward quality journalism and why short-term thinking about profits is a lousy long-term ratings strategy."
Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University


Dante Chinni, Tom Rosenstiel, Marion Just, Wally Dean, Atiba Pertilla, Todd Belt

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