Research Postings

Terminology »
News
Branding
Packaging

News Mediums

Role of Design

Noam Chomsky

Comparative Media Studies


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12.4.01

RESEARCH < posted November 5, 2001 >

Thesis-Related Terminology
Explanation and clarification of some of the terminology used throughout my thesis investegation. These definitions/explanations evolved out of research I've done on these and additional topics and also out of my experiments with deconstructing news layouts.

News
My investigation is focused on news reported by credentialled journalists. As such, an important defining factor is the notion that journalism can be thought of as "writing (or other methods of communication) characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation."
(exerpt from the Merriam-Webster on-line Collegiate Dictionary definition of the word "journalism")

Some key questions that help to define wheter or not information is news:
- Is it new or timely information?
- Is it important information that the public should know about?
- Is it information that will affect the public?
- Is this information relevant to the public
?

Good news sources should be accurate, consistent, credible, factual, informative, timely, trustworthy, unbiased and verifiable.

The process of contextualizing the news can be part of the
journalist's work of gathering information on and writing about a story, or it can be part of the later packaging phase (more about packaging below).

see additional research on this topic »

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Branding
Branding is about making an emotional connection with consumers.

What makes up a brand is intangible.

A brand is bound up in the way consumers think and feel about products tied to the brand.

Associations with brand identities help individuals define their own identities.

Earlier uses of the term brand(ing) had negative connotations(brand as a stigma or any mark of disgrace), but current uses have been largely divorced from those connotations.

A brand is not a thing. Its not a logo, or a word. Brands are essentially the way people feel about products, and in turn how they feel about the producers of those products.

see additional research on this topic »

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Packaging
Packaging, as it is related to the presentation of news in the context of my investegation, is the process that news stories reported by credentialled journalists go through before they are shown to the public. Included in this process is the graphic design of those news stories including the choice of fonts, the choice of imagery, the sizing of visual, textual and photographic elements, the addition of titles, headlines, backgrounds, color effects, photographic manipulations and information graphics. It includes the addition of branded visual information such as station identification and or taglines. It includes the mode of presentation that is choosen for the the information (is it presented as ticker-tape text; is it presented photographically or in the form of an illustration; is it spoken by a reporter, told in the form of a story, presented as hard facts, told through a person on the street report or by a credentialied expert; is it information presented through a dialogue or read by a presentor; is it presented as a cover story, or as a sideline article, etc.?). Also included within this definition of packaging is any and all visual elements created by, choosen by, or art directed by the news provider(s) (including the choice of reporters, their appearance, the setting for the presentation of the news) that are seen by the public as they watch, read or otherwise consume that news.

The process of contextualizing the news can be part of the packaging phase or it can happen before this phase, when the journalist(s) is gathering information on, and writing the story.

see additional research on this topic »