Term Paper: Communication and Broadcasting

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Communications Markets and Media Broadcasting Technology

The research study I would like to perform for my independent study relates to both communications and television broadcasting. I plan to obtain this research through many of the network's websites and other websites that are related to news programs and that disclose television ratings and number of viewers watching particular news programs.]

What is everyone watching? The Nielson ratings are updated every Wednesday, and they reflect data collected from the previous week (Monday through Sunday). The top rated TV shows for the week of May 21, 2007 were:

Rank

Rating percent)

Viewers (measured in millions)

American Idol

Wednesday)

FOX

Dancing with the Stars

Tuesday)

ABC

American Idol

Tuesday)

FOX

Dancing with the Stars (Monday)

ABC

CBS

NCIS

CBS

Bachelor: Officer & Gentleman

ABC

BBC Tues Movie Special

S)

CBS

Two & a Half Men

CBS

9:30 PM (S)

Heroes

NBC

Lost

ABC (Nielsen, 2007).

Nielsen's ratings were originally determined by meters in "Nielsen family households." The measuring techniques Nielsen has been using now have been encountering problems, as Nielsen freely admits. When the meters were put in, the average household had only one TV and received three network telecasts. Today networks are multiplying to the extent that available airwaves soon will not be found. New technologies introduced into homes, such as time-shifting devices and wireless networks create a stronger challenge for the measurement of popularity in media. In a digital environment, the traditional concept of a "channel" no longer holds; instead, multiple programs can be transmitted simultaneously over the same frequency, opening up more programming options for viewers.

Although viewers for the most part will still watch one program at a time, the underlying technology is capable of transmitting several streams of voice, data or video simultaneously in that channel space. While Nielsen's current method of identifying broadcast tuning works in the existing analog viewing environment, it has become necessary to develop different approaches for the upcoming digital broadcast environment.

Nielsen is not the only organization who will be affected by the upcoming digital age. Advertisers want assurance that their dollars are effectively reaching the people who are most likely to buy their products. They need local information that characterizes consumers and their purchasing patterns in relation to their media usage.

Account executives need the following information to get retailers' attention:

What percentages of their customers and prospects have cable television

What cable networks their customers are watching

Who these people are Account executives can assure greater impact when they know more about consumers, and can demonstrate that certain programs are a highly targeted and effective way to reach the people who buy their products.

I would like to look at the problems that exist for television networks, such as CNN, ABC, and NBC, in increasing the interests and viewers of a particular target demographic for news programs.

When there is qualitative research for the major markets, which includes sample sizes and in-depth reporting of local retail businesses, TV executives may convert data into opportunities to enlarge demographics. Comprehensive, syndicated surveys for major markets, products, services and viewing categories need to be figured into local databases, making every item measured a possible enlargement opportunity. Then those viewers' shopping behaviors, product consumption, media usage, lifestyle and demographic characteristics are needed to determine how to take advantage of this enlarged base. All the data collected provides actionable information for selling advertising to local, regional and national advertisers.

I would look in depth at the different solutions networks are using to increase ratings within a target demographic, such as pushing personalities, ad campaigns, and increased advertising for news programs.]

The literature shows contradicting hypotheses about the relationship of quality, price and advertising. A study by Archibald, Haulman and Moody examined the impact of published ratings on these relationships and found that the quality and advertising are actually positively related in the presence of quality ratings. Quality ratings are a specific form of third-party information. Quality ratings actually affect other information available to consumers, who try to seek out a "good buy" (a high quality product sold at a low price). When those who advertise see published ratings, they will offer quality products through advertising with those who are top rated. What this means for television is that ratings do have an effect on the quality of products. While investigating the impact of published quality ratings on these relationships the study found that quality and advertising are much more likely to be positively related in the presence of quality ratings (Archibald 347).

Solutions networks are using to increase ratings within a target demographic are pushing personalities, ad campaigns, and increased advertising for news programs. News is big business. For instance, Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, received the 2007 Paul White Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association during a reception on Monday at in Las Vegas. During the ceremony, RTNDA past chairman Dan Shelley presented Amanpour with the sterling silver Paul White bowl, which has inscribed on it the names of all past recipients, journalists who RTNDA president Barbara Cochran called "the giants of our business."

In accepting the award, Amanpour said that she has tried to be the eyes and ears of viewers, using CNN's resources to travel the world and bring back the type of important and interesting stories that are valuable and vital to a functioning society. News has always meant top ratings and market validation. "During World War II, icons like Edward R. Murrow broke news and shared experiences of war that formed American's collective story and still resonate today. His name is on that bowl, and I am proud" (RTNDA, 2007).

In the tradition of great newscasters, corporations push their high profile newscasters to receive awards, put their faces on billboards and send them out to speak at luncheons and trade shows. Their name and face is big business for the broadcasting network.

At the RTNDA annual Awards Dinner in 2006, 80 awards out of an initial pool of 3,723 entries from 568 news organizations were given to 55 news organizations. Local stations, including KCBS-AM, San Francisco (overall excellence, use of sound, website, writing); WWL-AM, New Orleans (newscast, continuing coverage, investigative reporting); KIRO-AM, Seattle (hard news feature, news series, sports reporting); KARE-TV, Minneapolis (sports reporting, writing); KHOU-TV, Houston (investigative reporting, hard news feature); WMSI-FM/WQJQ-FM, Jackson, MS (hard news feature, use of sound); and WTOP Radio, Washington, DC (feature reporting, spot news coverage), won multiple awards (RTNDA, 2006).

Awarded for commitment to achieving diversity in the newsroom through developing news content and editorial staffs that reflect the changing face of America were 5 news organizations. These stations also received RTNDA/UNITY awards. Those stations include: WERN-FM Wisconsin Public Radio (large-market radio); KNAU-FM, Flagstaff, AZ, (small-market radio); ABC News Prime Time (network/syndication/program service television); Wood-TV, Grand Rapids, MI (large-market television); and KTUU-TV, Anchorage, AK (small-market television) (RTNDA, 2006).

I will also make suggestions from a communication and public relations stand point that would be beneficial in marketing to a certain target demographic.]

Communications and electronic journalism have changed dramatically in recent years and promise to change even more in years to come. There were 216 million broadband subscribers across the world at the end of 2005 (Digital 19). The familiar lines that once marked the boundaries between radio, television, print, computers, telephones and other media are blurring. News in the future will be a fully digital broadband mix of audio, video, print, graphics and databases. In the coming years, new technology and changing market forces will completely transform the news industry.

Organizations other than traditional broadcast stations and networks are offering electronic journalism, taking the journalists beyond the TV screen and distributing it online. Because of this journalists have become more versatile and have learned new skills. Large and small stations must adjust as well, purchasing far more powerful digital equipment required to gather and present the news. The new technology, fortunately, is much easier to use and offers possibilities for new revenue and products, as well as new competitors.

Selection and story telling will always be the essence of good journalism, regardless of the medium of distribution, but, when nearly every office and home receives dozens to hundreds of sources containing news and information, eventually there may be a question of editorial responsibility. These technological changes for the public and for our democratic society contain implications that require examination from the perspective of journalist and the news consumer.

A key issues must be addressed in the future:

How can quality, integrity and usefulness of news product be maintained?

How will changes in communication technology affect the journalists and the news organizations?

Can journalists use these new communication tools to better serve the audience and society?

Will audiences react to this rapid pace of change?

All of these impact with changes. All these things affect working journalists and news executives who face changes. Additionally, those affected include journalism students, educators and others concerned about the impacts of technological and viewing habit changes.

The target… [END OF PREVIEW]

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