It is said that all texts are constructed and do not simply present reality (Kemp, 2012). This essay will comparatively analyse television coverage of a single political issue reported by both One News and 3 News. On the 7th of September 2012 One News and 3 News reported on the 2012 American Democratic Convention. Both reports focused on the close approaching election for president of America in November between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Throughout these reports there is a large emphasis placed on Barack Obama as the subject matter. Although there were similarities in the reporting by One and Three, there were also differences. Analysis will be focussed on how the news has been portrayed to the viewers by using techniques such as facts, opinions and framing. One News portrayal will be discussed first and Three News will follow. In summary the similarities and differences between the two channel’s reports will be discussed to help understand the way each text was constructed.
Media texts are said to be constructed using a media language, where there is a “forming of codes signalling meanings” (Kemp, 2012, p. 132). These can be portrayed through facts and opinions within the report. According to (Kemp, 2012, p. 132), television has five channels of output that affect the viewer such as music, voice, sound effects, pictures and graphics. One News first introduces the report from within their studio. A photo of Obama speaking was the backdrop while reporters introduced the report. The reporter opens with the statement “a choice of a generation” was the message from Obama to America (TVNZ, 2012). By voicing that this was “the message from Obama” it was portrayed to viewers as a fact as if it was a quote. However, it could be an opinion as to how the reporter interprets the report. This is one way that the viewer is lead by media techniques to understand what the reporter portrays as facts. Later in the report it was stated that Obama said “November’s election will have a huge impact for decades to come” (TVNZ, 2012). In relation to this quote of Obama and the message of the reporter, this shows how media language is used as a technique to shape the thoughts of the viewers through the use of opinions and facts.
It is said that “Frames are devices for seeing the world in a particular way” (Street, 2011, p. 51), where framing is said to “operate to select and highlight some features of reality and obscure others” (Entman, 1993, pp. 51-58). Framing used for One News can be discussed on what was emphasised and what was minimised in the report. Framing of the text could be based on the battle to get voters to vote for Obama. The report begins with the reporter suggesting that the main message of Obama was not for the live audience but for the people at home and the others that voted for him in 2008. There was then a suggestion that it may not be as easy to get those viewers as fired up as it was in 2008. This can be seen as a frame which questions whether Obama will win and forces the viewer to think that there is doubt in Obama’s campaign. Another significant point was when Obama discussed his path to improve America. The reporter countered his words with a voice over discussing how Obama had not addressed the promise of 2008, about the recession. The reporter always discussed the negative argument to Obama’s discussion, where the interpretation of the viewer seems to be pointed towards a negative view. The emphasis on camera shots of crowd faces while voice overs also suggested to the viewer that the words been said were the views of the