Writing for TV, Radio, New Media- Chapter 1: The Mass Media

formats
TV shows like evening soaps, family sitcoms, police programs, reality shows, etc.

sitcoms
TV situation comedy; a staple of TV programming since the 1950s

narrowcasting
programs oriented toward specialized audiences, reflecting the growing number of program and distribution sources such as multi-network and multi-channel cable and satellite systems

demographics
the makeup of potential audience for a given program or station; some demographics are age or gender within the given market’s locale, jobs, income, education. When beliefs, attitudes, behavior, political affiliation, religion, etc are included it is called psychographics.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
government agency regulating the use of the air waves

cable
wired, as differentiated from over-the-air or broadcast television transmission

livetype tape
television directorial technique that uses the continuous action procedures of the live show. Also called “live on tape”; from the early days of videotape when editing was done by physically cutting the tape- the more put on the tape at the time of recording, the less cutting had to be done later.

new media
cable and satellite and internet (old media is radio and television)

close
up- filling the TV screen with a close view of the subject. As with other shot designations, it has various gradations (ex. medium close-up) and abbreviations

zoom
changing the variable focal length of a lens during a shot to make it appear as if the shot were moving toward or away from the viewer

split screen
two or more separate pictures on the same television screen

control board (switcher)
instruments that regulate the output volume of all radio microphones, turntables, and tapes and can blend the sounds from two or more sources. Sometimes referred to as a switcher.

intro/outro
after and before commercials on TV

copywriters
the person who writes broadcast continuity; frequently applied to commercial writers only

ISPs
Internet service providers- government controls the internet through this

censorship
television and radio writing are affected by censorship; it comes from the production agency (network or independent producer), it has guidelines about what materials are acceptable.

“Miller Test”
FCC relies on this to determine indecency. 1) applying contemporary community standards, the work appeals to the average person’s prurient interests; 2) the work describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, as defined by state law; 3) the work as a whole lacks literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. (Howard Stern has been fined many times through these standards).

Fairness doctrine
it authorized the FCC to require stations, in some circumstances, to present more than one side of significant issues in the community, therefore bringing controversy to the fore. Many broadcasters fought for years to abolish this doctrine. FCC abolished it in 1987.

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