In this assignment I will be exploring the different online news stories and analysing the parameters of the genre. This includes; Codes and conventions, Narrative, Strengths and weaknesses, Target audiences and Ethical issues.

Investigating Visual Production and Technology

  1. Analyse a selection of online news videos
  2. a) Discuss codes and conventions, News values, styles, pace and language. Explore narrative structure.
  3. b) Discuss strengths and weaknesses
  4. c) Who is the target audience? How do they impact?

Narrative structure

Single strand narrative- A narrative based on one main storyline, may be additional strands that come off of it but all strands will link back to that one main story. For example, The Trueman Show. This film is all about his life even when other stories about his family etc are mentioned, as they all link back to his life and play a part in the overall main story.

Parallel Narrative- This is where two story strands dominate the structure. These will be completely independent stories running together, at the same time.

Multistrand narrative- A narrative structure most typically associated with soaps, where several storylines are presented to us simultaneously.

Linear narrative- Story is told in a chronological order. The events of the story are presented in a natural order.

Non Linear narrative- This is when flashbacks are used to tell a story.

Todorov’s theory

  1. Equilibrium- The scene is set and a problem is established
  2. Disequilibrium- The problem occurs and the quest is to resolve the problem begins.
  3. Resolution- The cause of the problem is dealt with and new equilibrium is reached.


BBC News Website- A look back at the life David Bowie who has died aged 69


Codes + Conventions

Convention – Short and to the point, used selected clips of the best times/ highlights, key parts of the story. No narrative to it, the news article is underneath the video. The headline anchors the video, it isn’t shown in the video, without the title we wouldn’t know what has actually happened.

The pace is slow, not rushed and it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. It makes sure that it doesn’t hit you and the pace reflects and goes with the mood of the video and why it has been made.

The news story is worthy as everybody will know who he is. British person


Linear narrative, it goes from his first to his last work, a logical order and it didn’t jump to different, random parts of his career. – It is expected to be told this way under the circumstances.

Single strand narrative- It is all about him and nothing else.

The narrative needs to be clear so that the audience doesn’t get confused. This is important within online journalism because when looking online you only get what you’re given, you can’t really look into it as a way to make it more understandable. It really is what you see is what you get.

Strengths and weaknesses


It gave a good overview of his career, It showed the good times and the highlights. They took the element he is best known by. They also took the fact that people don’t know him on a personal note to reflect this. The whole thing was all about his music, the skill and the talent that he had. It was also good how they didn’t show any negative parts of his career so that he is remembered in a good way.

The fact that it is shown in chronological order is good because it is easy to follow, it involves everybody because it shows different points of his career where others started to follow him from, whether it be right at the start, a little further on, the middle or towards the end, this increasing the target audience.


There was no audio over the music, some people may have wanted more information being told whilst we were listening to the songs of his career.

Target audience

From the video you can tell that the target audience is mostly fans of his music, anybody who was a fan at any time and people who knew of him. It is giving them a chance to look back at all of the things he has achieved over the years. Since it is BBC the audience ages would be 16+. If it was to be delivered to younger children it would be softer and there would be a narrative to give them background information on him.

BBC News Website- Madaya: Desperate wait for aid to besieged Syrian town


Codes and conventions

Voice over narrator- The narrator was anchoring what we were seeing in the images shown in the video (anchorage) this doesn’t it doesn’t mislead the audience which is a good thing.

It was current and up to date.

It was making it relevant to us by saying “this is what the UK” are doing about it.

They were really showing the extremes of it, they’re not trying to cover up an upsetting story or belittle the problems that are occurring. Showing footage of children crying anchors the desperate state of affairs.

The images shown are filmed on a hand held camera- armature footage- The scenes are so desperate that they don’t have the time to set up, it needs to be filmed then and there, now, it is very important and needs to be shown on the news. It makes it relevant to us and brings it home, see it to believe it. If we weren’t able to see it we wouldn’t feel as bad because we don’t have anything to relate to.  Helps us to show sympathy, makes us put pressure on others to help the people.

The style is conventional, formal and everything we expect the news to be.

The pace is slow and they put breaks in after they say or show something so that we are able to absorb the information we are given.

The language is formal and delivered in a way that we can understand it.


Linear narrative, told in a logical order, what is happening now and what we are doing about it now. Single strand, all based on what was going on there.

Strengths and weaknesses


The pace, it gives us time to sympathise and absorb all of the information given to us. We are able to follow it all so that we don’t forget anything we have been shown/ told.

The fact that the presenter is on location is a strength, it helps us to feel it more and it is more hard hitting than if we were to be told by someone behind a desk.

We saw up close how serious the situation is and they didn’t try to ease us into it, it was hard hitting which makes us bring the story home.


We are not asked about what we could do, we are left feeling a little like we cannot do anything, even something so small.

It would have made things more real if we were told what people are doing to help, so the people are not alone.

Target audience

BBC- the British public, age range around 16+ not going much lower as it could be upsetting/ disturbing to younger children. Exposing children to something like this would be irresponsible and could have a bad outcome.  The topic is more relevant to adults because of the fact that they are aware of things that are happening all around the world.


Impacts of Target audiences

CBBC- Everton Fan Noah gets special birthday surprise.


Target audience

 Children, boys and girls around the ages of 6- 12, football fans

News value

The fact that the story is about a child will make it news value to all the children. The child has a disability and showing things like this will make it a normal thing to children growing up.

Ethical Considerations

You have to be more careful and considerate when presenting information as you are talking to a passive audience that are very easily influenced by what is said, they very rarely question the media, and they just accept it. Everything has to be the truth but told in a simple way.

The fact that the story is on a disabled boy, if bad things are said about him, or he was treated less than normal, kids will think that is a way you can treat other individuals.

The use of images is a consideration because they can’t show disturbing/ sensitive images to children as they could be very serious and hard hitting to them. Reassurance is given by telling them not to worry.

Ofcom, child protection laws and parental permission would all need to be considered.


There was a mixture of paces so that the child would keep focused during the time that they told the story, the pace was quick but it was slower when information was presented so that the children would be able to absorb it.


The language wasn’t too formal or difficult as they want to make sure that the children watching don’t find it too difficult to understand.


CBBC: The weeks weirdest news stories: strange, stranger and strangest


Would be interesting to younger people and the pace is different because it doesn’t really need to be absorbed, it’s a form of entertainment. The language is very simplistic and easy to follow.  It still has a voice over and anchorage even though the stories are fun and not serious.

How does broadcast news differ from online news videos?

Online videos are compact with text that accompanies the video in order to explain it further. TV news is based in the studio; you are shown interviews and various different perspectives from news reporters around the world. TV news is also always up to date, whereas online they may be older. TV news is Linear, whereas online news can be in a random, rigid order. TV news always priorities the most important stories from that day to show first.

Analysing news videos

‘I quit my job to make a videogame as a job application’ –

Codes and conventions- Voice over narrative. We were shown images and pre-recorded clips and the narrator was talking over it and talking about what we we were seeing and how it worked. If the video was just silent, this is effective to the audience because they would have to idea what it is about and why it is on the news.

The pace is slow and it makes things easy to understand, the story isn’t rushed and you feel comfortable with the information being given to you.

The story was current and something that is being talked about on various platforms on social media. The language is fairly formal but at points informal due to who is talking, somebody who is not a news presenter other than that it is delivered so that we are able to understand.

The headline is an example of good anchorage, it isn’t misleading and links very well to what the video is about. This is also effective to the audience because they want to know what they are watching before they watch it, so they know it will be worth it and something they are interested in.

Strengths and weaknesses. 


The voice over narrative is a strength, because of this we are able to receive and understand the information.

The person who the news is about is in the exact place that he made the game, this makes us feel more involved and up close.

The footage of the game will be effective to the audience because they will have an insight to what the gamer is talking about.


Not many people are able to relate whilst watching the news story, only a select amount of people would be able to due to the fact that is about a certain topic/ hobby.

Target audience

The target audience for this news story would be gamers themselves and/or somebody who is struggling to get into the gaming industry as well.


In accordance to the Ofcom guidelines what considerations would you have to think about before producing a programme to an under 18 audience?

There is a lot of speculation on what time the ‘watershed’ period begins. According to ofcom “Some programmes scheduled to start before the watershed and finishing after 21:00 may be of special appeal to children, especially during school holidays” This meaning that programmes shown after the time of 9pm may not be suitable for child viewers.

Ofcom also states “Depending on the channel and audience it attracts, viewers can be concerned at strong, adult material immediately after the watershed when a significant number of children could still be watching television.” This is an example of viewer warnings. When watching some TV programmes you may often find that they say things like ‘Some viewers may find this distressing” therefore becoming a warning to parents and children that they possibly should not be watching what is about to be on the TV.

“It is accepted that it is in the public interest that, in certain circumstances, news programmes may show material which is stronger than may be expected prewatershed” This means that if something that is in the public’s best interest, it is ok to be shown before the watershed but is also strongly advises that parents and children are notified.

The coverage of sexual and other offences in the UK involving the under-eighteens is another important part of Ofcom, when reporters are reporting any type of sexual offense in under 18s, they have to make sure to avoid the jigsaw affect. – “The ‘jigsaw’ effect occurs when several reports in different media give different details of a case which, when pieced together, reveal the identity of the child involved”

There is also a section about Drugs, smoking, solvents and alcohol abuse. This states that programme makers should always consider how big of an affect what they say will have a young people.

Because research shows that children will possibly emulate what they see on television, there are strong areas of concern on what should not be shown on television before the watershed these include…


• “the use of accessible domestic implements, such as knives, or other offensive weapons, articles or substances portrayed in a dangerous or harmful manner

• any portrayal of household items, such as micro-waves and tumble-dryers, which can cause harm if misused,

• certain locations, such as railway lines;

• certain material which may lead children to fail to recognise potentially dangerous play especially if there is no serious outcome; and

• hanging or the preparations for hanging, if easily imitable, particularly if shown before the watershed, unless the setting gives strong grounds for believing that imitation is unlikely.”

Offensive language is only allowed on a select few programmes, niche programmes allow swearing without warning due to the fact that there is not any children to be expected to watch.

Target audience: