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The Future of 24-Hour News

New Directions, New Challenges

Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook

Over the last 30 years 24-hour television news channels have reshaped the practice and culture of journalism. But the arrival of new content and social media platforms over recent years has challenged their power and authority, with fast-changing technologies accelerating the speed of news delivery and reshaping audience behaviour. Following on from The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives (Cushion and Lewis, 2010), this volume explores new challenges and pressures facing television news channels, and considers the future of 24-hour news. Featuring a wide range of industry and academic perspectives, including the heads of some of the major international news channels (BBC Global News, Al Jazeera and Sky News, among others) as well as leading academics from around the world, contributors reflect on how well rolling television news is reinventing itself for digital platforms and the rapidly changing expectations of audiences. Overall, the 24 chapters in this volume deliver fresh insights into how 24-hour news channels have redefined rolling news journalism – or potentially could do – in order to remain relevant and effective in supplying continuous news for 21st-century audiences.
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Chapter 2: The View from the United States: Three Forces Shaping the Future of Video News


← 26 | 27 →CHAPTER TWO

The View from the United States: Three Forces Shaping the Future of Video News


Questions about the future of television news in the United States are easily answered: there is none. The days when we got most of our news on television are ­either gone or rapidly going. Today, we routinely watch video news reports throughout the day and night on all sorts of devices, only some of which can be called “television sets.” Increasingly even our TV sets are fully connected to the internet, so at any given time, we’re not even using them to watch what we’ve traditionally considered “television news.” Those producing video news reports aren’t necessarily named “ABC” or “CNN,” but often now are companies like Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Vice, and the New York Times.

What’s more, consumers don’t much care. We want our news accessible, compelling, and convenient—convenient to us, not necessarily convenient to those producing it. If that means watching it on television, fine, but convenience now means watching it also on a smartphone or a tablet or some new device soon to come on the scene. Televisions may not disappear altogether, but television news will no longer be a genre onto itself.

Questions about the future of video news in the United States, on the other hand, are more difficult to answer and much more interesting. To...

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