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The Future of 24-Hour News

New Directions, New Challenges

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 12: 24-Hour News Channels around the Globe: Continuity or Change?


← 142 | 143 →CHAPTER TWELVE

24-Hour News Channels around the Globe: Continuity or Change?


In the last two decades, 24-hour satellite news channels have become ubiquitous around the world. We last explored the growth of this phenomenon a few years ago by comprehensively mapping the full extent and diversified complexity of satellite news ecology around the world (Rai and Cottle, 2010). More recent debates surrounding 24-hour news channels, however, suggest that the genre may be heading towards its decline (Sambrook and McGuire, 2014; Clarke, 2013; Flinn, 2015). It is increasingly argued that in an era of digital technologies with “on-demand” news needs fulfilled through social media and smartphones, the “rolling” news model of 24-hour news channels will cease to remain relevant. So far, however, there has been little attempt to measure any such decline in the status of these channels empirically. This chapter revisits and updates our findings approximately five years later. It once again systematically charts the full suite of channels around the world, highlighting major developments and departures in the last few years, thereby making a case for the extent to which 24-hour television news remains resilient in a digital media environment. The chapter also re-examines the implications of this phenomenon for traditional approaches to the formations and flows of information and culture. These findings continue, we argue, to variously challenge, endorse or qualify major theoretical positions within the field of international and global communications research....

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