Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: 'Crawls' March Across TV Territory

Monday, May 08, 2006

'Crawls' March Across TV Territory

In this article by Paul Farhi it discusses how television news channels information across the bottom of the screen and it causes the viewers to become distracted. They are trying to feed viewers all this information on stories that aren't being covered while they are showing live reports about anthrax for example. The term 'crawl' just means the extra information they are delivering to you on the bottom of the screen on the stories they are not showing you. Almost all of the news networks are using this 'crawl' especially since September 11th, 2001. Rhodes feels that "There's so much on this story in a given day, and not enough screen time for it." There is so much information that the networks have, but do not have enough time to show it all so they feel that having the scrolling headlines is a good idea. The crawl can make the screen crowded because they have all these images scrolling and rotating. Showing news at a faster rate is what is going on now, and whether people like it or not it is the fastest way to give them information. Whether or not they are able to take in all what is given to them, the networks will still cram all the information at one time. Some of the people who are for the crawl are not sure if it is helping people become better-informed. We just aren't meant to take all this information in at one time. They did a test to see how viewers react to the crawl and most people could not stay focused. I know if I am watching something, and something begins to scroll across the bottom of the screen my eyes automatically lose focus on the program and go to the bottom of the screen. It can be annoying at times because you are trying to focus on too many things at once. My eyes are just not able to handle everything going on the screen and my brain is unable to process all of it. You get so fed up with it, that you probably either change the channel, or turn away from the TV until the headlines on the bottom stop so that you can continue to watch the program. By that time though you probably have missed half the news on the top stories.


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