Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Crawl Effect

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Crawl Effect

Many people have mixed feelings about the 'crawl' that is used on TV. The crawl has been around for years, but it's argued to be either a distraction with too much information crawling on the bottom of the screen of where to look, what to read (whether its breaking news or updating news) on top of what is being broadcasted live on TV and the crawl also being a good thing because the TV segments are crammed as it is to get everything in that TV channels don't have enough room for everything so they scroll it across the screen to inform the viewers.

"The networks say they aren't really certain that viewers can process all the information they're cramming onto the screen. But cram they will; Given that cable news viewers are a restless, remote-control-happy bunch, they say, the crawls offer a new way to deliver news more quickly,". ... " "Whether we like it or not, a faster pace is the reality now," says Susan Bunda, senior vice president of CNN. "People will become accustomed to it. And this story is of such a magnitude that people want as much information as they can get," ('Crawls' March Across TV Territory, by Paul Farhi).

The crawl has become a part of broadcasting. It will probably always be used. Their are so many topics and the TV companies narrow the stories down, condense them and just talk about the main points to get as much in as they can that the crawl becomes important to the broadcast so the channel(s) can display breaking news and give news updates for things to tell the viewers whether or not the news is a priority or that people watching really care, but we do get distracted by the crawl. One minute you are in the middle of listening to the current broadcast then you are hit with another topic along the top or bottom of the screen that you have to read while listening to the reporters talk because the crawl can grab your attention whether or not you chose to read it through or just keep listening to the original broadcast. Until or unless the viewers tolerate it, the 'crawl' will be an issue as long as it is being used.

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