Channel 4 Analysis
The first thing that I notice about Channel 4’s morning newscast is the opening video and story for this newscast. They start out by saying “Channel 4 brings you the most current news” and then go into to talking about the Breaking News story of a shooting that happened on a Marine site. My overall first impression of this newscast is that it is light on content. If the first breaking news story of the day is talking about a shooting on a marine corp. base is there top story of the morning that isn’t even that big of news on national news stations, then they are struggling for content. The lead anchors are Andre Hepkins and Diana Zoga, Andre is wearing a nice suit and tie while Diana is wearing a shirt with her hair down and no necklace around her neck. There was no lead story because the first thing they jump to is Kent Earnhardt and the weathercast for the weekend. This is important because at this time of the season the weather is taking over the news being that it is spring time and there is a chance of a weather storm. But the fact that they go to weather first tells me that they are light on content or no story really jumped out as headliner story.
Brittany Noble was the first reporter on site for the first story of the newscast after weather. She was outside the police station reporting on a police officer who was injured after a hit and run earlier this week. She said the police were still looking for the other person involved and that the police department was still covering this story. The live shot was of Brittany outside the police station and even though they had nice video to go over the story it just seemed like to weak of a story to be the lead off for this newscast. Other than Brittany the first 10 minutes of this newscast had no stand-ups of reporters. This was mostly because after this local story the rest of the first block of the newscast wasn’t local news. It jumped to talking about a criminal in critical condition on Colorado who may be linked to a cop murder, gun control in Sandy Hook Elementary case, and school’s closing in Chicago.
The local police officer in a hit and run story was the memorable one for me in this newscast. Mostly because they made it such a large topic. They had plenty of coverage on it and even a live shot with the reporter in front of the news station which makes it seem like this is an important story compared to others. Another story that was memorable to me was of gun control dedicated to the Sandy Hook elementary shooting. This stuck out to me one because of the B-roll that went with it. They were shots that were used before during the footage but they made it seem like it was newer footage of the school. They then jumped to a sound bite of Joe Biden talking at a news conference that had no locator tag of any kind. They one part that I did find cool about this story was how they tied it in with a picture taken by the late John Lennon’s wife of his blood stained glasses that had a quote of how many people were killed by guns since her husband’s death. I thought this was a good tie in to get that emotional factor from the fan base. The final story that stuck out to me was of school closings in Chicago due to budget loss. This stuck out mostly because I am not sure why it’s even in a St. Louis newscast. It was just a VO/SOT of angry families because their children can’t go to school. Even though it is important, doesn’t seem like A-block material for a morning newscast.
The writing I felt was strong in this newscast. They made each story conversational and intriguing. One thing I did notice was there were not many teases at the beginning of the newscast. They had one tease of a shooting on a marine base but then didn’t talk about it again until the second block. As a viewer, that seems frustrating because I’m expecting something as an opening head tease to be pretty close to the top of the newscast rather than a story of Chicago schools closing. Even though the content wasn’t local I did think the stacking of the show was smartly placed. They started off with two local stories of cops being injured in the line of duty with both having B-roll and SOT’s and a live stand up for the first story. Then afterwards they jumped into a couple other murders and injuries that happened out of state and then into gun control and Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. I do feel that they were missing a lot of graphics in this newscast. Seemed like a lot of locator tags and story tags for each story in the A-block didn’t have anything and it was light there. It made me realize how visual the show really does have to be for viewers to be interesting.
My overall impression of the newscast is it was good and the show was stacked well but the stories just seemed light. Felt like there had to be some kind of news going on in St. Louis that was considered important enough to bump some of the other stories a little lower so that a local station could have some credibility and support with their material. One thing I learned next time producing that even if you don’t have all local stories you can still create a strong newscast as long as it is visual for the viewers and the stories do seem important. Also don’t forget graphics and locators because it is noticeable and very important for a newscast. The news team does seem credible, each reporter seems like they are covering the material and stories with a passion which keeps viewers interested when watching this newscast. It also shows how serious the station takes their newscasts by sending reporters out on remote and has them live with stand-ups. The two lead anchors are a good choice as well to be lead anchors in the morning newscast. They have a lot of energy to them that people enjoy seeing when they wake up in the morning. Andre Hopkins did talk very fast with his story so it was a bit hard to understand them but overall they seemed like a strong news team. I would watch this station again but I feel as if I wouldn’t put this news station at the top of my list. Channel 5 and Channel 2 in St. Louis seem to have little more importance and dedicating to their newscast. The content of the show and stories that were involved with it showed more concern with out of state stories that the other stations do. Even though they were credible I would put KSDK and KTVI towards the top on my list.