When you say that you are going to watch some television, it rather means you are going to watch some types of program such as news, a soap opera, a football match or a game show.

Television broadcasts many kinds of programs every day. Since its invention television has borrowed many types of programs from the radio. Each type of TV show can be related to a particular genre. Literally, genre means type or kind and is used to describe a category of artistic composition which can involve films, music or books.

What Is A TV Genre?

What Is A TV Genre?

A TV genre is a way of classifying TV programs by the type of content. Examples of television genres are: soap operas, comedies, talk shows, game shows, children’s programs, sports and so on.

It is to be noted that the different television genres outlined in this article are not mutually exclusive and one style may share characteristics with others, that is, they may contain elements reflecting different genres. For example, a sport event may include some elements of a talk show.

1. TV News

The television news is an important genre as many people rely on it for information about the world they live in. As a visual medium, television news should, as far as possible, be presented visually so that you can see real events as they happen in every part of the world. News happens 24 hours a day and news from overseas arrives via satellite. News items are just summaries of events supported by video clips of those events.

Dramatic Visual Elements

Dramatic Visual Elements

Television news tends to select stories that have a lot of dramatic visual elements such as floods, earthquakes, crimes, fires, scandals and so on. Often reporters are seen arriving on such scenes to give fresh news to viewers. Thus, television news allows viewers to go along with the newscaster and reporters to the scene of the event. However, each story shown has its own tone and excitement. For example, the coverage of an inauguration of a new school may have a different impact compared to one in which you see a reporter on a crime scene giving live and immediate news.

Tight Deadline

Television news programs must meet daily deadlines. It puts a lot of pressure on journalists and technical operators. When an emergency happens, they have to go immediately on-site to report the event live or to record it to be shown as soon as possible on TV. This implies the need for doing fast research, writing the text, preparing any graphics input, recording and editing the video rapidly.

Television News Script

 Television news is about showing and telling. Most television news items have a simple structure which will usually answer the following:

  • Who is involved?
  • When did it happen?
  • What has happened?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?

Visuals And Words Should Support Each Other

The words should relate in some way to the pictures and support each other. However, they should not compete with each other for viewers’ attention. For example, there is no need to say important facts when viewers’ attention is focused on dramatic pictures of a building on fire. Maybe some silence is needed here to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Don’t Describe The Pictures

Don’t Describe The Pictures

If you say, “This is a busy street” and then the images are already showing the same thing, then you are unnecessarily describing the pictures. Instead, you could tell viewers something like: “a pickpocket was beaten to death here at noon.”

Characteristics Of A Television Newscaster

A television newscaster usually tells the news over a live broadcast. TV news presenters are the face of their stations because viewers actually see them on screen. Therefore they must possess some important characteristics to handle that role effectively.