Channel 4 News is a programme streamed on Channel 4 at 7pm every day during the week, and at different times during the weekend. Channel 4 News is among the highest-rated television programmes in the United Kingdom, winning a record of five Royal Television Society Awards. The programme is presented by Jon Snow and Cathy Newman who communicate important events happening around the world with an average audience of 650,000 and 700,000. The programme is mostly watched by males aged sixty and above, working in the government and civil service sector.
Every news programme has its own news agenda. Channel 4’s news agenda is based around national news, international news and current affairs. The programme’s core news value is to be in touch with viewers lives and what matters to them, holding into account and asking questions viewers want answered. As the channel is funded by commercialism and is a semi-public service, it does not have the obligation to be bias towards government. Their main aim is to communicate the truth and place a spotlight on justice and this is achieved everyday through a soft approach by the main presenter Jon Snow who is known as one of the longest-running presenter of Channel 4 News.
This news agenda is achieved through a set of news producers who construct their selection and prioritisation of news stories, and if the story does not fit the agenda, it won’t be reported. If the story is not recent, does not have spotlight and if there are not enough evidence and importance, the story will not be reported by Channel 4.
In recent weeks, with the Battle of Aleppo, the focus of the news agenda has been the Syrian conflict and Brexit. Therefore, these two stories are always at the top of the news. While, it does not seem to be much attention on the American government, as they know that this is not something their viewers are interested in hearing at the moment.
“Channel 4 News deserves Isaac’s praise and it can be seen as the forefront of television news” said Dorothy Hobson. In fact, Channel 4 remains the only channel which includes analysis and in depth coverage of the issue, other channels such as BBC and ITV do not specialise in in-depth coverage, but rather a rolling news which repeats the same news many times.
Different channels construct their own brand identities through differences in presentation style. Channel 4 News’s presentation style differs compared to other news programmes. Channel 4’s News identity is recognised by the studio theme which is mainly purple and white with the desk at the centre of the studio, this creates a soothing impression as a cool colour scheme is used, and also assures the viewers that they are being told the truth based on pure facts. The logo of the channel has also a white and purple theme which associates with the programme.
While presenting, Jon and Cathy are always directly addressing the camera and this develops an intense relationship with the viewer. The audience relies on the trustworthiness of the programme, Channel 4 gains viewers trust through the vocabulary and grammar quality. The presenters are genuinely involved in the story and this is communicated through an occasional frown, raising of an eyebrow or a head movement when emphasising a point, which gives audience reassurance and built trust with the presenters.
Another unique factor which identifies Channel 4 News is the presenters change of location in the studio. Every story is communicated from a different location in the studio as the presenters do not sit together. The presenters will be placed in front of a big screen, or standing against the window which allows viewers to look inside the Channel 4 News building, or sat behind a desk. This gives the programme a less formal style and signifies transparency, in terms of not hiding anything from the audience which helps gain viewers loyalty.
Channel 4 has used new media technology such as recording interview outside the studio and having still images on a backdrop behind the presenter in order to visually engage the audience, and to keep viewers interest in the programme. Lastly, Channel 4 distinguishes itself from other broadcast programmes through starting the programme with multimedia headlines and giving a summary of what they will be discussing on that certain report, and Jon ends the broadcast with summarising the main news discussed during the programme.