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24 hour news

22 July 2010

24 hour news channels have pushed broadcasters towards covering more live and breaking stories, sacrificing analysis and content in favour of images. That’s according to a new book by two academics at Cardiff University.

The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives, edited by Dr. Stephen Cushion and Professor Justin Lewis of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies explores the state of 24-hour news television around the world following the thirtieth anniversary of CNN’s launch.

The book suggests dedicated news channels have had a major impact on how broadcast journalism is delivered. Have 24 hour-news television channels been good for journalism and democracy? The book which reviews many regions of the world paints a mixed picture.

"In some cases – for example the Arab world – 24-hour news channels have provided a broader range of information than before. In other cases – for example in the US and UK – rolling news channels have pushed broadcasters towards covering more live and breaking stories at the expense of providing more analysis and context," say Dr. Stephen Cushion and Professor Justin Lewis at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

"For better or worse, 24-hour news television channels have made their mark on the journalism industry. While it is often said we live in a 24 hour news culture – with politicians, in particular, hastily reacting to news – less attention has been paid to how journalism itself has changed or what audiences now expect from television news".

The book explores in-depth the genre of rolling television news channels in key regions of the world. It examines the diverse ways in which round-the-clock news channels have reshaped the genre of news and, in a broader sense, the impact they have had on democracy itself. In one chapter about the competitive relationship between Sky News and the BBC News Channel, the book suggests:

"The race to be Britain’s most watched news channel has promoted not only a rise in the reporting of breaking news items, but an editorial shift in the reporting of live action. The rolling news effect has moved journalism from the conveyance of factual information to the delivery of live, breaking pictures. This raises many questions about the purpose of journalism in the age of 24-hour news".

The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives is published by Peter Lang and is available to purchase now.


Notes to editors

1. Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

The Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is a world-leading centre for media teaching and research. A pioneering force in journalism education since the 1970s, the School has an international reputation as a centre for the study of journalism, mass media and cultural studies. It benefits from a state-of-the-art digital media monitoring facility and comprehensive archives including the Richard Stott Daily Mirror Papers and the Cudlipp Collection.

Researchers at the School contribute to evolving UK policies in a wide range of areas such as devolution, science communication, and journalism practice, and to international debates about media and culture. Major research groups at the School include Journalism Studies; Mediatized Conflict; Race, Representation and Cultural Identity; Risk, Science, Health and Media.

In the most recent independent assessment of the quality of research in British universities, the volume of ‘world-leading’ research in the School placed it in the top 1% of all university departments in the UK.

The Centre for Journalism Studies offers the highly acclaimed and award winning Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism Studies, which prepares students for a career in journalism or public and media relations.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at:

3. For further information

Victoria Dando

Public relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 879074