ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this research was to investigate the impact of teleprompter in news & programmes presentation with a specific focus on TVC, AIT, ARISE TV and NTA, Lagos, especially from some newscasters and presenters who have used and experienced how teleprompter works. A survey research method was used coupled with 100 copies of questionnaire that were administered to the purposively selected newscasters and presenters. The data collected were analyzed using frequency and percentage method. Findings show that lots of television stations especially OSBC and other national and International channels are now using teleprompter to a high extent (59%) and they used teleprompter often for news presentations. Similarly, (88.2%) of the respondents were of the opinion that teleprompter has brought a lots of improvement to news and programmes presentation on TV channels. Also, many of the respondents (64.7%) now prefer the use of teleprompter for news presentation to the use of traditional bulletin reading. It is recommended television stations should as a matter of good innovation adopted the use of teleprompters, train its staff and re-training staff in order to get the best of the prompters while technology experts should be properly consulted to be able to procure the best prompter in the market not in terms of price but in terms of performance.
Table of Contents
Title page i
Table of Content vi
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Problem Statement 3
1.3 Objectives of the Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 4
1.5 Significance the Study 5
1.6 Scope of the Study 6
1.7 Limitations to the Study 6
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms 6
2.0 Literature Review 7
2.1 Conceptual Review 7
2.2 Review of Related Studies 24
2.3 Theoretical Framework 27
3.0 Research Methodology 30
3.1 Restatement of Research Questions 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3 Study Population 30
3.4 Sampling Technique 31
3.5 Sample Size 31
3.6 Data Collection Instrument 31
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument 32
3.8 Method of Data Collection 32
3.9 Method of Data Analysis 32
4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis 33
4.1 Data Analysis 33
4.3 Discussion of Findings 42
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 43
5.1 Summary 43
5.2 Conclusion 44
5.3 Recommendations 45
1.1 Background to the Study
Have you ever wondered whether newscasters on NTA, Channel, TVC, AIT and even OSBC are reading the news off hand by committing the news to their memory, the magic is being achieved by the use of a device called “teleprompter”. One of the devices in mass communication and television station in particular that has added plus to the programme and news presentation in the 21st century is the teleprompter.
It is no secret that being a good television broadcaster is a key to success in television business and views positive acceptance of the station. Television viewers value broadcasters who have the ability to communicate well and one proven tool to aid proper television presentation of programmes and news casting is the teleprompter (Krueger, 2005).
Simply put, a teleprompter, according to scholars (Krueger, 2005; Owuamalam, 2007; Uwakwe, 2010), is a device that “prompts” the person speaking with a visual text of a speech or script. This allows the presenters and newscasters to read the text word for word while maintain a consistent and accurate eye-contact with the audience, as well as maintaining spontaneity in television presenting or newscasting.
In the 1950s, actor, Fred Barton started this idea of a teleprompter, and later helped found the ‘TelePrompTer’ Corporation, which built the first devices and which became the generic term for these devices in many parts of the world (Uwakwe, 2010). Although the earliest teleprompter was nothing more than a scroll of paper with a script printed on it that was then run over a mechanical device operated by a hidden technician. The computer revolution in the 1980s brought many improvements – scrolling paper rolls were replaced with monitors and computer-generated text as early as 1982, but were still in use as late as 1992.
A teleprompter is also known as an autocue or a telescript. At its inception a teleprompter was simply a roll of paper that was “scrolled” in front of the performer or speaker as a way to “prompt” them of their lines. Technology has changed a lot since then. Currently, a teleprompter refers to a monitor mounted below a piece beam splitter glass (a special mirror developed to shoot video through) that is enshrouded in either black plastic, metal or cloth to keep out the light. A camera is then placed behind the beam splitter glass and the video is shot through the mirror. The teleprompter is then connected to a computer running teleprompter software that displays a mirror image of a script that scrolls at the talent’s own pace. The talent is now able to deliver lines while looking directly into the camera lens (while reading the script shown in the teleprompter) giving the appearance of spontaneity (Brin, 2016).
Fred (2014) writes that a teleprompter is commonly referred to as a prompter or Autocue, is a device that allows a presenter to read a script whilst maintaining direct eye contact with the audience. Because the speaker does not need to look down to consult written notes, he/she appears to have memorized the speech or to be speaking spontaneously.
Fred (2014) equally posits that teleprompters have traditionally been used in two main scenarios – by television presenters who want to be able to look straight in to the camera whilst reading the script, or by presidents, politicians and public speakers who want to be able to maintain natural eye contact with their audience rather than looking down at their notes. In more recent times, the use of teleprompters has widened to include any scripted video production, video bloggers, powerpoint presentations, as well as singers performing on stage as a way to help remember their lines.
The teleprompter or autocue (also known as “cue”, or “prompter”) is a mechanism consisting of a screen or mirror that allows the person to continue his speech or text at the same time he utters. It is a reading tool, which aims to provide support and confidence to the speakers (Charles, 2014).
Alao (2017) writes that during a presentation either in the film, news or programme; the presenter/actor must not married to the script but rather ensure and maintain a very good eye contact and facial expression. When eye contact is maintained, the attention of the audience is tie to the presentation and that is where teleprompter comes in. Therefore, newscasters adopted the use of teleprompter in achieving an effective eye contact to prevent too much of concentrations on the script but to make the presenter read the scripts as if they were memorised.
A teleprompter displays the prompts for a person filming or telecasting a visual report with an electronic device such as a video camera. Teleprompters are used instead of cue cards to electronically display the text of a script or speech. (Wikipedia.com, 2014)
The teleprompter screen, in front of the camera lens of a professional video camera, allows the presenter, a reporter or speechmaker, to keep “eye contact” with the viewing audience with an open and comfortable presence. The words on the teleprompter screen are reflected to the presenter on a beam splitter, a clear glass. The use of a teleprompter allows a presenter to appear at ease and engaged with the audience. They appear more professional and knowledgeable about their subject, not having to fumble with or refer to a paper copy (Oyekanmi, 2014).
Cue cards are still in limited use, but they are placed off center from the lens making the presenter to look away from the lens, making them look distracted. The first teleprompter was used created by Jess Oppenheimer, producer and head writer of “I Love Lucy” in 1953. The teleprompter was used to allow Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz to keep in character while presenting commercials on-camera. Several variations and improvements have been made to Oppenheimer’s original design including autoscript prompters which scroll at a comfortable pace based on a review of the speaker’s normal speech pattern.
Therefore, the research is set out to examine the impact of teleprompter in news & programmes presentations with a focus on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) Osogbo and the extent which the presenters and casters use it in its daily broadcast hour.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Eye contact is the hallmark of television presentation, news casting in particular as it makes newscasters have balance and constant eye contact and enjoy other facial communication, gesticulation and non-verbal cues during presentation apart from adding confidence to the experience ones. Television media owners want news to be presented as if the newscasters are reading news from hand rather than reading from script that is why most television stations adopted the use of teleprompter to perform the miracle of brilliancy of staffs.
Lots of studies have been carried out on television effects on audience and impact on the society particularly on children and in advertisement but there is little or no single research has been carried out in Nigeria on the impact or place of teleprompter in news and programmes presentations despite years of its adoption in most of the television stations in Nigeria.
However, what is the extent of teleprompter usage in OSBC, what is the experience of the amateur newscasters and professional alike, challenges experiencing if to compare with the time of manual. These and many issues that initiates this study to examine the teleprompter usage in news and programme presentations in OSBC.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether teleprompter has improved news and programmes presentation on OSBC Channel 32 UHF.
- To ascertain whether presenters and newscasters prefer teleprompter to manual script.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent has teleprompter improved news and programmes presentation on OSBC Channel 32 UHF?
- To what extent do presenters and newscasters prefer teleprompter to manual script?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study of this nature will benefit media practitioners and students of journalism on the need to acquire the needed skills and qualification to succeed in their career such as perfect and effective ways of using emerging media devices like teleprompter, skpe, social media, google apps and other e-reporting.
Media houses will also find the materials relevant as it will of benefit to them to know the reason and importance of teleprompter to the television presentation by given necessary training and retraining to their staff because they are the representative of their station.
It will help the media outfit to always maintain their devices and ensure they are in good condition all the time because, failure of gadget like teleprompter will create bad image for the station. Future researcher will benefit from this research as it will be useful to them while carrying out a related study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Although, the primary aim and objective of the project is to assess the use of teleprompter in news and programmes presentation. This study has thus been narrowed in scope to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC Channel 32 UHF, Osogbo) because of the availability and use of teleprompter by the presenters and newscasters. Other factor for chosen OSBC is due to its proximity and the rapport that the researcher has with the newscasters.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Assessment: This refers to the careful investigation into the use of teleprompter among journalists in OSBC, Osogbo.
Teleprompter: It refers to as an electronic machine used instead of cue cards to electronically display the text of a script or speech in news or programme studio of television presenters.
Presenter/Newscaster: This is one that read, present or cast news or programme to the audience usually on television screen.
News: This is the presentation of factual account of events that happened across the country during the news period on OSBC, Osogbo.
Programmes: There are various activities such as news, music, advert, sport that are used to fill the television broadcast airtime on a daily basis for the purpose of educating, entertaining and informing the audience of OSBC, Osogbo.
Presentations: This is a way of disseminating news and other programmes to the audience on OSBC channel 32 UHF, Osogbo in order to entertain, educate and inform them.
OSBC: Osun State Broadcasting Corporation