Time series analysis of BBC news bulletins

Following on from my use of running Mann-Whitney Z statistics to look at the time series structure of Top Hat (here), this week I have the first draft of an analysis of 15 BBC news bulletins using the same method.

The pdf file can be accessed here: Nick Redfern – Time series analysis of BBC News bulletins


Shot length data from 15 news bulletins broadcast at 1300, 1800, and 2200 on BBC 1 between 11 April 2011 and 15 April 2011, inclusive, is used to compare the editing style between different bulletins broadcast at different times on different days and to examine the time series structure by identifying clusters of shots short and long duration. The results show there is no evidence that shot length distributions of BBC news bulletins vary with the time or day of broadcast, and the style of editing is consistent across the sample. There is also no evidence the highly structured format of television news is related to the time series of shot lengths beyond the opening title sequence, which is associated with a cluster of short shots in every bulletin. The number, order, and location of clusters of longer and shorter shots is different for each bulletin; and there are several examples of abrupt transitions between different editing regimes, but no evidence of any cycles present in the time series. Although there is no overall common pattern to the editing, there are some consistent features in the time series for these bulletins: clusters of shorter shots are associated with footage derived from non-BBC sources (library footage, other broadcasters, public information films) and montage sequences; while clusters of shots of longer duration are associated with shots in which the viewer is addressed directly by the presenter or reporter (including graphics), live-two-way interviews, and speeches or interviews with key actors in a news item.

The data is described in the above paper and can be accessed as an Excel 2007 file here: Nick Redfern – BBC News Data

About Nick Redfern

I am an independent academic with over 15 years experience teaching film in higher education in the UK. I have taught film analysis, film industries, film theories, film history, science fiction at Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Central Lancashire, and Leeds Trinity University, where I was programme leader for film from 2016 to 2020. My research interests include computational film analysis, horror cinema, sound design, science fiction, film trailers, British cinema, and regional film cultures.

Posted on July 7, 2011, in Cinemetrics, Film Analysis, Film Studies, Film Style, News, Statistics, Television, Time Series Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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