The Principles that Underlie the Uses of Research in Programme Design and Production
The programming and subsequent production of a TV/radio programme are quite tasking in the modern days. As a matter of fact, in the contemporary world, there can be observed waves of dynamics in the mindset of television or radio audience, which has led to the need for a fully furnished programme that would appeal to most of the public due to the existing competition among programs. Consequently, there has been an increased demand for research in both factual and fictional world with the best-intended narration that would meet the ultimate expectations of the viewers or the entire block of audience. Ideally, most news stations have an increasingly growing range of audience with varying tastes and preferences. As a result, research has become extremely significant for the production of refined programmes.
Ideally, the programme producer often considers research to be an important tool for the daily production of programmes. In particular, the research on the audience as far as their demands are concerned often dictates the type of content, appearance as well as style applied to this or that program. Essentially, most news stations are privately owned, although public ownership is also a common feature worldwide. For instance, the US has had no public-ran news station for a long period. In this regard, private news stations are profit-oriented in their operations. Consequently, due to an increased number of stations, the preparation and subsequent production of programmes have been critical to many companies. For instance, the BBC station has been facing the competition of more than 600 extra channels worldwide competing for the same level as the audience. This implies that every programme must meet the expectations of the consumers. For the understanding of the consumers’ tastes and preferences for the programs, research plays a significant role and is vital for overall production. However, the production of quality programmes must, however, go hand in hand with the cost of production. The research, therefore, helps in the determination of the most appealing programme with the possible cost factor for profit realisation and subsequent maximisation. The current paper uses empirical programs for illustrating the essentials of research in programme design and production.
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Ideally, there are three basic stages involved in programme production, namely pre-production, production and post-production stages. This paper focuses on the pre-production stage. As a matter of fact, this stage involves the generation of ideas as well as the logical organisation of the ideas with a view to meeting the requisite clients’ needs amidst competing programs. Research creates clarity of ideas of the features of a programme, where the producer further contrasts it with the competing programs with due regards to the needs of their audience. A programme prepared on the basis of the research is characterised with comprehensiveness and logical sequence of thoughts and is therefore capable of appealing to the required consumer needs. Furthermore, prior research in the pre-production stage ensures that the process of presenting the idea in the form of the programme is clear and easy to gauge the results in the domain of the vast majority of the audience. Indeed, the preproduction stage dictates the success of the other stages and the programme in general.
As the producer of a TV program for BBC television, Mock the Week. I have to create a censure-like episode before featuring the programme on the TV. The vast number of viewers has a wide range of individual thoughts and expectations. It is impossible to meet all viewers’ expectations to the fullest. However, it is possible to nurture the environment of episode watch and current observable features to the target audience. In order to decide on the best scenarios to send on-air, I have to make a calculated set of procedures guided by prior research on the programme’s intended clients. This research also assists in locating the best time for the programme to be run in the air for the utmost consumer satisfaction.
Indeed, prior to pitching out the program, I would be presumably aiming at thorough research regarding the current market of the panel games documentaries prior to the alignment of my film amidst other popular programs in the field of panel games genre. Consequently, I would develop a design for the pitch in a manner that will catch the most significant attention from the extensive client outlay particularly to the specific selling points and the middle-age fan groups. In my research, I would unveil a number of case scenarios where the Mock the Week has spelt out critics and applause.
For instance, the programme saw rapid and significantly huge controversy that had been created from it, particularly on past occasions. Indeed, Mock the Week has generated numerous complaints from the viewers, an aspect that would see a reduction of viewing clientele arising from negative comments by particular panel members such as Frankie Boyle. On the basis of my research, for instance, I would censure an episode such as the one created in 2007 at a segment known as, ‘what the queen never said during her Christmas message’ as uttered by Boyle. Knowledge arising from these research backgrounds will be essential for the development of a strong pre-production stage for the programme to attract a larger number of clients. Among other critics, this arrogance has been put to the public domain in the limelight of Newsnight. Essentially, the research on such grounds would help me in censuring such episodes before they are lively broadcasted to the public. This move would help in enhancing the public image amidst the cross-cutting challenge of a diverse public in regards to the millions of programmes in many channels’ outlays.
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Once I identify the classical type of elements expressed in the programme, I will then contact the parties involved in the prime production of the programme components. The pitched section would then go through thorough research to identify the particular aspect of insights on the audience’s feelings towards it. The understanding of actual facets of the programme would be further reinforced by drawn understanding from independent producers within the panel games segment in the games industry. Indeed, I would further take the scrutiny of sellers, the Boyle party series as sample pitch that would guide future selections of panel games as well as the current realignment of the programme in order to meet the consumers’ demands. This would be enhanced by the research, which would provide me with the necessary information regarding the type of audience for the programme. As a result, the information would provide a background for enhancement of the programme besides creating room for visualising the impact that the programme would have on the consumers of the product. Furthermore, the research would also provide a ground for selecting the most optimal content as well as the contributors to unveiling the programme to the audience. This research would also unveil specific programme information regarding the producers and eligibility in the context of legal provisions such as copyright issues.
The understanding of the true reactions pertaining to the programme by the audience is essential for the development of all-inclusive programmes. The producers may be biased, while the programme, in general, may carry desirable traits. For instance, censure in the programme does not necessarily imply that it has been fully rebuffed from the air. On the contrary, research would provide grounds for censuring of certain segments of programmes with the intention of reaping desired outcomes for the institution and mutual benefits for the audience and the entire viewer group for both radio and television programmes respectively. Ideally, the essence of research in art and design pre-production stage offers a critical chance for the role played by the new station in promoting social growth with moral advancements. As a matter of fact, censure arising from prior research on the effect of programmes on the clients’ behaviour and attachment to the station may not be satisfactory in every aspect of the human race. For instance, when private companies produce a programme, the main aim is to publicise the entire content to the public. Censure in any station may imply dissatisfaction on the part of the private company’s responsibility for the production. On the other hand, the censure may imply increased consumers’ trust and mutual loyalty regarding the entire programme anchor with due regard to morality and cultural values of the audience. In the event that certain content is omitted for the sake of end consumers, the prime producer of the programme may be compelled by emotions to disapprove the news station. However, the effect of this withdrawal might not produce adverse effects on the television or radio station as it would have been the case if the biased segment had reached the whole consumer audience.
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For instance, in 2008, research indicated that protracted controversy was evident in the comments uttered by Boyle with respect to Rebecca Adlington of the Mock the Week concerning her looking like the one who glares at herself on the rear side of the spoon. With these remarks, the producer at the BBC station went to censuring such segments with a view to creating a healing condition on the part of the audience that responded negatively to the remarks. This move was barely based on the research on the impact of such section on the consumer. However, as stated earlier, the contentious issue led to Boyle’s negative critics on BBC following its withdrawal and accusing the broadcaster of covering insufficient but appropriately regarded news stories while remaining highly restrictive on the comedy act. However, the effect of this misconstruction was less fatal to BBC as the company would have lost only one client, Boyle, amidst millions of viewers who might have lost confidence in BBC programme arising from the controversy from the side of Boyle. Furthermore, research also unveils the needs for a frequently expressed matter of social concerns such as gender expression and humiliation. For instance, in 2009, absence of female guests in the programme scared away some prospective client groups as brought out in the case scenario on Radio Times by the character, Jo Brand in response to the situation of male dominance in comedy genre as in the Mock the Week. Critics also protested against the Mock the Week with regards to how such comedians as Linda Smith, the late, were shown as fresh comedians looking like ‘prize fighters’. These latter impressions indicate some of the negative implication of non-researched case scenarios of negativity in the programme’s pre-production and subsequent production stage.
In this regard, the production of a good idea is not a guarantee of good performance in terms of a positive reception by the audience. Consequently, the idea must reorganise in a manner that its display would lead to customers’ satisfaction by virtue of audiences’ positive reception. As a matter of fact, to pitch any idea carried out in a programme with a view to streamlining it to the demands of the channel also requires extensive research on the proper mechanisms that would ensure the most desired clients’ satisfaction.
The public appreciation index is also an important aspect of evaluating the consumers’ perception of the programme, providing a background assertion on the enjoyment level of the programme by the clients. On the other hand, the consumers’ reach index also portrays the demographic features of the programme in terms of the number of people receiving it with respect to gender, age and economic parameters of the observers. Consequently, research shows that any programme that receives low reach index but high appreciation index meets the requisite public service value. Indeed, mutual acceptance of a programme implies relatively easier efforts to enhance its subsequent reach index. Therefore, in establishing my programme, I would base its production on researching the intensive pre-production stage in order to boost both the reach index and the appreciation index at large.
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Essentially, programmes that must pass through the piloting stage may also seek qualitative research, which would provide a ground for gauging public acceptance. In this regard, producers make sure that the initial outage does not reach the public consumers of information. This form of research may be conducted in the form of questionnaires and research team mechanisms with prospective representatives of the public consumers of information. The sample involved as a respondent in this research may have come from public entities with a special interest in the programme or part of it besides having prior information about the thematic issue portrayed in the programme. In this programme, all aspects of events unfolding must be geared towards meeting the expectations of the audience besides creating room for multiple interpretations noted prior to the empirical broadcast. As such, this affirms the critical role played by research prior to the production of any television or radio programme.