Annotated Bibliography

Barnouw, E. (1990). Tube of plenty: The evolution of American television. New York: Oxford University Press.

In order to understand the evolution of broadcast graphics I felt it was important to understand the medium for which they are produced. Barnouw’s book gives a thorough history of the television, including early technologies and inventors instrumental to its development. Also important are Barnouw’s views on Cable television and how it affected the major networks by increasing competition. Barnouw is considered an authority in visual communications and has written many books on the subject.

Batten, F. & Cruikshank, J.L. (2002). The Weather Channel. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Frank Batten, along with John Coleman founded The Weather Channel and wrote this book documenting the history of the 24-hour weather station. I used this source simply to get a simple explanation of the origin of The Weather Channel and its specific purpose. The Weather Channel, along with ESPN and CNN are examples I use in the paper of how cable created competition for the networks and how stations had to use graphics and other differentiating methods to separate themselves from the myriad of competition in broadcast television.

Bech, J., Lorente, J., Molina, T. and Vilaclara, E. (2010, June) Improving TV weather broadcasts with technological advancements: two cases from a 20 year perspective. Meteorological Applications (Vol. 17. Issue 2). Retrieved April 12, 2011 from, University of Washington Library.

This article discusses technological advances in graphics for TV weather broadcasts and the effects they have had on improving the viewer’s understanding of the information and the ability of the weather forecaster to communicate complicated weather patterns. The article discusses two case studies; how weather radar images changed the way forecasters present their findings and the use of animated characters as weather forecasters. It also offers a glimpse into the future of graphics in television weather broadcasts as it discusses uses over mobile devices.

Carlson, W. (2003). A critical history of computer graphics and animation. Retrieved April 23 from

This website, divided into twenty sections, chronicles the history of computer graphics including the technology leading up to the development of desk-top computers which are used by motion designers to create graphics for television, helping bring the subject from the past to the present.

Cooke, L. (2005). A visual convergence of print, television, and the Internet: charting 40 years of design change in news presentation. New Media & Society7(1), 22-46. Retrieved May 12, 2011 from, University of Washington Library.

Cooke’s article focuses on the evolution of design techniques used by major news media outlets over the past 40 years. Besides the advances in technology that allowed computer graphics to create flashy visuals that caught the viewer’s eye, news producers organized the set and the screen to best present information to audiences. In the case of broadcast news, graphics were designed and arranged in a fashion that helped the viewer understand and focus on the story. Over time, changes were made that better enabled the audience to scan the screen and obtain information in a more personal and meaningful manner.

Christensen, C. M., Anthony, S. D., & Roth, E. A. (2004). Seeing what’s next: using the theories of innovation to predict industry change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Christensen discusses several theories of innovation and applies them to various forms of media and media technology. New technologies are born that change the way tasks are performed and often eliminate the need for trained professionals. I will use these theories to analyze the effect new technologies such as computer graphics and digital editing software have changed the way in which graphics are used in broadcast television and how they have changed things for the creative people who design and produce them.

Edsall, S. (2008). The future of television graphics. ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics42(2), Retrieved May 1, 2011 from

Edsall’s article offers an interesting look at the recent innovations in digital television technology, including high definition and 3D displays, and how they present graphic television designers with creative opportunities to showcase their talents. The article is full of examples of new display technologies, computer graphics software and virtual set environments. Edsall also breeches the subject of convergence and discusses how the roll of graphic designers may expand as media giants tell their stories across different platforms such as television, film, radio and the web.

Fidler, R. F. (1997). Mediamorphosis: understanding new media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Pr.

Fidler gives a brief history of the advent of television. I used this as part of my research of how far television, and the content, which appears on it, has come over the years. This includes the evolution from black and white to color and from analogue to digital and the resistance or adoption issues faced in implementing those technologies. The adoption of color was particularly important as it led to a substantial increase in the number of viewers and also opened more possibilities for the use of graphics.

Foote, J.S., & Saunders, A.C. (1990). Graphic forms in network television news. Journalism Quarterly,67(3), 501-507. Retrieved from, University of Washington Library.

Foote and Saunders conducted a study comparing how the major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, used different forms of graphics in their news programming in 1988. Although all three networks used graphical representation in the majority of their news stories, how they used them differed slightly.  Some used graphics strictly to introduce news stories and explain statistics and data, while others used them expressively to add movement and transition from one story to the next. Their study was based on the definition Herbert Zettl used to describe television graphics and what he described as a “graphication” of television news. I used this article to show how quickly motion graphics became mainstream in television news broadcasting.

Fox, J.R., Lang, A., Chung, Y., Lee, S., & Schwartz, N., Potter, D. (2004). Picture this: effects of graphics on the processing of television news. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media48(4), 646-674. Retrieved May 4, 2011 from, University of Washington Library.

This article chronicles important research done on the effects of static and motion graphics on how viewers process television news. A series of experiments were conducted to try and prove various hypotheses; mainly that graphics, particularly animated sequences, will positively effect the way in which viewers process, encode and recall news stories. Conclusions were that viewers were better able to process news stories that contained graphics of some form without having to allocate as many mental resources to understanding them. I use this article to demonstrate the powerful effect motion graphics have on attracting viewers to a story and holding their attention.

McLuhan, M., (1994). Understanding media: the extensions of man. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

McLuhan proposes that the characteristics of a medium, and not the content that it contains, are the factors in which society is influenced the most. The medium has a direct effect on how the audience interprets the message that is being communicated. Although computer generated graphics are part of the content viewed on television, the fact that new technology have made it possible for these graphics to become so realistic, I believe they are shaping the way in which audiences view and interpret content via television and the web.

Meggs, P.B. (1998). Six chapters in graphic design: saul bass, ivan chermayeff, milton glaser, paul rand, ikko tanaka, henryk tomaszewski, 1997. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books

Before computers were used create opening title sequences and visual accompaniment for broadcast television, talented graphic artists like Saul Bass pioneered their use in major motion pictures like The Man With the Golden Arm and Vertigo. I use Meggs’ book to illustrate the fact that motion graphics did, indeed, exist without the aid of computers. I also use it to explain how innovations in computer technology opened the market to television stations that previously could not afford the time or money it took to create these labor intensive animations and effects.

Newcomb, H. (2004). Encyclopedia of television. Chicago, IL: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.

The book has a section on the role sports played in turning around the fortunes of ABC in the 1970’s. Roone Arledge, president of ABC Sports beginning in 1968, made sports television relevant by storytelling and personalization through a humanistic style, multiple camera angles and flashy graphics. I will use this text to help show the importance computer generated graphics have had on the understanding and consumption of statistics in sports broadcasting.

Potter, D. (2001). Cluttering the view. American Journalism Review23(5), 64. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from, University of Washington Library.

Potter claims that news channels are overwhelming viewers with fancy graphics, news tickers and over dramatized headlines. Breaking news has lost all meaning, in Potter’s opinion, when it’s slapped on every story no matter how old the news is. It’s become a way to get the viewer’s attention by shouting louder and hoping they’ll tune in. In actuality, viewers are being overwhelmed with “TMI” (too much information) and every line of text that appears on the screen is a potential distraction to the substance of the newscast.

Winston, B. (1998). Media technology and society: a history: from the telegraph to the internet. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Winston discusses the evolution of the television from black and white to color to high definition. He also ponders the notion of holographic broadcasts and wonders whether the audience’s need for realism will force this innovation or whether they will see it as a recreation of the theatre and reject the significance of the technology. I will use Winston’s book while forming the history portion of my paper and then perhaps again while formulating an idea of what television and television graphics may look like in the future.


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