Effects of narration on recall of television news: Remembering the video photo essay
Television viewers were tested on their level of information gain from the visual as well as the auditory channels of a TV news story. A story was presented in two modes: one with narration (narrated mode) and one without narration (video photo essay mode). In each presentation, the story was shown as part of a half hour news program. Two hypotheses were posed: (H1) auditory information gain will be significantly greater from a video photo essay mode of presentation than from a narrated mode; and (H2) visual information gain will be significantly greater from a video photo essay mode of presentation than from a narrated mode. An additional research question asked: what are the effects of photo essay presentation on free recall of information?;Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group one saw the news item in narrated mode (i.e., with narration, sound-bites, natural sound, music, and moving visual cover footage). Group two saw the video photo-essay mode of presentation (i.e., with natural sound, sound-bites, music, and moving picture cover footage, but with no narration sound track). Immediately following the viewing, both groups were given the same test, which measured information gain from the auditory and the visual channels of the news item; Free recall test results indicated significantly more items were remembered from the story presented in photo essay mode than in the narrated mode. Aided, auditory recall was the same across both conditions. Aided, visual recall was greater in the photo essay mode, but the difference was not significant. The video photo essay received higher ratings in terms of interest and clarity, for example; again though, the differences were not significant in these individual areas of evaluation.