The High Value Of Lower Thirds

By Chris Ariens 

Crawls, banners, snipes, rollovers and tickers; whatever you call them, they add up to screen clutter. And as the NYTimes’ Wendy A. Lee writes, they’re here to stay; on entertainment shows as well as news programs.

Lee writes, “The trend toward visual clutter has also reshaped television news broadcasts, where the familiar sight of a lone anchor talking to a camera has grown increasingly rare.”

“On CNN, the hyperactive pace of Wolf Blitzer‘s nightly news show The Situation Room is so extreme that it was parodied on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ With one glance at the screen, is it really possible to absorb the United States military strategy in Iraq, or that a thunderstorm is moving over the Midwest, the Standard & Poor’s index is up 16.95 points, and Sean Combs has separated from his girlfriend? ‘Our pixel footprint can get way out of control,’ acknowledged Jonathan Klein, the president of CNN U.S., referring to the television industry in general.”