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OTS question


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I am watching KDVR FOX 31 News, and an over-the-shoulder graphic (OTS) popped up. Have these graphics fallen out of favor over time? It occurred to me that I haven’t being seeing many of these on the local news broadcasts. Back in the day, it seemed like every story came with a branded OTS. They seem to have fallen out of favor.

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My immediate guess for the reason for this shift is simply that there are fewer people around in newsrooms who are now doing even more things, so making fancy, bespoke graphics falls by the wayside.


You'll still see plenty of OTSes on the network evening news, but they have full art departments to pull stills from each story or design matching elements to make them great and worthwhile. Local stations are far less likely these days to have their own in-house graphic designers, so OTSes are made by the newscast producer. Producers aren't graphic designers – they're more than likely picking pre-made graphics from a library, which are usually IMO poor quality and never story-specific. Producers are also tasked with so many other responsibilities to the point that OTSes or other unique presentation elements are just farther down the list of priorities.


I wonder if there has also maybe been some consultant research done on this as to whether viewers aren't impressed by them anymore. Does the same OTS with the same moody picture of the thumbprint and police lights really do anything to advance a crime story? Or an OTS that says nothing other than "New at 5"?

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