The Similarities and Differences Between News and Documentaries.
The aim of news reports and documentaries are the same and are to give facts about a specific person or event. There are many ways in which they do this however they are not always the same. The news is mainly a present time thing that reports on what is happening at the time. Sometimes they would go into small detail about events or refer back to something in the past to give the audience some background information on what has happened/is happening at the time of the news report. A documentary on the other hand would go into great detail about what has happened in the past. A way to show this is by using the Columbine High School shootings on 20th April 1999. To show this I will look through a news report from NBC News and the Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine.
The news report from the NBC have limited facts about the shooting itself and is repetitive with the facts that they do know. A fact that they keep reporting is that it was "two young men apparently dressed in long black trench coats". One of the reasons for the large use of repetition on this is that it is reporting on the present day event, it is a way of making members of the public remember and be aware of what the people look like which put's a certain amount of fear into the publics eye. Where the News is concerned on the details about the image and the state of, the event the documentary is more into why it happened. The TV report mentions about "a pipe bomb might have been used" but does not mention how this could have happened. Bowling for Columbine on the other hand goes into detail about how the possibilities of this could have come around and how they could have got hold of these explosives. Director Michael Moore got information that the news report didn't show as interviewed a student from the school who was placed 2nd on the bomb list. The reasoning why was due to the student having a book called "The Anarchist Cookbook" which teaches how to make TNT and other explosives.
Another thing that the news briefly mentioned was about the suspects being "disenfranchised kids that have threatened revenge in the past for kids making fun of them". Within the documentary Moore interviews an ex-student of the high school and now animator of the hit TV show South Park, Matt Stone. this interview goes into more detail about being an unpopular student and what it was like. The interviews from the NBC report are from deputies, sheriffs and members of other news companies like KMGH. All of these interviews are from people who are reporting from a second hand source. Bowling for Columbine differs with it's interviews as they are all from people who are in a way victims of the attack. Not necessarily direct victims but people who's lives the shootings have impacted on. An example of this is the "experts" list of reasons which included "Angry heavy metal subculture, violent movies, South Park, video games, television, entertainment, Satan, cartoons, society, toy guns, drugs, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson" and the final reasoning "Marilyn Manson". The self-proclaimed God of F**k, Marilyn Manson appeared on an interview with Moore as he was blamed for the shootings as people believed it was the music that the two students listened to which influenced them to carry out the act.
From looking at both news report and documentary I have found out that they both do the same thing with the basics by giving facts about what was used and why some reasoning on the motivation for the attacks. However, the documentary takes it into more depth by looking at the subject from different views and questioning it more rather than saying, this happened, this happened and that happened.