TV news demystified

New TV news studio design for ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation)
Design: Peter Noever, 1977

TV news demystification / involving the viewer in the creation process / transformation of news content into visual and aesthetic images / danger of an opinion monopoly by state controlled broadcast / the new studio design as an information workshop

Kuno Knöbel, editor-in-chief of Austrian national broadcaster ORF’s television news flagship ZIB 2, commissioned Peter Noever with the creation of a percept for this format’s redesign.

Using the term “information workshop” as a conceptual guide, Noever set about developing a new form via which to communicate the news. His fundamental focus was on authenticity and demystification. This entailed establishing the generation of news content before the viewer’s eyes as the central event. The differences between the media of television and film begin with television’s ability to involve the viewer in current events as they take place. And it is this special feature in particular—television’s unique vitality—around which the forms used by future news programs to present their content must be oriented. This means no longer just “reading off” information from global press agencies, for example, but rather “dealing with it” directly—analyzing, commenting upon, confirming or discarding it, with the newsroom as a place of confrontation, a center of intellectual acuity.

A flexible and dynamic new office system, called “initiative so,” gave rise to ideal conditions for creating an inherently spontaneous and multilayered “workplace/workshop” situation live on camera.

Kuno Knöbel: “Without question, the moderated news program (along with brief informational segments) will be a form of the future.”