Reinventing Live in the News? LiveU’s Digital Live Broadcast Technology and its Implementation in Professional TV News


Liveness is one of the most salient ingredients in contemporary media, and one which has been attracting scholarly attention in a range of discourses (see e.g., Es, 2017; Lunt, 2004).

In the news media, live coverage had already been suggested in the late 1930s, as being an extraordinarily appealing trait in television technology, back when television was introduced, and has been proliferating ever since (Tuggle and Huffman, 2001). A few decades later, it was satellite news gathering (SNG) technology that was placed in a line of technologies that have completely changed television news (Cleland and Ostroff, 1988). From such a vantage point, the growing availability of live satellite-fed television communication was said, for example, to contribute greatly to the visual coverage of the Gulf War, but also to the professional discourse of journalistic reportage (Zelizer, 1992). Nowadays, there are new technologies that have been presenting new opportunities for the live transmission of news, perhaps even ‘threatening’ to change the televised journalism environment altogether (Duffy et al., 2020; Guribye and Nyre, 2017; Ashuri and Frenkel, 2017).

This paper sets out to explore the intersection of liveness with new digital technologies and news media. This is done by way of focusing on the particular case of the widely used digital live-news technology that has been designed by LiveU, a leading private company in the field of live broadcast technology, and its implementation in professional television news broadcasting in Israel. Based on a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews conducted with nine Israeli TV news and LiveU professionals, findings suggest that LiveU has had an instrumental effect on the financial context and the production routine of professional TV live-news broadcasting, thereby influencing the overall manufacturing processes of professionally produced television news. Essentially, the case of LiveU and its implementation in professional TV news broadcasting illustrate the intersection of news mobility and the production of news from a socio-technological standpoint.


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