How cable and streaming covered first day of Jackson hearings

The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the high court, has so far been mostly relegated to secondary streams in the U.S.

All three of the major cable news networks are covering the hearing on and off throughout the morning of March 21, 2022, though updates from Ukraine and other stories are also being included.

Much of this has included “dipping in” to the feeds from the Capitol hearing room, in some cases with anchors or commentators talking over the pictures even as questioning is under way. 

So far, none of the three major cable news networks are carrying the hearings uninterrupted, though some are airing extended portions without breaks.

There are certain parts of the proceedings that are procedural or expected to be uneventful, especially with day one being opening statements, but networks do have producers monitoring the feeds and switch over when something of importance comes up, though this does vary from network to network. 

Even the network-owned news streamers ABC News Live, CBS News Streaming Network and NBC News Now aren’t carrying the hearings in their entirety as of March 21, though there are some separate feeds of uninterrupted hearing proceedings available, with MSNBC and NBC making it easily accessible by displaying an on screen QR code

Primary network feeds, meanwhile, have remained with normal programming so far.

Notably, during Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 hearings, the “big three” networks all broke in when Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting when they were in college, testified, though the remainder of his hearings didn’t always get network-level cut-ins.

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MSNBC is using a black and yellow color scheme with halftone effects and boxed serif typography for its coverage of the hearings. Its lower thirds become black and yellow and get a specially designed flag, as it often does during coverage of major or ongoing news coverage.

There is also a matching open that combines imagery of Brown and the SCOTUS building along with repeating typographic elements.

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In studio coverage has the option of using an imagery of the Capitol with a simulated billboard on the roof sporting the Jackson Confirmation Hearing logo.

Fox has been using its “alert” stinger leading into its coverage, but the lower third sliver does take on a blue-gray graphic that reads “Brown Jackson Confirmation Hearing,” with the last two words in a black box set in pale yellow type.

CNN has been using its default breaking news look.

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ABC News Live has a bright image of the Supreme Court Building with Jackson’s portrait and the extremely text heavy banner “Confirmation Hearing of Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson,” which is clocks in at 67 characters including spaces, 59 without.

CBS News‘ key art for coverage takes a broader view: With the banner reading “The Next Supreme Court: Live Confirmation Hearings.”

The image uses a portrait of Jackson with a blurred wood toned background behind the letters.

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A portion of that blurred look is also being used for a banner running along the bottom of the CBS News Streaming Network feed directing viewers to cbsnews.com/hearing to watch a standalone feed. 

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