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Monday, 14 November 2011

A Guide to Journalism - The Basics

Flickr: NS Newsflash
News Reporting
  • You always need balance for your story.
  • Facts in your voice
  • Comments in your inteviewee's voice
  • You're best visual should be at the very start of your package, as well as in your headline.
  • Pictures and quotes are very important for a good package.
  • Time is quality, not quantity.
  • If you use a still (picture) in a package you should give it movement(such as a zoom or pan from left to right)
  • If you use a categorical fact, you must:-
    a) Check it
    b) Have a source for it.
    You should either check these facts or simply leave them out. A categorical fact without a source is just an opinion.
  • You should avoid doing too much expo(exposition).
  • Informal pre-scripting - Interview a guest beforehand to try and find out what she might say. 'Pre-interviewing' them will help make them more comfortable and rpepared, as well as you.
  • 'Fair Dealing' - can be used for purposes of review, criticism and comment. Should use fair dealing for the film piece, instead of loads of clips from the film press conference.
  • A good way to start a package can be with natural sound.
  • To make your piece to camera easier you should just focus on 3 key points, it it then easier to remember and say.
  • Using a prop for a piece to camera can be a good idea(and can help you feel more relaxed with something to do with your hands) but you should be holding something thats relevant to what your talking about. 
  • Source ProtectionNever use a blind source unless you really have to.
    Even so, if you offer them protection, you need to remember that thier is nothing to defer them from lying. Source protection should only really be used if in extreme cases such as protecting the source from violence, it shouldnt usually be used to preotect someone from being fired. If you agree to protect the person, you must protect them to the grave, and should be prepared to go to jail.
  • 'Off the record' interview = waste of time. It should only be used as a journalistic technique so they brief you regarding the story, and sometimes to try and convince them to go on the record with a certain comment.
  • You should have 'Fact Fear' - check, double check and triple check. Make sure its correct before using it, if your not sure, just get rid of it.
    You can also use phrases like 'they claim' to be safe if necessary. 
Website Write Ups
  • Write headline that fits layout.
  • Try to make a person the 'who' in your top line.
  • Always remember(the method) who, what, where and when. - A 'simple summary intro'.
News Story Layout (Basics)
Paragraph 1 - Who, What, Where, When
Paragraph 2 - Why
Paragraph 3 - Quote
Paragraph 4 -Detail (Not always though)
Paragraph 5 - But (Balance)

Writing Headlines
A headline must :-
  • Fit the story to tell the reader clearly what it’s about.
  • Make the reader interested in the story and want to read on.
  • Be on a front page, and should be visually striking enough to grab the eye of the readers at stations, news agents, and news stands.
  • Reflect the newspaper attitude to the new story.
  • Fit into a very limited space but still be bold and capitalized.


    Really useful blog Daniel; it's kind of scary to think how much we can learn after just few weeks of Winol (love the caption on the picture aswell, can tell you've been subbing!).

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