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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Daniel Mackrell Showreel

Thursday, 7 June 2012

News Team Basic Info

Ok, so we're still a while away from constructing things for Winol after the summer. However, it looks like we're going to be jumping straight into it when we get back(depending on whether we have new equipment from what I understand). Therefore it makes sense to be prepared for things sooner rather than later, and make sure everybody knows what to expect at the start of the semester.

General outline of each week
Monday - The news meeting will take place at the same time every Monday, which will be sometime in the early afternoon. At the meeting you will be expected to have 2 or 3 story ideas. Ideally, you will have decided which is the best story idea, and would have already made progress (whether that be through arranging interviews, getting shots, or at least made some steps towards starting to make the package). I will then decide what I want you to progress with, and what I expect from the package.
Occasionally you may not have a story(which shouldn't happen, but occasionally it does), or are unable to convince me that your idea will work. I will turn to the News Planner throughout the meetings to see what we have for your beat. These new ideas may then become your story instead (but don't just expect the news planner to cover for you). If the news planner doesn't have any ideas either, then I will give you a set time to find a story to do, otherwise you won't have one for the weeks bulletin.

What I expect you to know for the news meetings-
  • Top Line (Your story in 1 sentences) - Your story must have an angle, and ideally be about people.
  • Interviews - Who you plan to speak to, who you have already called, where your balance is coming from, and what you expect them to say.
  • Visuals - What shot ideas you have for your package, if you've got no visuals, then it won't be a good 'tv story'.
The rest of Monday(other than the morning debrief) will involve you getting your interviews sorted and planning your package.

Tuesday - Essentially by the end of this day, you should ideally have your interviews done, GVs and other footage done, and should be sat in the news room editing your package.

Wednesday - You should be putting the finishing touches to your package. Scripting and recording your voice-over, and you may also need to sort out a 'headline clip', if I decide that your package should go into the headlines. After your package is finished, and I've checked it's all legally clear, then you can put your attention towards getting your written version finished to get subbed and go up onto the website.

Occasionally you may be sent to do a last minute package, either going out in the morning to film, and coming back to edit it before the bulletin goes live. Or occasionally we may try a live OB (outside broadcast).

News Roles

News Planner
This is going to be a very important role to ensure we have a good selection of stories to cover. You'll be key to the news meetings on Monday, hopefully with a selection of story ideas for the various reporters. This also means tidying up, and tracking our Winol email for press releases and other information that we can use to progress with as stories. You would also be able to keep an eye on any 'up-to-date' stories on Wednesday, as we always want to look to bring current breaking news.

Entertainment News
In my time theirs not been an entertainment news reporter, but it will be great to have one. A lot of events are always going on around Winchester, and in the past not many of them have been covered because of more 'serious' stories taking priority. However, it will be great to cover these sort of things, because I imagine it would be something that will appeal to our audience. It also means more competition (particularly with sci/tech) for the main 'And Finally' part of the bulletin.

The political side of things aren't my expertise, but you will have Louis as Political Editor who knows everything that there is to know pretty much, and has a lot of contacts to go with it. Essential I'll be looking for you to report the latest political events, quite often this means looking at national issues and scaling them down into a local story with a local angle. This may sometimes be slightly dull things, but you can usually find something a bit more interesting which often has the potential to lead the bulletin (just look at the recent Ed Milliband piece by George).

Crime Reporting
Again, not something I've had much direct experience in. George and Flick are the best people to go to for advice in this area of journalism. Court reporting is one way to approach this beat, but can be challenging. Firstly it can be difficult to ensure it's completely legally safe to report, you have to fill a number of criteria. Also it is visually challenging. In the past we've used things like reconstructions, but either way you will most likely end up doing lengthy pieces to camera. Although, you may be able to think of new and creative ways to present the reports, a good thing to do would be to watch a few crime reports on TV over the summer.
However, court reporting isn't all that comes under crime. One idea that's been thrown around is 'A day in the life of a police officer' which would involving following a police officer with a camera for the day. This may sound difficult but it would be a great feature, and can also be scaled down as a very good 'news feature' for the bulletin. Another good example is a story I've seen this week that Winchester was struck 38 times by graffiti vandals in one night recently.

Local Government
In some ways this is similar to the political reporters, but obviously the reports will be concerning the local councils, both Winchester, Southampton and Hampshire in general. I'd advise to avoid housing stories if you can, they're usually very dull, particularly when trying to get good footage for your package. It will be good to know the local councillors, because you will be calling them quite frequently to arrange interviews, generally they're quite helpful, but over time you'll develop a group a reliable contacts that cover a range of different topics. One thing you need to avoid is 'potential decisions' - sometimes the government will say it's considering a proposal, this doesn't mean that it's going to happen and is pretty much a 'non story'.

It would be a good idea to try and come up with some FOI (freedom of information act) requests and send them off on www.whatdotheyknow.com over the summer, to try and build up something for a good news story. It's not the easiest of 'beats', and you can branch out to cover other things. I'm sure Investigation can co cover a number of other stories. This previous semester we had a 'news feature' involving looking through  someone's bins and seeing what can be found there, and how it can be distorted to get a picture of someone. Something like this could be a good idea, basing an investigation on perhaps something that is a national report, and relating it locally. Their's a number of both fun and serious possibilities to do.

In the past, it's been looked at as a difficult beat because of the struggles to make finance interesting. But in these tough financial times, their's bound to be a few interesting pieces to report. A number of shops opening and closing, prices of items constantly changing, the council altering payments and how things are paid. This is a perfect example of stories needing to be about people. Our audience will mainly be interested in what effects them. In the past we've looked at things such as surviving on a student budget, and the best places to go, which could be looked at as a more light hearted 'feature news' piece. However, their is also a lot of hard hitting angles, because like I said, we're in difficult times, and finance is dramatically effecting people. Watching and reading finance news pieces will obviously be helpful over the summer.

The one thing that is always said about education stories is the trouble people have getting into a school to film, and also the barrier for filming children. This doesn't mean it's impossible, just a bit tricky, and will require a lot of planning and organisation a few weeks in advance. One option you could do is to try and arrange to film in a school before we get under way, and if you are able to, then you will have some 'stock footage' in the bag in case you ever struggle to get into a school in short notice for future stories. Or you can try your luck and look to get access as soon as you decide on a school story. It can sometimes be easier to simply film after school hours when there are no kids, this will avoid any risky legal issues, but ensure you have some good school footage when you have the chance.

Social Affairs and Charities
A new beat as far as I know, but like the entertainment reporter it will enable us to cover stories that were generally ignored in the past, despite having interesting angles. Occasionally we looked at stories like Alistair Stewart appearing at a 'Dying for Life' forum at the university, and a dementia care home in Stanmore. These are the sort of news stories you should look to tackle.

In the previous semester we covered stories such as the dementia care home in Stanmore, and the Schmellenberg virus. Similar stories would be good to cover, also stories revolving around the NHS are obviously ones to consider. Scaling a national story down and giving it a local angle is a way this can be done.
This can be a tough beat at times, but their is usually some sort of health story. Stories can often be given a health angle, which is something you can look to do.

Picture Editor
During the news meeting you will be listening to the stories, and suggesting picture ideas, and also decide which of the stories you would be able to go to to take photography. Also, if you have any story ideas that would be very interesting visually, then you can suggest them at the meeting. Your key focus is for us to have good pictures available each week for the website. In the past the pictures for the news stories haven't been too strong, but now we hope to improve the their quality.
Over time, the hope is that reporters will pick up the basic photography skills and desired shots, so that you won't have to try and be everywhere at once.

Just wanted to give a basic outline, in case anybody was wondering what would be happening. Not really much more to say until we get closer to starting up next semester. So have a good summer, if you have any questions or whatever before then, feel free to contact me.
Just make sure to watch the news and read the news throughout the summer.

Have a good one.

Dan =]