Chapter 11 writing a broadcast news storyPresentation Transcript
Chapter 11 Writing a Broadcast News Story
In what ways is a broadcast news story different from a straight news story?
A broadcast story, first of all, has a greater sense of immediacy than the average story for printed media. This is so because on radio and TV, news is being updated moment by moment.
Second, sections of your interviews may be directly incorporated into the broadcast, becoming what journalists call sound bites . With these sound bites, listeners or viewers will feel as if they themselves were on the spot.
Another feature is that a broadcast story is much shorter than a print story.
The pattern of organization for broadcast news stories
Stage One: Summarize the event in a lead, if necessary, clarify and explain the lead with details in the form of sound bites and facts.
Stage Two: Supply the background that has led to the event.
Stage Three: Supply what has been planned for the next step.
It is called the problem/solution pattern because the three stages can be seen as a formula: Problem Background Solution
This three-stage pattern is ordered by time, as in Present Past Future
Consider the following example:
(Present) The university authority is reviewing whether it should prohibit potential employers to interview and recruit fourth-year students in the fall semester.
(Past) The move is made in response to the protest of professors of several schools and departments, who claimed that such on-campus interviews disrupted classes and affected the quality of education.
The student affairs office of School of Foreign Studies reported that last semester, 33 companies and institutions, including the foreign ministry and Xinhua News Agency, came and interviewed over 80 percent of the school’s 110 graduating students and some students went to three or five interviews.
Many professors had to cancel classes when these interviews were being held.
Sound bite (Professor Zhou Hong being interviewed): In our class, only three students showed up. Our four-year program is becoming a three-year program. I definitely think the quality of teaching is seriously affected.
These companies and institutions, according to the report, finally signed employment contracts with 45 students and asked another 52 to submit additional documents.
(Future) Professor Zhou Hong and several of his colleagues from the School of Foreign Studies say this should not happen again next fall and they will continue to protest to the university authority until the problem is solved.
A glossary of some of the terms in broadcast journalism
Anchor: Person who reads the news.
Backtiming: Timing of final segment of broadcast - a broadcasting technique in live programs in which the final segment is rehearsed and timed so that it can be expanded, shortened, or replaced if needed.
Bump: “Stay-tuned” teaser before a commercial, to entice viewers to continue watching the broadcast for stories that will follow after the break. For instance, the anchorperson may say: “Stay with us after the break”.
Package: Reporter’s whole story that includes narration, visual images, and interviews with sources.
Seg time: Length of time for a news segment. Brief may be 10 seconds; reporter’s package, including the lead-in by an anchor, may be 1:45.
SOC (standard our cue): Reporter’s sign-off comments at the end of the story. For example, “Thank you for being with us. This is Liu Xin for CCTV.”
Sound bite: Video segment showing the source speaking.
SOT (sound on tape): Similar to a sound bite; indicated in copy along with the amount of time the taped comments will take. For example, SOT: 15 means the comments on the tape will take 15 seconds.
VO (voice over): Anchor’s voice over video images. Words and images should coincide.
VOB (voice over bite): Anchor’s voice over video images with a sound bite from a source.