9 Broadcast Journalism
Objectives • Explain the responsibility broadcast journalists have to the viewing public. • Identify news programs as mainstream, non-mainstream, or tabloid. • Recall the news elements used to judge the newsworthiness of a story. • Recognize the different story types broadcast during a newscast.
Objectives • Explain the elements of a package. • Identify the various abbreviations used on a newscast script. • Recall the workflow and responsibilities involved in a typical day in a newsroom.
Broadcast Journalism Classes • Students often create news program • Often modeled after real-world broadcast newsrooms • Are career training classes
News • TV news has awesome responsibility to public • Audiences generally accept TV news as fact • Information • People want to know • People should know • People need to know
Types of News • Mainstream media • Broadcast network news • 24-hour cable • Non-mainstream media • ESPN, MTV, PAX TV • Tabloid media • Comedy News
“Gray News” • Biased • Commentary • Clearly presents particular point of view • Should be announced clearly as “commentary”
Professional News • Presents facts only • Allows audience to form their own opinions
24-Hour Cable News Programming • Public needs to realize: • Not all programming is news • Most programming is talk show, commentary, and opinion • Some programming is hard news • Viewers responsible for determining difference between news and opinion
First Amendment • Guarantees freedom of the press • Government may not restrict press • Corporations that own press media outlets may restrict their own companies
Discussion Discuss the following concept: Just because you have the right to do a story does not mean you should do the story.
Discussion Discuss aloud what each section of the Code of Ethics means.
News Judgment • News programs have finite time limit • Not censorship—reality • Decisions on newsworthiness of stories are made by news director and producer • Instructors often begin term functioning as news directors in order to model behavior they are teaching
Newsworthy Elements • Often, but not always, hard news • Proximity • Timeliness • Prominence • Consequences • Conflict • Often, but not always, soft news • Unusualness • Emotion • Achievement • Contrast
Discussion Give examples for each element of, often, but not always, hard news: Proximity; timeliness; prominence; consequences; conflict Give examples for each element of, often, but not always, hard news: Unusualness; emotion; achievement; contrast
Evergreen Story • Example: Family that lost everything in tornado is helped by entire community in rebuilding and furnishing their home
Ethically Funding the News • Salaries, overhead, facilities, and equipment are major expenses of operating news organization • Funds to cover these expenses come from advertising revenue • News operation must be free to do stories on anyone and anything, including advertisers
IFB • Producer can feed breaking news directly to anchor
Types of Stories • Reader • VO • VO-SOT • SOT • Sound bite • Package
Packages • Completely edited and includes intro and outro • 1.5-2 minutes • Extended package:2-4 minutes • Documentary: 6-10 minutes • News package: covers hard news
Soft News Packages • News feature package • Also called feature package or feature • Personality feature
The Stand-up • Not an opportunity for reporter to get “face time” • Purpose is to establish that news team was at actual location • Stand-up is story-telling tool • If reporter takes part in story, audience feels as if it also participates in story
Ethical Editing • Problem: talent speaks too much to fit into 90-second story TRT slot in program • Solution: Edit the speech • Ethics: Edit as necessary but do not alter content or context of message
Live Shot • Requires technology to enable field reporter to transmit live from location • Conversation between field reporter and studio anchor is possible • “Live” is usually placed in graphic on screen • At conclusion of story, reporter uses standard outro to shift attention back to studio anchor
Investigative Reporting • Difficult and complex • Often a search for wrong-doing • May be physically or legally dangerous • Privacy, trespass, and defamation issues abound • Executive-level approval required before even starting • Use of hidden camera = many legal issues
Important Concept • Reporter cannot break law in the process of getting a story without risking getting into legal jeopardy
Newscast Scripting • Many stations use scripting software to pre-format scripts when reporters write stories • Generally scripts are in two-column format • Patter is not scripted and is used to fill extra seconds in the program
On-Air Appearance • Newscaster credibility affected by: • appearance and behavior • speech (clarity/enunciation) • Newscaster credibility = newscaster employability
Discussion Discuss on-air appearance • Why does it matter? • Should it matter? • Should intended audience be taken into account? • What standards should your facility have?
Typical Rundown First Draft • Hard local news • Hard national news • Lighter news • Sports • Weather • Arts, entertainment, evergreen filler
The Newsroom Day • Reporters come back in to begin writing and editing story to fit TRT requirement • Producer indicates on rundown exact length each story must be • Typically, each reporter does at least two stories per day
The Newsroom Day (Cont.) • During afternoon, late evening anchors and staff arrive and begin planning their newscast • Early evening newscast begins, daytime staff ends their workday and evening shift begins
Media Convergence • Journalism–print, Internet, and broadcast are all converging • Broadcast journalists are expected to place news content on station’s website • Reporter must learn to write audio for TV as well as text for Web–two different skills!
What Do You Think? • After audience views news story you broadcast, they should not have any idea of how you, the reporter, feel about the topic. If they cannot figure it out, then you have done your job well.
Career Page • High School Broadcast Journalism • www.hsbj.org
Review Question What is a beat? A specific area (topics or geographic location) regularly covered by a reporter.
Review Question Why is it a good idea to always have several evergreen stories available? If something happens and the newscast is shorter than the time slot, you can go to the files and find an evergreen story to fill the hole.
Review Question What is the purpose of the IFB? So the producer can break into the newscast and feed breaking news directly to the anchor who will repeat every word exactly as the producer says it.
Review Question What is the difference between a reader and a VO? A reader is literally read off the teleprompter by the anchor. The audience sees nothing but the anchor speaking. A VO has B-roll of the subject of the story on the screen and the audience hears, but does not see, the anchor tell the story.
Review Question What does the change from VO to VO-SOT do to the story? Somewhere in the VO story the B-roll actually is edited so that the audience sees and hears a principal figure in the story begin to speak.
Review Question What type of media are the following? CNN ESPN TMZ Mainstream Non-mainstream Tabloid
Review Question A story that anchor reads from a teleprompter, without video or pictures is called what? A reader
Review Question How are news packages and soft news packages alike? How are they different? Both are edited and include intro and outro. News covers hard news, soft covers interesting, but not necessary, information.
Glossary • beat: A specific area (topics or geographic location) regularly covered by a reporter. • evergreen: A story that is appropriate to be broadcast at any time, regardless of season or time of day. • extended package: A 2–4 minute story that is shot and edited before a newscast and typically provides more in-depth coverage of a specific story.
Glossary • hard news: Type of news story that contains information that viewers need to have immediately; characterized by seriousness and timeliness. • IFB: interrupted feedback; a line of communication between the anchors and the producer in the control room. An earpiece worn by the anchor is connected to the producer’s headset, allowing the producer to speak directly to an anchor while the anchor is on the air live.
Glossary • live shot: A news story that is introduced by an anchor and delivered through a live feed by a reporter on location. • mainstream media: Television news programming that is expected to provide a fair and unbiased presentation of facts, without any particular viewpoint. • news: Information people want to know, information they should know, or information they need to know.
Glossary • news feature package: A package covering soft news stories that are connected to current events. Also called a feature package or feature. • news package: A package that covers hard news/current events. • non-mainstream media: Television news programming that is expected to express a particular point of view.
Glossary • outro: The salutation at the end of a story; opposite of an intro. • package: A story that is about 1 1/2–2 minutes in length, contains its own intro and outro, is edited, and can be inserted into a live program at any time the producer chooses. • patter: The spontaneous on-air conversation or small talk between anchors or anchors and reporters.
Glossary • personality feature: Type of human interest story that focuses on one person and why that person is newsworthy. • reader: A story, written by a reporter or anchor, that does not have video to accompany the story. The anchor simply reads the text on the teleprompter aloud for the viewing audience to hear. • rundown: The organization of stories and sequence of a newscast in written form.