Friday, 17 September 2010

Good News

A top 10 guide to making a great news piece.

1 What's the story? Create one sentence that clearly explains what the story is about.  That's your starting point.

2 Language: Simple conversational words how you would speak to someone not how you would write to somebody.

3 Get out and about: A bit of atmos is great. Beware of too much noise drowning out you and your interviewee.

4 Short and shorter: Cut it down and if you can cut it again. Less is always more.

5 Mix it up: More voices in quick succession, male and female voices keep interest rather than some boring old sod droning on.

6 Vox Pops: Only if they are good and relevant to the story.  Sometimes VoxPops are overdone (particularly by the BBC) they can be the opinion of a handful of people in west London (usually) and not represent your story or the people actually involved in it.

8 Heart of the story:  Who is actually involved speak to them even if its on the phone.  You want the mother of the dead child not the spokesman from a bereavement charity.

9 Music and Effects: Never gratuitously but appropriate music and some effects can work.  No treading over vocals though it ALWAYS sounds ugly.

10 THE END: As they said in The Truman Show - how will it end? How will your piece end is it going to be a question? A summing up? Or a little cheesy play on words? Or a future line on what may happen to your story?

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