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Television in SA / TV news FAM2000F Writing and Editing in the Media Dr. T.E.Bosch, 22 April 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Television in SA / TV news FAM2000F Writing and Editing in the Media Dr. T.E.Bosch, 22 April 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Television in SA / TV news FAM2000F Writing and Editing in the Media Dr. T.E.Bosch, 22 April 2008

2 Television in South Africa SABC TV test transmissions began on 5 May 1975 and a regular service was officially inaugurated on 5 January 1976. South Africa was among the last countries on the continent to introduce television broadcasting. The Meyer Commission (1971) proposed that the SABC should run the service under statutory control to advance the self- development of all its peoples and to foster pride in their own identity and culture.

3 Television in South Africa The structure of SABC-TV was modelled on the BBC model / Reithian tradition. In 1982 TV-2 and TV-3 were launched. In 1984 TV 4 was introduced as an additional entertainment service. In 1990 Top Sport Surplus (TSS) channel was launched - it later became National Network Television – NNTV (in 1994). In January 1992, TV2, 3, and 4 were merged into a multicultural channel called CCV-TV (Contemporary Community Values Television).

4 Pay and subscription television M-Net (Electronic Media Network) was South Africas first subscription service TV station - began operating on 1 October 1986. The idea of M-Net was born in 1984 when Nasionale Pers approached government to request a pay TV station, owned and operated by a newspaper consortium. In 1996 MultiChoice began offering 23 international satellite television channels and 48 audio channels on its PanAmSat 4- delivered subscription service called DStv (Digital Satellite Television)

5 Commercial television is South Africa's first private free-to-air television channel. Launched in 1998, the channel broadcasts a full-spectrum programming service to 78% of South Africa's population. is owned by black empowerment group Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited and Venfin Limited. As a free-to-air channel,'s only source of income is advertising revenue.


7 Community television The legislative environment is in place but growth of the sector is impeded by financial sustainability. Technological challenges will include digital broadcasting and convergence. CTV is expected to play a role in job creation and skills development as an entry-level training ground.

8 Writing for broadcast news Put the source of the story first: The president said…NOT xxx the president said. Put the location of the story in early e.g KZN police or Police in KZN but never say here or there. When quoting use neutral verbs make clear that its a quote: As President Mbeki said or In President Mbekis words… Do not use abbreviations unless they are commonly known. Broadcast writing must reflect the immediacy that only broadcasting can provide.

9 Writing for television news Write conversationally and explain complex events in understandable language. Tight writing is a must as you may have to write to length. Good broadcast copy should have rhythm and cadence and an ordered flow of sound that makes it interesting. Television is overwhelmingly a visual medium. The pictures must tell the story. The words play off the pictures, providing context and additional information. The real skill of TV newswriting is juxtaposing words and pictures.

10 The TV news package There are four elements to any package: –The intro/ cue read by the anchor –The pictures –The links – i.e. the reporters words read over the pictures –The soundbites from the interviewees featured in the package

11 Intros and cues – telling / selling the story The intro should sum up the story, explain why its important and grab the viewers attention. Usually the intro should be no more than 2 or 3 sentences. It needs to conclude by introducing the reporter and the package. Intros can be straightforward!

12 Fierce gun battles continue to rage in Macedonia, where ethnic Albanian rebels are holed up in the mountains near the border with Kosovo. The rebels have so far resisted attempts by the Macedonian army to force them back into Kosovo. Theres growing concern that shelling by the Macedonian army may have killed dozens of civilians in a small village near Tetovo. From there, John Smith reports:

13 Rolling blackouts hit the country this morning, for the first time since March. With temperatures on the decrease and no end in site to the countrys power crisis, outages are expected to worsen. John Smiths in Johannesburg, finding out how businesses there are gearing up for the winter.

14 Pictures The opening shot of a package is the most important. The opening shot and the accompanying script should lay out the most important element of the story. Choose the pictures first. Write to them. Remember that vision is the primary sense and that the viewer will therefore register the pictures before they absorb your script.

15 Links The links move the story along and are the elements of the story – the facts and the narrative in the reporters own words. As well as imparting information, they have to move the story along, making clear the significance of any transitions – from todays pictures to yesterdays or from one location to another. Links also have to cue up the soundbites, introducing the speaker and if possible, contextualizing their contribution.

16 TV Newswriting Exercise Is compulsory… Is worth 10% of your final grade… You must attend a lab session in Week 11 (Week of 5th May)… You will submit on Vula You will use the tips outlined today… Due Date: 13 May

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