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TV Programme Writing & Production Module 2
Topic 1: Writing a news packages Attribution: Jonathan Cooper The Unseen Entity of Television News A news package is an innovative way to convey news to a broad audience. It is a visual form of news that has a story, characters, entertainment value, and facts. Reporters spend copious amounts of their time researching stories, interviewing characters, and eventually writing the scripts for these packages. The general population rarely sees news package scripts because the aspect you see on the evening news are video forms. This guide is intended to teach you how to write a news package script. Whether you are an inexperienced reporter or somebody interested in public genres, understanding news packages can give us a more informed perspective of the news we watch daily.
Topic 1: Writing a news packages (Contd) The Script Writing a script should be the final step in creating an entire news package. Long before you sit down to write out the script, you should be thinking of sound bytes and ways to structure your story. News packages need to have a beginning, middle, and an end, as well as characters. Be thinking of the direction you want it go as you shoot video and conduct interviews. Once you have enough audio and video for your story, you are ready to begin:
Topic 1: Writing a news packages (Contd) The Script Separate the script into two columns. On the left side, write video. On the right side, audio. Because you are writing for a visual medium, it is vital to separate out what the audience will see and what they will hear. Choose sound bytes that are emotional, provide an interesting opinion, or help your story along. As you choose these sound bytes, mark the time on the tape next to the sound byte you write out so the editor can find it easily. Write voice-overs that you, the reporter, will say to push the story along. The voice-overs should not stick out, but rather sound natural with the story. Weave sound bytes and voice-overs together to create a cohesive audio section to your story.
Topic 1: Writing a news packages (Contd) The Script Find places to put natural sound, which is strongly connected with video. Write down video you have that complement the audio. You will have a large selection from shooting B-Roll in the field. Mark times next to the video so the editor can find it easily. Read over your script and make sure it sounds natural, follows the guidelines of a story, and is easy to read so the editor will have an easier time editing it later. Once the script is completed you are ready to go into the sound booth and record your voice-overs.
Topic 1: Writing a news packages (Contd) Some Tips and Warnings Be creative in the story you tell. You want to entertain as well as inform. Be sensitive in how you convey your story in sad subject matters. Dont log every sound byte if you know you are not going to use it. Only take sounds bytes that are relevant to the direction of your story. Feel free to modify the format of your script if you feel it makes it easier to understand. If you work for a news station, you will be working on a strict deadline so you must be able to write scripts quickly and efficiently. Think of a title that is unique and best expresses your story. Ask for assistance from your photographer for good ideas for video.
Topic 1: Writing a news packages (Contd) The Beauty of News Packages Few people realize the hard work that reporters and other employees of television stations put in to broadcasting the news every day. While news packages are only a small portion of the work that these people do, it could be one of their most important tasks. It is the culmination of research, interviews, and investigating that are combined into the single unit the audience sees. Without a script however, these packages would be nothing. Scripts are the foundation of television news and essentially the medium to the world around us. All news packages are different in the information they convey, however they all follow a general outline that makes it easy to read and convert to a broadcast form. By following the guidelines in this tutorial, you will not only produce a good story, but also write a script that will be useful for whoever edits it, and ultimately watches your news package.
Sample news package script [ANCHOR INTRO] Portable. Perpetual. Personalized. Participatory. These are the words that describe news in todays interactive "always-on" world we live in. News consumption habits are moving away from traditional media outlets such as newspapers and broadcast television. For better or for worse, Anita Varghese, Quinnipiac News, has the story. [PKG] [VIDEO: Facebook, Twitter news pages, computers/keyboard] [TRACK] With the aid of wireless devices, Facebook, Twitter and blogs, American news consumers can access news when they want, how they want, and comment and share with whom they want. [SOT: PROF. MARIE SHANAHAN] Everything is sort ofthe consumer is in control, especially with digital news. Because you can search for exactly what youre looking for, and you can serve it up when you want it, and read it at your leisure, and share it with your friends on Facebook if you feel like it. [VIDEO: Tiffany on computer]
Sample news package script [TRACK] According to the Pew Project For Excellence in Journalism, about 61 percent of Americans get their news online, a number that has held steady in recent years.Pew Project For Excellence in Journalism [SOT: TIFFANY MARTIN – QU STUDENT] I usually go on news websites, like ABC, CBS. [SOT: DANA SINERATE – QU STUDENT] I get a lot of my news on Facebook or Twitter. If some of my friends post something, Ill go check it out. [SOT: PROF. MARIE SHANAHAN] Nowadays news consumers dont have to wait for news. They dont have to watch the newscast at 6 oclock. They dont have to buy the newspaper and have it delivered to their door at 5 oclock in the morning. [VIDEO: Dana on cell phone] [TRACK] Of the 80 percent of American adults who have cell phones, 34 percent of them now access the internet, and 26 percent say they get some form of news via cell phones.80 percent34 percent26 percent
Sample news package script [SOT: DANA SINERATE – QU STUDENT] I definitely use my iPhone for news. My phone is so easy to see what everyone is talking about, its instant, its quickI love it. [SOT: PROF. MARIE SHANAHAN] Eventually, I think it will all go digital – its more eco-friendly, you dont have to kill a lot of trees to get there, and frankly I think as the consumer, you want to be able to get it on your own schedule. [STAND-UP] Fifty seven percent of Americans rely on two to five news websites for their news. With all this options, one this is for certain –regardless of age group, the internet is now the main source for news.ANITA VARGHESE, QUINNIPIAC NEWS.
Further reading on tv script writing Outside Links and Examples Sample Script -An example of a completed news package script from a high school broadcasting student. Sample Script -Focuses on specifically how to write a news package script. ws_package.html?cat=15 ws_package.html?cat=15 -Provides a simple overview of creating a news package.
Portfolio Assignment 3 Watch & Record any three major news hour from one national (private), one national (government and one international stations. Compare their teasers and rap up 5 marks
Class Exercise 2 Recall any event of note and write a draft script for its reportage in the TV 5 marks