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News Producing “Stacking the Show”. . . not from our book Overview now / News Producing “Stacking the Show”. . . not from our book Overview now / more later

Producing Across Technologies ® News broadcasts formatted with three segments - news, weather, sports Producing Across Technologies ® News broadcasts formatted with three segments - news, weather, sports ® Balance of world, national, state, local news ® “Floating” formats used today ® Start newscast with most important story, regardless of category - “float” given stories anywhere in the newscast ® Radio, TV, Internet generally have same news content Technology dictates that delivery is slightly different ® Which does the most ‘journalism’? ®

Producing Across Technologies ® RADIO ® Reporting is disappearing from most music radio formats Producing Across Technologies ® RADIO ® Reporting is disappearing from most music radio formats ® ® ® Wire services allow stations to access regional, national, international news ® ® “Rip and Read” has become the news segment - DJs read stories straight off the national news wire or report what is in the local paper A national news correspondent for a major television network will record a two-minute news update to be played on the air Accompanying audio feed has actual sound bites from sources to play on air (also known as “actualities”) Public Radio and major market radio still does original reporting ® NPR produces national news shows daily

Producing Across Technologies ® Television ® Local newscasts are usually scheduled around the national Producing Across Technologies ® Television ® Local newscasts are usually scheduled around the national network newscast ® Image of station with local news / competition ® Lead in issues ® ‘Newscast of Record’ ® Cable news is now offering a variety of news ® ® ® YNN (News 8 Austin) TXCN News talk shows Sports news Financial news News vs. editorial

Producing Across Technologies ® Internet ® Can be engaged by the user at anytime Producing Across Technologies ® Internet ® Can be engaged by the user at anytime ® ® Combines print, audio, video ® ® ® Makes it more important to be timely with updates Internet was primarily a text medium, but as technology got more sophisticated, more users can take advantage of audio/video streaming capabilities Shovelware risk vs. Interactive Storytelling Users can choose how they want their news ® ® Read a main story Watch a short video clip or the full interview Interact with the site - opinion polls with instant results, rollover graphics that offer interesting facts and statistics Watch a slideshow of photos from the news scene

The Television newscast ® Choosing the lead ® Three definitions ® ® First sentence The Television newscast ® Choosing the lead ® Three definitions ® ® First sentence of a story First story in the newscast Idea for a story Before the newscast, always investigate the lead story ® ® ® Can it be done? Who should be contacted for info? Is the story still timely? Are there ethical concerns? Is it hard or soft news? What would be a good story to follow it? / Sidebar?

The Television newscast ® Writing the Lead story ® The average broadcaster delivers 16 The Television newscast ® Writing the Lead story ® The average broadcaster delivers 16 lines per minute ® ® ® Using the standard two-column script format, about 5 -6 words per line ‘read rate’ Always write for time rather than space

The (television) newscast ® The Script Split-page format ® Left column gives instructions for The (television) newscast ® The Script Split-page format ® Left column gives instructions for producers and the control room ® Right column includes the story being delivered on air ®

The Television newscast ® The Visuals Video ® Nat sound from the scene ® The Television newscast ® The Visuals Video ® Nat sound from the scene ® Graphics ® ® ® Weather maps Charts Names of people, locations to appear on screen with video Still photographs

The Television newscast The weather map as an electronic image projected on screen Interactive The Television newscast The weather map as an electronic image projected on screen Interactive software programs -- contracts “The most important part of a newscast” Technology change to monitors

The Television newscast ® The Line-up ® Stories chosen from day’s news plus wires The Television newscast ® The Line-up ® Stories chosen from day’s news plus wires and network (‘look live’) ® A few stories chosen for “pad” (to be used if extra time at end) ® Lead stories selected ® Stories “blocked” around commercial breaks according to basic themes ® “Thematic Blocking” Stories pre-read for content and pacing ® Last two stories are timed so anchors know exact amount of time after last commercial ® ® If time remains, “pad” stories used

The Television newscast Anchors should read through all stories before going on air For The Television newscast Anchors should read through all stories before going on air For a professional delivery, learn to “chat” with audience instead of “announce”

Producing the newscast: 16 steps ® Determine hole the news Half-hour news is only Producing the newscast: 16 steps ® Determine hole the news Half-hour news is only 29 minutes, with an actual news hole of 15 -18 minutes ® Stations use capsulated summary stories to give the illusion of a lot of information ® ‘billboard’ ®

Producing the newscast ® Block ® the newscast Considering the news hole and budget Producing the newscast ® Block ® the newscast Considering the news hole and budget of stories, visual stories are blocked into logical segments, separated by commercial breaks

Producing the newscast ® Fill in the newscast format sheet ® ® The “rundown” Producing the newscast ® Fill in the newscast format sheet ® ® The “rundown” or “lineup” is an evolving schedule of people, times, video showing, plus length of stories and order Commercial stations use producing software like News. Center and ENPS, Av. Star (desktop editing)

Producing the newscast ® Organize the newscast ® ® Number each story/item consecutively Organize Producing the newscast ® Organize the newscast ® ® Number each story/item consecutively Organize the blocks and identify by letters: A-1 ® A-2 BREAK ® B-1 ® B-2 ® ® Decide story order ® Generally the biggest story goes first ® If a breaking story has no visual element, it may not lead the newscast ® A good reporter/producer will recognize the news value and work HARD to get a visual so the story can lead the newscast

Producing the newscast ® Pace the newscast ® ® Segment length is estimated by Producing the newscast ® Pace the newscast ® ® Segment length is estimated by dividing the news hole by the number of segments Commercial breaks are set around the news flow A break should not be moved more than a minute from its position Each segment should be treated like a mini newscast by ending with an uplifting story ® Determine the visuals ® Decide the visuals to be used with “Anchor Read” stories done live

Producing the newscast ® Insert commercial breaks ® ® ® Commercials are placed where Producing the newscast ® Insert commercial breaks ® ® ® Commercials are placed where they least interfere with news continuity AVOID breaking the flow of news or airing a commercial in conflict with the previous story Working with Traffic and sponsorships & billboards ® Assign writers copy to The producer assigns maximum length to each story being prepared during the day ® As line-up is determined and news hole filled, some story formats are changed ®

Producing the newscast ® Script “teases” before commercial breaks ® ® ® “We’ll have Producing the newscast ® Script “teases” before commercial breaks ® ® ® “We’ll have more news in a minute…” “Tune in as we show you how city council is working to clean our streets” Use a bumper graphic between news and commercial (or billboard) ® Prepare hand-off transitions ® No need to “script” transitions from news to sports and weather but good idea to consult with other newscasters about stories so conversation handoffs appear natural

Producing the newscast ® Time the newscast ® ® Front- and back- timing needed Producing the newscast ® Time the newscast ® ® Front- and back- timing needed so the newscast can end exactly on time Generally, new anchors are timed in how fast they read copy and that speed is factored into a computer program ® ® Just an estimate for producers putting together a newscast Front and Back timing still necessary for checking if the newscast will work Producer blocks the newscast by noting beginning time and adding the exact time of each news item Anchor speed is factored in for transitions Pad is left at end for evolving changes

Producing the newscast ® Stack the newscast ® script Pages of script are physically Producing the newscast ® Stack the newscast ® script Pages of script are physically stacked in consecutive order ® Hard copies are still used for back-up if the computer and teleprompter shut down Assemble visuals in order ® ® ® Visuals are completed late in the cycle and must be put in order Proofread and time the final script ® Once “actual” times are entered, back-timing is done to identify the last moment an item must begin for everything to be on time

Producing the newscast ® Rehearse, Adjust the newscast ® Two schools of thought: ® Producing the newscast ® Rehearse, Adjust the newscast ® Two schools of thought: ® ® Rehearsal polishes and builds confidence Rehearsal destroys energy Regardless, need to be prepared Breaking stories / dropping or floating

Producing Across Technologies ® Media convergence ® ® ® Buzzword in newsrooms More than Producing Across Technologies ® Media convergence ® ® ® Buzzword in newsrooms More than just producing multimedia stories But now: mobile media, backpack journalists, VJs Media convergence is now: One news organization producing content for multiple media sources in a variety of media formats This has quickly changed

Producing Across Technologies ® Skills needed in this environment: ® ® ® Strong Writing Producing Across Technologies ® Skills needed in this environment: ® ® ® Strong Writing skills Intuitive Reporting skills Understand writing styles for all media formats Be able to conceptualize visual, audio and text elements needed for a story Poynter, or. . . The IFRA Newsplex news center at the University of South Carolina was designed to train journalists in all media to understand the world of convergence.

Other terms ® Crosstalk ® Live shots / look lives ® Upcutting / timing Other terms ® Crosstalk ® Live shots / look lives ® Upcutting / timing the show ® Cold open ® Backdoor open ® Traffic department ® News Director, EP, Producer, Associate Producers, Assignment Editor

Other Discussion Gatekeeper ® “Theories of the Press” ® ® ® Social Repsonsibilty -- Other Discussion Gatekeeper ® “Theories of the Press” ® ® ® Social Repsonsibilty -- an obligation to act to benefit society at large. This responsibility can be passive, by avoiding engaging in socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals Libertarian -- News is what happens; short of violating the violent overthrow of the government, everything should be covered ® PA: Robert “Budd” Dwyer (1987) Authoritarian, Soviet-Communist, Develomental ® Public Service Journalism ### ®