IMR – Spot news broadcast reporting

For Intro to Media and Reporting

Spot news features can be found throughout at nightly newscast and on weekly campus programs such as KCBY-TV. These segments “featurize” a current event or issue happening in that program’s coverage area. For example, a local network TV news program might produce a spot news feature on an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For example, a high school broadcast program might produce a spot news feature on Open House or a campus athletic event.

These segments include on-site reporters and interviews (sound bites) with sources on camera. But the reporter does not always appear on camera interviewing subjects. In fact, it is preferred that they are not on camera while sources are speaking. This also means only airing the responses to the reporter’s questions and not including the actual questions in the piece.

Spot news features need some b-roll  (supplemental footage showing the what is happening at the event) either during the commentary of either the reporter or the sources in the segment. You want your viewer to feel and experience the story.

These pieces obviously require some video editing, which can be done using programs such as iMovie. The laptops and desktop computers in D115 all have iMovie. However, you may use the program of your choice to produce your segments. It is important to embed subtitles when necessary to identify your sources in your piece.

ASSIGNMENT: Working in a small group, you are going to create and produce a spot news feature. Your feature must be Coppell related and one where footage can be shot during your class period (but you can shoot outside of  class in addition as well).

Here are the requirements:

– Find a story with a specific angle.

– Research your topic thoroughly. Don’t assume you know all the facts. Be a good reporter and have all the necessary, accurate information

– Identify the sources you need to interview. Prepare your questions. Find a “face” to your story. Build it around characters.

– Determine what/where you will get your b-roll.

– Create a storyboard and write your script.

– Interview your sources; film your segment (b-roll and sound bites).

– Create any graphics necessary for your segment.

– Publish your 90 second (or more) segment to each member’s WordPress in your group.

Want to see some more examples? Go here.

Do’s: Identify an original/different angle, be professional (what does this mean???), engage your audience, speak clearly, pace yourself appropriately, stick to your specific topic, open your segment with a catchy lede, sequence appropriately (it does not always have to be start to finish mirroring the progression of the event), be a team player and do your part, choose solid sources providing insight, make your deadline!

Don’ts: Choose an overdone story topic, make your segment a humorous special feature, mumble or speak too fast, allow sources to not take your segment seriously, have distractions in background of your footage/b-roll, violate copyright laws, miss your deadine!

DEADLINE: Final segments posted to your (EACH member in the group, not just one) WordPress, end of class Friday, March 7. You will have a checkpoint grade on Thursday, March 6 to monitor your progress.

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