Crafting a creative stand-up for TV news

For many years now, on-air journalists have been urged to do active stand-ups. In the best examples, the reporter serves as a kind of tour guide for the audience.

Here’s the advice we’ve offered in Advancing the Story on how to do them well:

  • Use the scene, don’t just stand with it behind you.
  • Show the audience something they might have otherwise missed.
  • Demonstrate how something works.
  • Be sure that whatever is coming out of your mouth directly relates to what you are doing ¬†with your hands, feet and eyes.

But nearly everyone who does these active stand-ups shares a word of warning — don’t over do it! Check out the stand-up in this story sent to us by Ole Miss journalism professor Nancy Dupont.

Reporter Dave Summers from WKYC-TV in Cleveland demonstrates how an 82-year-old woman ran down a purse snatcher, complete with the sound of his pounding feet on the pavement and out-of-breath delivery.

Take a look and then tell us what you think? On the mark or over the top?

Speaking strictly for myself, I like it. ¬† It’s a memorable moment and it drives the point home — this is one tough lady!

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One Comment

  1. We discussed this in my Media Performance class today. Many of the students made an important point: how else could the viewer have known just how far and over such varied terrain this woman actually ran? Video with a voice over track just wouldn’t have done the trick. A graphic or map would have no context. A few suggested the reporter could have cut some of the “drama,” but that was a minor complaint.

    As one professional posted on my Facebook page, “Thinking outside the box is almost never a bad thing.”

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