More tips for writing TV news

The single most popular post here at Advancing the Story offers tips on writing TV news. They’re just as useful now as they were when we first shared them in 2008, but the Canadian journalism site where we found them has just been updated and the original post has vanished. Not to worry! Here’s a recap, plus some …

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Great video editing tips

A good editor can make something out of almost nothing. Boring video? Pick up the pace in the edit and the viewer may not even notice how dull the shots are. A bad editor, on the other hand, can ruin even the best video. I remember–not fondly–the experience of working with an editor who always …

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Earning respect on the job

You’re hired! Now what? That first full-time job in a newsroom can be an intimidating experience. There’s so much to learn, and most of the veterans are way too busy doing or protecting their own jobs to help a newbie out. But it’s critically important to make a good impression; the reputation you earn early on will follow …

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Whatever happened to audio?

In television, sound is the other half of the picture. No matter how gorgeous your video is, its impact depends in part on the quality of the audio. Lousy sound can ruin even the strongest pictures. So if sound is so important, why aren’t more students being taught the basics of audio production? The question comes …

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Tips for finding story ideas

One of the most basic skills every journalist needs is the ability to come up with stories worth reporting. It may be basic, but it’s not always easy. Some reporters have lots of ideas but they fail the “so what” test. Just because something’s interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s going to interest your audience. Other …

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How to shoot good vox pops (MOS)

Whatever you call them, “man on the street” interviews are a staple of TV news. Done well, they can reflect public opinion on important issues in your community. Done badly, they’re just a waste of air time. So how do you shoot them well? Start by thinking very carefully about where to go. Many stations …

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Shooting better interviews as a solo journalist

Mitch Pittman hates excuses. Think a multimedia journalist can’t do the job as well as a two-person crew? Baloney, says Pittman, and he’s out to prove it. Take the common complaint that people interviewed by solo journalists’ face the same screen direction.  That’s because most MMJs are afraid of standing on the “blind” side of the …

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New edition now available

New…and improved! The third edition of Advancing the Story has just been published by CQ Press and is available for pre-order at Amazon. If you’ve used an earlier edition,  you’ll see that we’ve added a separate chapter on TV producing and renamed some other chapters as we restructured the text. Our goal is to make it …

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