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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3 great tips for better TV stories

KARE-11’s Boyd Huppert is an amazing storyteller.  A workshop with him may be just about equivalent to a master class in TV news.  At the Excellence in Journalism conference, he shared some of the things he wished he had known when he first started reporting — here are Advancing the Story’s favorites: 1.  Keep interview …

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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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The importance of follow-up questions

News conferences are part of every journalist’s work life. Some reporters can’t go a week without covering several–largely because the newsmakers on their beat hold group sessions regularly but rarely schedule one-on-ones. It’s not easy to get good material from a news conference, but some journalists are skilled at it. What’s their secret? Good follow-ups. Bob …

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Got the interview? Now, get the journalism job

More than 90 percent of journalism and mass communications grads reported getting at least one in-person job interview soon after graduation.  Yet, a little less than 74 percent ended up getting a full or part-time job.  So, what went wrong? News anchor and reporter Byron Brown from WJTV in Jackson, Miss. says there are a …

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Interviewing tips to get vivid sound bites

The elements of engaging stories are universal: strong characters, plot, beginning-middle-end, tension, surprise, resolution. What’s more, they’re central to every kind of story, not just features. Just ask investigative reporter Daniel Zwerdling, who has reported on everything from pesticides to mental health in his 30 plus years at NPR. “You can do the greatest investigation of all …

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Well-chosen details make stories stronger

One challenge TV reporters face is deciding what details belong in a story. Too many and the story bogs down. Too few and it loses impact. What works in a story is “telling” detail: information that conveys a basic truth about a character or situation. Think about the difference between two stories about the aftermath …

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Getting that on-air TV job

First and foremost, it’s not about you. Tanya Carter is assistant news director at WABG-TV in Greenville, Miss.  She’s also one of the primary news anchors, so she’s seen both sides of the job hunt.  She’s says that just having a good camera presence is not enough to get you hired. “So, you have the …

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Tips for multimedia journalists on writing fast

Video journalist Anne Herbst firmly believes in preparation. She does research on stories before leaving the newsroom. She shows up to assignments early so she can meet people and figure out in advance who might be a strong character. And she writes fast–an essential skill when you’re working by yourself and you have to do …

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Video journalism tips from a pro

Darren Durlach left television almost two years ago to try something new. He’d won two consecutive NPPA TV Photographer of the Year awards and, unbeknownst to him, was on the verge of winning a third. He’s now senior multimedia producer at the Boston Globe, where he shoots and edits stories both alone and in collaboration …

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