How to: Put Together a Successful News Package

I will now walk you through, step by step, the making of putting together a news package.

Once you have your story idea assigned to you by your editor, you have only a few hours to go out, shoot, interview, come back, edit, record voice over, and post your story package before it goes on air.

Here are a few tips on how to do this process as smoothly as possible:

1. Once assigned your story, do whatever it takes to contact the person you need to interview (call, Facebook, email, etc) so you can set up a meeting with them.

2. Once you set up your meeting time and place, make sure you arrive early so you give yourself time to set up your camera equipment and interview spacing a lighting so you do not waste your interviewees time.

3. Have a set list of questions to ask them that cover all of the basics. AKA: who, what, when, where, and why. Don’t be afraid to stray from these questions in case the interviewers adds more information that you need to know more details about.  *Remember that in some situations, the topics you are interviewing about might be touchy, so be very respectful of the subject and the way you are presenting your questions.

4. Get lots of B-roll. B-roll is extra shots of the area you are interviewing in to give your audience an idea of where you are and make them feel like they are more involved in the story. (It an also be used to cover parts of interviewees responses in case they tend to ramble). B-Roll is also important because you only have 45 seconds for your package to play on air, so you must keep things short.

5. Editing video. Make sure your edits are concise, but still inform the audience of the whole story- without being biased. This is also the stage where it is necessary to multitask. While putting together your package, you need be writing out a script of a voice over that will go in between interview clips to explain background details of your story.

6. Once you have edited your video together and written your voice over script, it is time to record your voice over. Most studio’s will have a small, sound proof room, where you can go in and record your script. Make sure to give yourself a couple of choices so you can decide which script fits in best with the way your package flows. Try using different speeds. A fast version, a slow version, a serious version, and a peppy version depending on the subject matter.

7. Post your video to the producers page, (most producers use a program called AARP) so he can add the material and script into the upcoming newscast. DO NOT MISS your deadline, or they will CUT your story. I have seen it happen myself!

Here are a few other sites that give tips about putting together a newscast package:

http://www.meeksmixedmedia.com/blog_post/how-to-shoot-a-news-package/

http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1242

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