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Writing For Audio & Video
Transcript of Writing For Audio & Video
Writing To Be Heard
Ethics Of Editing Audio
The Audio Slideshow
Reporting with Audio & Video
Writing The Audio/Video News Story
Telling The Story With Video
Shooting the Video
Writing for audio & video requires different considerations.
The writing will be read aloud rather than read silently
It is an absolute necessity in using simple words and short, simple sentences.
Guidelines For Writing For Audio
Titles usually come before names.
Instead of Colin Powell, former secretary of state, it should be " former Secretary of State Colin Powell,"
Avoid abbreviations, even on second reference
Only the most commonly known abbreviations should be used in broadcast writing, such as FBI and UN.
Avoid direct quotations if possible
n cases where quotations are needed, phrases like "in the words of the speaker,""in his on words,""used these words," and "as she put it."
Attribution should come before a quotation, not after it.
The listener should know where the quotation is coming from before hearing it.
Use as little punctuation as possible
Numbers & statistics should be rounded off
Rules in handling numbers in broadcast copy : Numbers 1 through 9 should be spelled out; numbers 10 through 999 should be written as numerals; write out hundred, thousand, million, billion & use a combination of numerals with these numbers where appropriate. Eg ; 15-hundred, 10 million.
Personalize the news when possible and appropriate
"Gas is going to cost you five cents more a gallon", would be a good of telling an audience that gas prices are on the rise
Avoid extended descriptions
Instead of " President and chief executive officer of International Widgets John Smith said today...", use "International Widgets President John Smith says..."
Avoid using symbols when you write
Use visual cues in your writing
Some organizations requires you put one slash (/) for a pause, two slash (//) for the end of the sentences, and three slash (///) for the end of the paragraph. Some want you to underline words that should be emphasized when reading.
Use phonetic spelling for unfamiliar & hard-to-pronounce names & words
Eg; "California governor George Duekmejian ( Dook-MAY-gen) said today he will propose..."
Avoid third person pronouns
Eg; "Tom Smith, mayor of Midville, said today..." the phrase 'mayor of Midviller' is an appositional phrase.
Avoid depedent clauses at the beginning of sentences
Eg; "Stopping on the first leg of his Europian tour today, the president said he..." this gives listeners too much to digest before getting to the main point. The best format should be subject-verb-object !
For an audio journalist, sound is everything.
Every journalism student must possess some kind of a digital recorder, know how to use it & also are aware of its capacity.
Tips For Recording...
Find the quietest, most sound-free place to record your report or narration.
Get used to the sound of your voice
Before recording, stop, be quiet and listen. You may be unaware of the background noises
Practice & refine your speaking voice
Get to the point that you are confident in the way you say things so that you can put some inflexion & personality in your voice.
Rule No 1
Rule No 1A
Get the story
Story begins with idea/s
The idea/s then merge into something
practical and doable
When you can describe the idea into a
, then it is a good idea.
If not, then it might be hard to produce and you might spend time doing unnecessary things.
in the story?
I need to
I get to them?
I get a
or better, a
can I capture it with
Can I take a
Will the place
to those who watch it?
is it an
make some phone calls or emails to ask for information.
gather facts, information, and impressions
plan what you can tell
plan what you can show; interviews, action scenes, still pictures, pan shots, etc
go to the scene, event, story idea
ask, how can you tell the story?
what do you need? Interview, shots, recordings etc
after shooting the video.
without good writing, the story won't be great and worth watching.
the story should start with? Ends with?
what video you want to use?
does it need intro?
does it need voice overs?
connected to each other?
can it be understood by all?
Plan and Think
Holding the Camera
Angles and Shots
Plan and Think
size up the situation quickly
shoot efficiently, not too much, not too little
shoot every interesting things.
understand what will look good on camera
shouldn't have much margin in the shot, closer is better
rule of thirds
the space between the top of picture and the top of the head.
sometimes it is necessary to have sometimes it is better not to have.
Holding the Camera
keep the camera steady
hold it with your elbow is against your ribs
put your elbow on a surface
Camera Angles and Shots
get a variety of angles and shots
resist turning your camera
Two Basic Rules
Shoot a lot
Carry pen and notebook
- Follow the 10 seconds rule -
10 secs before interview
10 secs after interview
Don't depend on memory, write them down
Take notes during the interview
The main goal for a begining audio journalist is to produce a clear, coherent recording that listeners will understand.
Editing an audio requires a good knowledge of :
Importance of beginning and ending.
standard constructions and techniques.
Do's and don'ts in editing an audio:
Do not record people's voice unless you have their permission to do so.
May remove noise that distracts and doesn't add to story.
Remove sounds an interviewee makes that do not present information.
rarely, if ever, should edit out single words.
Delete repetitions and reiterations.
Delete subordinate clauses.
Do not edit so that the interviewee seems to answer something else.
May remove whole sentences if they are extraneous.
Do not insert sounds that give false impression to the listeners.
Learning to be silent when you are interviewing.
Most of the recorded interview is likely to be cut.
Do not leave the listener misimpression about you.
Do not use sounds you didn't record youself .
Use music sparingly.
Don't coach an interviewee.
Do not interrupt an interviewee.
no introductory clauses,no parenthetical phrases
straightforward and to the point
enough essential information to understand the subject
"Sound bite" / "Actuality"
"Wrap-around" / "Wrap"
one of the new forms of news & information presentation
uses still pictures and matches them to sound
incorporate a variety of pictures about the topic
includes wide-angle or scene setting slots, medium-range shots, and close-ups
pictures chosen: sharp, well focused, interesting, arresting, easy to view
sound chosen: scripted, practiced
optimum length: 2-3 mins
can include ambient sounds and voices other than the narrator
7 Steps to the audio slide show
Form the idea
Draft the script
Shoot the photos
Revised and edit the script
Record and edit the audio (audacity)
Select, edit and sequence the pictures
Combine sounds and pictures
Important tool of reporting.
Images, sound and video are heavily equipment oriented.
Sound as a Reporting Tool
Not big as a kingdom
National Public Radio and other individuals & organizations
Radio Journalism was a wasteland for 50 years
confined to the medium & restricted by time, programming
Radio is useful & tool of journalism
British Broadcasting Company - sends news in many languages
Voice of America
Web - dominant news medium has freed audio journalism from the restrain of radio
The advantages of learning and using audio as reporting tool
easy to produce
take a story beyond text
allows listeners to see
dominant form of information
exciting tool to work
more than information via sound
matter of sequence/order, tone & ambience
context in audio reporting is vitally important
have an impact & impression
imagined in newsroom & shot on location
not long ago required lots of equipment, technical expertise, time & practise
demanding & deadlines
specialization & experience is no longer necessary
hardware & software
hardest part of the video not what the videographer did, but what the video journalist still does
Principles govern the practice of editing video for journalism
accuracy over everything
clarity & simplicity
more thought, planning & working that go into writing and shooting a story, the less editing
write the story - an outline
video editing with a good planning - time
get establishing shots
pay attention to pacing
check the sound
This chapter introduces readers to some of the concepts, thinking and techniques used to produce audio and video journalism. Writing is the key component to using audio and video, just as it is to using text and pictures. Thinking about a story, conceptualizing it, gathering information, using all of the tools (text, pictures, audio & video), and putting it together are skills that news organizations and audiences alike demand.