How to Create a Great News Story

on_air_signHi everyone, I’m Christina with SchoolTube’s Journalism Team.  We all know news is constantly changing from minute to minute, news never waits!  So, how can you make your news story interesting, informative, and timely?  Look no further, use the tips below and you will be on your way to writing and shooting a great news story.

Story Ideas- Deciding on a story idea can be difficult, if you do not use the right resources at hand.  Talk to your friends and ALWAYS keep your ears open for story ideas.  You will be surprised how many story ideas will be generated through talking to friends, family, and community members.  Also, be aware of up-coming dates and events nationally and in your local community.  For example, tell what and how your community/school is covering the Inauguration, what citizens and classmates are saying about the new president.  
Here are some quick points to remember:
• News is all around you, be assertive
• Localize national news
• Tell both sides to a story
• Inform the public

Camera Tips- Broadcast news stories are visual, that’s what sets them apart from other forms of journalism and makes them interesting.  Good camera work is essential in telling your story.  When on location, shoot video that will allow the viewers to feel as if they were there.  Use close-up, medium and wide angle shots.  Good audio is a must. Remember video without audio is surveilance. Make sure to remember you will be editing your footage later so get shots you can use.  Follow these tips when shooting b-roll video and interviews:
• ALWAYS use a tripod; shaky video is jarring to the eye
• Get ONLY the video needed to tell your story; eliminates editing time
• Be creative; use different camera angles to capture your story
• When interviewing, have your subject talk to you and not directly into the camera

Script Writing- Writing your script is the most important part of telling a story.  This is where you inform and educate viewers. You have spent time becoming educated on a topic, now it’s time to condense all the knowledge you have gained into a 30 to 60 second script.  It is essential that you remain un-biased when telling your story.  As journalists, it is our job to tell the facts and educate the public in order for them to make their own conclusions. Make sure you tell both sides of a story by interviewing both sides.  Here are some quick tips to help you tell the facts and write your script quickly for deadlines:
•   ALWAYS put the most important information first
•   Answer who, what, when, where, why, how, and who cares
•   Use active voice
•   Inform the public
•   Write to your video; the script should match video playing at that time

Editing- Now that you have your script written, you need to edit your video to match your script.  The number one rule to remember is to make sure the images the viewer is seeing is the same as what they are hearing.  For example; if you are talking about a recycling company crushing aluminum cans, show the machines crushing the cans…not the outside of the factory or the inside, etc…   Also, make sure you do not have any jump cuts.  In other words make sure you don’t see the same lady in two shots back to back but doing something different.  Finally, always use different angels to make the video interesting.  Editing is an art.  So, when editing remember…
• Match video to your script
• Show action shots and a variety of angels
• Don’t use jump cuts

There you have it, a quick insider’s look at how to make your news stories interesting, informative, and timely.  Living the life of a journalist can be hectic, news breaks all of a sudden and you have one chance to tell someone’s story. By remembering the simple tips above, creating a broadcast story should be a little easier for you.  I hope you find these few tips helpful.  Remember, the number one job as journalists is to educate the public with truthful, un-biased facts, now go out there and get your story, time’s ticking!

ChristinaHeadShotChristina Xamis is Senior Producer at SchoolTube.com