Book Review: Television Production and Broadcast Journalism

If you have taught video production for more than 6 weeks, you have heard of Phil Harris and probably seen one of his books.

Gil Garcia may require a little more commitment to find but once you find his work, you have found a treasure chest of resources and guidance. These two have partnered to create the 3rd Edition of Television Production and Broadcast Journalism.

My initial thought as I thumbed through the pages - “There are a lot of pictures.” This is a great thing as the book is targeted to students that are just beginning their video production journey and the pictures put a new meaning and definition to most of the terms or concepts in the book.

The book starts with what I believe is the most important thing to present to the students: Opportunities. The discussion of the variety of opportunities in video production is frank andGW01 Cover 425 informative. The chapter addresses the need for the variety of positions and skillsets. Ad sales and financing stations or companies are covered in a way that students can understand yet have a rich enough facts to speak on the topic intelligently. Students need to understand the funding aspect of video production as much or more than many other topics.

Further developing the relationship between the different jobs and responsibilities Harris and Garcia give a rich list of job titles, their roles, and their relationship with other positions. Chapter 2 is the most photo filled chapter in the book with great examples of the different roles in working situations as well as a cameo by Harris himself. Again the presentation of the variety of jobs and skill sets needed allows students to see themselves in a role they did not know existed. Dispelling the myth that there are only a few jobs in video production can go a long way to motivate students to cross train and find their niche in the market.

The details in this book are amazing. From explaining the difference between CCD and CMOS sensors through the diopter settings, this book has it all when it comes to cameras and camera operations. Covering smartphone cameras, POV cameras, as well as DSLRs as relevant video tools shows Harris and Garcia’s commitment to keeping the book real and relevant.

Not much has changed in terms of camera stabilizers and shot composition techniques but the book does both justice with great definitions and pictures to serve as great examples. The pictures of the shot types and discussion of pre production techniques will give students a great understanding of the need to conceptualize the shot as well as to plan the shoot.

Another thing that I love about this book is that Harris and Garcia spend a good amount time giving students a balanced understanding of the science of sound as well as the need for great sound. From the function of sound through automatic gain control, students that are given the opportunity to study with this book will have an amazing wealth of knowledge about the ins and outs of audio in terms of video production.

The book goes into great detail on connectors that students may come across in the field but I believe there are some connectors that should be removed such as the PL259 but overall understanding signal flow is becoming more important for all video professionals as the world of specialism has gone the way of the vcr. This chapter give students an opportunity to appreciate the different roles throughout the field.

I introduced my first year students to news production and news package creation by pulling content from the scriptwriting, newsroom production, broadcast journalism, and interviews chapters. I actually started with script writing and interviews. This pairing allowed me to give students practice that was hands on and had instant results. The concepts presented in the scriptwriting chapter covers a variety of formats and in not limited to just news or interview production. (I will also go back to this chapter as I prepare the students for short films and documentaries next semester.). Using the newsroom production and broadcast journalism chapters, I built a lesson that had students produce a 90 second newspackage that included a stand up, 2 interviews, and b-roll. The combination of these chapters allowed me to build a foundation of understanding then push the students to a higher level of understanding as the produce.

The thing I love the most about teaching video production is that you can take any direction you want for your program - based on your skills and school’s goals. This book allows you to prepare your students for any path they take on their career journey. Digging deep into the elements of news production balanced with advanced concepts and an entire chapter dedicated solely to directing.

Harris and Garcia have again produced the cornerstone text for anyone teaching (or learning) video production. The 3rd edition of this book builds on the first 2 with updates for the modern video production classroom and gives teachers the opportunity to teach specifically to their student’s desires and abilities. The online resources paired with the physical text mean that ALL students can learn the concepts needed to be successful in the television production and broadcast journalism world.

Contents:

1. The Television Production Industry
2. Working in the Television Production Industry
3. The Video Camera and Support Equipment
4. Video Camera Operations
5. Video Acquisition, Recordable Media & Storage
6. Audio Basics
7. Connectors
8. Scriptwriting
9. Newsroom Production
10. Broadcast Journalism
11. Interviews
12. Legalities: Releases, Copyright, and Forums
13. Music
14. Image Display
15. Lighting
16. Studio and Remote Shooting
17. Remote Shooting
18. Props, Set Dressing, and Scenery
19. Production Staging and Interacting with Talent
20. Directing
21. Makeup Application and Costume Considerations
22. Video Switchers and Special Effects Generators
23. Electronic Special Effects
24. Video Editing
25. Getting Technical
26. Getting Into the Industry

ISBN: 978-1-63126-275-3
Format: Hardcover
Copyright: ©2018
Subject: Visual Technology
Grade Level: 9-12
Retail Price: $105.28
School Price: $78.96