Essential Radio Journalism: How to Produce and Present Radio News


'Incredibly comprehensive. Learn and understand this lot and you will have a fine grasp' Jon Snow

'This sets the standard for every radio newsroom' - Andy Ivy, Editor, Sky News Radio

In an age of infinite choice made possible by new technology, and a disturbing move away from traditional reporting into colourful comment and speculation by blogs and 'citizen jourbanalists' there has never been a better time to focus on pure jourbanalism skills.

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Essential Radio Journalism: How to produce and present radio news

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'Incredibly comprehensive. Learn and understand this lot and you will have a fine grasp' Jon Snow

'This sets the standard for every radio newsroom' - Andy Ivy, Editor, Sky News Radio

In an age of infinite choice made possible by new technology, and a disturbing move away from traditional reporting into colourful comment and speculation by blogs and 'citizen jourbanalists' there has never been a better time to focus on pure jourbanalism skills.

Essential Radio Jourbanalism is a vastly comprehensive working manual for radio jourbanalists as well as a textbook for broadcast jourbanalism students. It contains practical advice for gathering, reporting, writing, editing and presenting, the news, alongside media law and ethics. There is a wealth of 'inside' information, checklists and on-the-job advice that you can immediately put to use whether you are in your first job or have several years of experience. This is a book to inspire responsible, accurate and exceptional jourbanalism skills.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780713688740
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Series: Professional Media Practice Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 550,223
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Stewart is a trainer for BBC Radio, has acted as a Judge for the Sony Radio Academy Awards and lectures on many university media courses. He is author of Essential Radio Skills and has over 15 years of broadcast experience with a variety of employers including the BBC, Sky News, Virgin, Kiss FM.

Paul Chantler is an international radio programming consultant advising companies about audience-building strategies, bidding for licences and tactics throughout the UK, Europe and Asia. He also trains presenters and jourbanalists.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jon Snow, Channel 4 News viii

Preface x

Acknowledgements xiv

1 Radio in the UK

National Radio 2

Regional Radio 2

Local Radio: Growth, BBC Local Radio, Commercial Local Radio 3

Digital Radio: Radio via DAB, Radio via Digital Television, Radio via the Internet, Radio via Mobile Phone 5

Community Radio 7

Restricted Radio 7

Pirate Radio 7

2 Radio Worldwide

North America 9

Australia and New Zealand 10

India 11

Europe: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands 12

South Africa 13

Russia 13

The Far East: Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia 14

3 Working in Radio News

Understanding Radio: Radio versus Newspaper and Television, Speed and Simplicity, Making Pictures, Person-to-person, Localness 15

The Making of a Broadcaster: Qualities of a Good Radio Journalist, Starting Out 17

Newsroom Structure: Head of News or News Editor, Bulletin Editor, Broadcast Journalist or Reporter, Small Newsrooms, Television Journalists 21

Getting The Job: Work Experience, Local Newspapers, Hospital Radio, Student Radio, College Courses, BBC Training Schemes, Traffic and Travel Broadcasting, Restricted and Community Stations, Freelancing 23

Marketing Yourself: CV and Demo, Persistence 27

The Job Interview: Preparation, Nerves, Body Language, Journalistic Tests, Awkward Questions, Thank you! 29

4 News Gathering

News Agenda: The Target Listener, Relevance, Content, Hard News, Soft News 32

News Sources: The Emergency Services, News Releases, Electronic Press Kits, Public Utilities, Politicians and Councilors, Listeners, Colleagues, Pressure Groups, Freelance Journalists and Agencies, Courts,Local Experts, Rival Broadcasters, The Internet, Previous Sources, 'Fishing Expeditions', 'Honey Traps' and 'Dangling Worms'! 35

National News: Radio News Agencies, Local Intake, Data Feeds, Live Bulletins, TV Audio, Wire Services 44

Generating, Planning and Developing Stories: The Newsroom Diary, News desk Resource Management, The Prospects List, The Editorial Meeting, The Angle, More Angles, The Treatment, Developing Stories, Checking Information, Newsroom Contacts, Resisting Pressure, Embargoes, Originating Stories, The Silly Season 47

Story Treatment: Copy, Interviews, Cuts Clips and Soundbites, Voicers or Voice Pieces, Wraps and Packages, Two-Ways, Multi Versions, Other Treatments, Newsroom Style Guide 54

5 News Reporting

The Radio Reporter: The Briefing, Fixing Ahead, Working to Deadlines 60

On Location: What To Do First, Eyewitness Accounts, Dealing with Officials, Dealing with Other Reporters, Doorstepping, 'No Comment', Health & Safety 62

Filing Material: On-the-Spot Voicers, Two-Ways, Live Reports or 'Action Rants', 'Car Park' Voicers 65

Audio Production: Getting Organised, Choosing The Cut, Wraps and Packages, Speed Packages, Cues 69

6 News Interviewing

Types of Interview: Informational Interviews, Interpretive Interviews, Emotional Interviews 73

Interview Preparation: Choosing The Interviewee, Approach and Persuasion, Before Starting, Location, Holding The Microphone, 'What Did You Have For Breakfast . . . ?' 75

Question Technique: The Famous Five, Body Language, Your First Question, The Next Questions, Asking One Thing at a Time, Putting Arguments, Tough Questions, Leading Questions, Clichè Questions, Hypothetical Questions, Non Questions, The Final Question 80

The Answers: Coaching Interviewees, One Word Answers, Verbose Answers, Evasions, Prepared Statements, Looking At Notes, After The Interview, Thanks 85

Special Interviews: Studio Interviews, Telephone Interviews, Telephone Versus Quality Audio, Live Interviews, Vox Pops, News Conferences and 'Scrums', Unattended Studios, Interviewing Other Reporters, Interviewing Children, Interviewing Criminals, Interviewing Witnesses, Interviewing Politicians, Sports Interviews 88

7 News Writing

Telling The Story: For The Ear Not The Eye, Keep It Short, Keep It Simple, Keep It Focused, Keep It Active, Keep It Accurate, Keep It Understandable, Keep It Fresh, Keep Reading It Out Loud!, Keep It Objective: 96

Building The Story 102

Language and Grammar 103

Writing Techniques and Style: Abbreviations and Acronyms, Americanisms, 'But . . . ', Characterisation, Clichès, Comparisons, Connectives, Contractions, Dates, Details, Doublespeak, Extra Words, False Possessives, First Words, Foreign Words, Jargon, Journalese, Localising, Management Speak, Mixed Metaphors, Names, Negative Leads, Numbers, Organisations, Oxymorons and Tautology, Per, Place Names, Points Of View, Polls, Pronouns, Political Speak, Punctuation, Quotations and Questions, Singulars and Plurals, 'Stretchers', Superlatives, Taste, Titles, Time, Trade Names, Vogue Words, 'Which' and 'That', 'You' and 'Yours' 104

Writing Cues: Before Starting, The First Line, More Detail, Into the Audio, The Audio, After Writing, Cue Layout 123

Avoiding Offence: Race, Sex and Gender, Disabled People, Other Sensitivities, 130

Contextual Writing: Attribution, Exaggeration, Objectivity, Cause and Effect, Casualty Figures, Descriptions, The Truth 132

B News Bulletins

Bulletin Styles: Brands, Youth Stations, Adult Stations, Versioned Bulletins, Regional Bulletins, The Hub, Pre-Recorded Bulletins, 'Infotainment', Zoo Formats, Co-Presenting 136

Bulletin Production: Running The Newsdesk, Getting Organised, Taking Audio, Organising Audio and Scripts, Check Calls 140

Bulletin Essentials: Deadlines, Building Blocks, The Lead Story, 'Livers', The Rest of the Bulletin, And Finally . . . , Story Distribution, 'Churn', Alternate versus Serjuence, Holding Copy, Quality versus Quantity, Signposting, Showbiz, Sport, Weather, Clock Starts and Ends, 'Flash That Snap!'. 143

Dayparts: Breakfast Bulletins, Midday Bulletins, Afternoon Bulletins, Overnights, Rewrites 154

9 News Editing

Deciding Coverage 157

The Prospects Meeting 157

The Story: The Angle, The Treatment, Transmission Time and Duration Coverage: Reporters, Commissioning Stories, Priorities, Coping In A Crisis, The Network 162

Guests: Choosing Guests, Approaching Potential Guests 164

Resources: Rotas, Budgets, Estimating Costs, Cutting Costs 166

Complaints: Phoned Complaints, Correcting Errors, Solicitors 168

Winning Audiences: Audience Measurement, Targeting Audiences, Presentation Formats, Promos, Sponsorship 169

10 News Presentation

Reading The News: Voice, Sitting and Breathing, Microphones and Headphones, Talkback, Check and Rehearse, Understanding, Pronunciation 173

Newsreading Mechanics: Projection, Speed, Stress, Quotations, Diction, Intonation, Tone, Listen, Gestures, Marking Scripts 180

Self-Op Bulletins: Getting Ready, In The Studio, 'Here Is The News . . . ', When Things Go Wrong, Verbal Fluffs, Technical Problems 185

Breaking News Stories: 'We're Getting Reports That! . . . ', Going 'Open Ended', Adlibbing, Sight Reading, 'Potting' Audio, Reading Off Screen, Recording Your Voice 190

11 Technicalities

Audio Recording 196

Audio Editing: Digital Editing, The Modem Bulletin Desk 197

Studios: Playout Systems, Equipment, Microphones, Headphones 199

On Location: Portable Recorders, Batteries, Disks and Mics, Remote Studios, ISDNs, Radio Cars, Matrix, 'Woody', MP3s, Palm PCs and Wireless Hot Spots 201

Audio and Actuality; Sound Quality, Dubbing, Levels and Equalisation 204

12 The Law and Regulation

Libel: Justification, Fair Comment, Privilege, Innocent Dissemination, Public Interest, Other Defences, Criminal Libel, 'Allegedly . . . ', Other Problem Areas, Rejoinders 206

Contempt: Preliminary Stages, Remand and Committal Hearings, Proof and Penalties, A Step-by-Step Guide to Contempt, Court Reporting and Other Legalities: Basic Reporting Rules, The Grammar of Courts, Sexual Offences, Children and Young People, Jigsaw Identification, Civil Law, Inquests, Official Secrets, Injunctions, Breach of Confidence, Copyright, Freedom of Information Act 212

Elections: General Guidelines, Close of Nominations, Programme Packages, Discussion Programmes, Other News Items, Election Phone-Ins, Opinion Polls, Polling Day 224

Regulation: Impartiality and Accuracy, Fairness, Privacy, Children and Young People, Harmful or Offensive Material, Inciting Crime or Disorder, Religious Beliefs, Transparency and Accountability, Sponsorship and Commercial 227

13 Ethics

Truth and Accuracy: Taking Notes and Keeping Records, Fact Checking, Contacts, Hoaxes, Identifying Sources, Anonymous Sources 230

Impartiality and Diversity 235

Fairness: Informed Consent, Editing and Production 236

Privacy: Public Interest, Secret Recordings and Phone Interviews, Doorstepping, Media Scrums, Tag Alongs, Anniversary Events, Missing People, Deaths and Funerals 237

Editorial Integrity and Independence: Tipoffs, Freebies and Media Facilities, Conflicts of Interest, Professional Balance 240

Ethical Dilemmas 242

The NUJ's Code of Conduct 244

14 'And Finally . . . '

Glossary 247

Index 257

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