Sunday, 28 August 2016

Interviewing

Writing the news story is only half the story.  Getting the story is the other half.
The most important way journalists get stories is by interviewing people they plan to write about. So conducting interviews is one of the key tasks of journalism, a job that that no reporter can avoid. Interviewing is an essential skill for journalists.
Interviews may be conducted over the telephone or in person. There are advantages to both approaches. Over the telephone, the person being interviewed cannot see when you're taking notes, or whether you have a tape recorder running. This can be a significant psychological advantage in getting your interview subject to feel comfortable.
On the other hand, when we interview someone in person, we are better able to perceive nuance by observing body language, facial expression and other hints. In person, interviews also provide us with more to observe and describe surroundings and write a more colorful story.
The successful interview is depending on preparation.
Research:  Do at least some research before every interview so that you understand the basic outlines of the story.  It will inform and improve our story.  Court records, academic textbooks, journalistic databases, the record of colleagues, other journalists and former and present associates of the person are all appropriate places to look.
Sales Pitch.  Many interview subjects are nervous about being interviewed, or even hostile to the idea of helping our story. You should be prepared going into the interview to be prepared to explain to your interview subject why they're important and essential to your story, and to think of arguments that might help persuade them to co-operate.
Make a List.  Prepare a list of questions that need to ask and the order in which we will ask questions. It is a good idea to start with softer, more general questions and move to tougher questions . A list will help us  stay on track  and to keep us away from sensitive questions. Ask basic questions first then controversial questions. Our list should always include a final question: Is there anything you'd like to add or tell me about this story? Questions need to be brief.
Request and Identify Ourself. Always clearly and honestly state who you are, who you work for and what you want to do. This may make a few people refuse to talk, but most will and when they do you will face. Be prepared to negotiate politely with a secretary.
Dress Appropriately. Dress in a way that will set your interview subject at lease. If you're interviewing strikers on a picket line, don't wear a three-piece chalk-stripe suit and a silk repp tie. If you're interviewing a business executive, don't wear steel-toed boots and a T-shirt. Many reporters try to strike a reasonable balance: sports jacket, a neat shirt and slacks - nothing too fancy, nothing to ragged. If you are interviewing religious people in a place of worship, be respectful of their traditions - be prepared to wear religious headgear if requested, take your hat off in a church. If you are a woman, you may want to pack a headscarf for this reason. If you're going to make a career of journalism, buy a pair of rubber boots that fit and throw them in the trunk of your car. The day will come when you thank me for this advice.
Be There or Be Square! Be on time. Always be on time. If you simply cannot avoid being late, phone ahead and explain the problem. . Early is better than late, but don't be so early you're a nuisance.
Basic strategies for conducting interviews.
First, break the ice. Don't start off an interview by being confrontational. Try to seat yourself in a comfortable, non-confrontational position. Introduce yourself and re-state your purpose. Look for ways to establish rapport. But don't waste too much time on this phase. You'll want to cut to the chase fairly quickly.
Use a conversational style. You're not a police officer and this isn't an interrogation. Barking harsh questions will likely get you nowhere fast. Use diplomacy and tact to present your questions in a conversational style. This will almost always work better.
Don't let your subject see your list. A long list of questions can put them off, or arouse their curiosity. Try not to let them see. Put questions in the back of your steno pad and flip back to refer to them. If you're one of the fortunate few, memorize them.
Start with an easy question. Save the hard stuff for later if you can. The basics - Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? - are always a good place to start. But be ready to ask tough questions early if time is limited. You can usually tell by context. If your subject has booked an hour and served you tea, you will probably have an opportunity to ask the tough stuff later. If she's already edging you toward the door, you might have to go for the jugular now.
Use open-ended and closed questions. Closed questions require a specific answer. Open-ended questions provide the interview subject with an opportunity to elaborate and provide explanation.
Ask follow-up questions. When the person you're interviewing answers one question, you may want to conversationally follow her lead and move to a follow-up question. Often it makes sense to move from the general to the specific.
Try to stay in control. Some interview subjects will try to "run out the clock" to avoid the tough questions. It's your job as the interviewer to keep track of time and get back to the core questions if they move too far away. Don't be rude, but try to keep the interview on track.
Ask background questions. It's important to understand the background and context of situations. So be prepared to ask questions about the background and history of a story.  
Repeat important questions. Your subject won't answer a question. Politely ask it again. Maybe use different words the second or third time. It's surprising how often this technique works with otherwise intelligent people
Request definitions. Don't pretend to understand jargon if you don't. There are no dumb questions. Your readers need to know and so do you. So always ask for explanations of terms you are not familiar with, or technical aspects of the story.
Get help with a chronology. If you're writing a story about a crime, an accident, a game or a battle, it's often helpful to ask your subject to help you construct a chronology of events. You don't have to write your story in chronological order, but you do need to understand the order in which events took place in order to write about it.
Check and re-check. Always get the person you are interviewing to spell names and technical terms. Get them to confirm their title. Confirm that all information you have taken down is correct. If they say something about someone else, be prepared to check it with that person.
Save the worst for the end. If there's time, save the tough questions for the last third of the interview. That way, you've got something if your subject decides to walk away in a huff. But there may be times in an interview when you have to ask tough questions. Now is the time to get to it.
Get the names of others. Not all interviews, of course, must end with hard questions. Sometimes toward the end of an interview it's a good idea to ask for the names of others who could be interviewed about the same story. Interview subjects will often be happy to help.
Give the subject an opportunity to raise concerns. Always end with a question like this: Is there anything you'd like to add or tell me about this story? This is only fair. But it also protects you against accusations that you steered clear of a difficult topic, or failed to provide your subject with an opportunity to explain themselves. It's a good question and it helps cover your butt! Who could ask for more?
On taking notes in interviews
When you interview someone, you have to be able to transfer the information you hear to your story. You have three options: memory, notes or recording. Each have their
Summary
- Interviewing is one of the key tasks of reporting.
- If reporters can't get the story without conducting interviews, they need to develop strategies for conducting effective interviews.
- Preparation is the key to a successful interview.
- Do some research.
- Prepare a sales pitch to get a reluctant source to talk to you.
- Make a list of questions.
- Request an interview and identify yourself.
- Dress appropriately.
- Always be on time.
- When you're conducting the interview, start with gentle icebreaker conversation.

- Use a conversational style.
source :

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Reporting and Editing. Source of news



Reporting
Reporting, means collection or gathering of facts about current events or background material required for a news story or feature.
Reporters do it through interviews, investigations and observation. Reporters are given directions by editors to cover a particular event, known as assignments. They may be general assignments or special ones. Reporters write the news stories, which are called copies. A reporter should write with clarity, objectivity and accuracy. A reporter who covers a particular area or subject specialises in that.

Editing:
A person who edits is called an editor. Editing is a process by which a report is read, corrected, modified, value-added, polished, improved and made better for publication. Condensation is also part of editing.
The copy of the report has been improved by the editor and is therefore easier to read and understand. The editor also decides whether photographs or other images or graphs should be used along with the report. A good editor needs creative skills, command over the language, ideas to improve the copy and correct judgement about how much importance should be given to a particular news item.
We call a news report a news story. These are factual stories - events that have happened or things that are going to happen. Like a good story teller, the reporter has to narrate the story before the reader or listener or viewer. reporters get news stories from various sources.

The following are the main sources:
a)      Listening: A reporter can get good stories by listening to others. The reporter goes to the accident site to collect all this information. The reporter's job does not end there. He has to inform the photographer about the accident. The next day's newspaper should also carry some good photographs about the accident.
b)      Covering events : "India-Pakistan cricket Test in Mumbai", Kumbhmela in Haridwar", "International Film Festival in Goa ", these are all events. Reporters cover these events for their publications, channels or new bulletins. The coverage depends upon the importance and magnitude of the event. A small panchayat level meeting will be covered locally, whereas a state level function will get wider coverage. If it is a national event, it will receive nationwide attention.
c)      Press conferences: Another major source of news is the press conference. Leaders of political parties hold press conferences regularly. Ministers also hold press conferences to announce various programmes and policies of the government. Business houses arrange press conferences to launch their new products. Organisations and Associations also held press briefings.
d)      Reports and statements:. These are another major sources of news items. Various commissions and committees submit their reports to the Government which are a goldmine as far as news reporters are concerned.
e)      Parliament and Assemblies:- Parliament and state assemblies when in session generate lot of news. Questions in both the houses of parliament, proceedings, calling attentions, zero-hour mentions, debates and various acts passed by the parliament also make news. The general budget and railway budget are presented in parliament. State budgets are presented in state assemblies.
lice sources: The police are in charge of law and order. So the police always maintain a close vigil about various activities of citizens. Reporters get details about crime, accidents etc. from police sources.
g) Interviews: Interviewing people connected with an event or incident is a very common practice used by reporters to get details. Television reporters take the opinion of people which are called reactions. Occasionally, reporters of newspapers and channels conduct long interviews with important people.
News can also originate from government and non-government sources, courts, airports, railway stations, educational institutions, hospitals etc.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

STRUCTURE OF NEWS DEPARTMENT: Quality of reporter

One of the traditional mass communications is the presence of a large number of gatekeepers. This fact   is seen in gathering and reporting of news for conventional print and broadcast media.
Reporting is a team effort and quite a few members of the team serve as gatekeepers. Online reporting
in contrast may have only one or a few gatekeepers.
There are two main sources of news; staff reports and the wire services. Other less important sources
include feature syndicates as well as handouts and releases from various public and private sources.
The City Editor is the captain of the news reporting team. He or she assigns stories to the reporters and
supervises their work.
There are two types of reporters:
Beat Reporters:  Cover some topics on regular basis, such as crime beat or health beat.
·
General assignment reporters: Cover what ever assignment is given to them or come up.
A typical day for the general assignment reporter might consist of covering an auto accident, a speech,
by a visiting politician and a rock concert. Stories from the reporters are passed along to the city editor,

1)Curiosity-
A reporter MUST absolutely be a very curious person. 
A good reporter should be well educated, and have interest in history, geography, politics, sports, and other human activities.
2) Communication Skills
You have to be able to communicate with people, interpret what information they give you, and present it to others.
He should have an ability to write in a style which is easy to understand. Good spellings, grammar, and punctuation are also required. 

3) Competitive Spirit
Journalism is a competitive business. Jobs are few and far between. Also, once you get a job, you have to be competitive to beat your opponents (other stations, papers) to the story.
• He should have an ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.The news business is highly unpredictable, and the person who refuses to work nights, weekends, or holidays usually won't get far. That is why reporter should accept to work irregular hours.

  
  4) Ability to be neutral and unbiased .
Reporters have to have an eye for what is newsworthy, what the hook is in a story. Editors are there to help reporters develop good news judgment, but there are times when reporter will have to make snap decisions on their own and find the proper focus for a story.
 

5)People Skills
A lot of hard news/beat reporters don’t have great people skills, but the best reporters do.
He should have an ability to ask critical questions to the source.
6)Writing Skills
  Journalists need to be able to write clearly and using few words.

7)Persistence

We  have to be able to call them over and over and over and follow them around like a stalker sometimes to get the information you need.
A good reporter should know and make good relations with all the famous personalities of his or her defined area.
8)Guts
We  need to be brave enough to write the truth, no matter what the consequences.


 9)A skill or interest in something else It helps a lot if you have a skill or interest in something else. For instance journalists that know a lot and have a lot of interest in a certain subject are usually valuable. 

Become a TV Reporter


1. Be a reporter. Observe, ask questions and tell a story  any platform, in any field  respect for facts, truth and speed.
2. Use your journalistic skills to their fullest.Television and TV news is  a complicated process.
Do some research. There is never an excuse for researching on air or on tape. Plan our interviews and pieces as much as possible - but change that plan if the story does not fit your template.
- 3. Make sure we  are in the right place at the right time And with the right people. Much TV journalism involves 'fixing' - making sure the people are there and the story is too when we turn up. Beg, cajole or bribeour way to pole position, but avoid the herd instinct.
The great reporters are often mavericks who will plough a lonely furrow away from the pack. It often pays dividends. Look beyond the bar of the hacks' hotel and the bleeding obvious.
But also remember that good journalism is not just about fixing.
- 4. Remember that if our u work in television the operative word is vision. Every picture is worth a thousand words, but some are worth ten thousand.we usually have two minutes tops to get the story across, mainly in sequences and sync. Stunning shots do so much of the heavy lifting for you. Your words are there to enhance the pictures, not to fight them or turn the piece into an illustrated essay. The great reporters use just the right phrase to lift the pictures
- 5. Know when to talk and when to shut up. Economy of words is all. The great reporters allow the silences or the natural sync - real people talking - or, better, the pictures to do the talking/story-telling for them. Write a script but then see how you can cut it down. Wall-to-wall commentary ruins too many pieces.
- 6. Put the package together for maximum impact. . If we  have time before transmission, we can throw it all in the air and into a different order (thanks to non-linear editing).
- 7. The piece-to-camera shows you were there and have the cred to tell the story. Think carefully about where it goes in the piece, and what it will say to the viewer. Make it stand out as well as stand up.
I
- 8. Sell it within the news organisation 
Otherwise all your thousands of miles in that uncomfortable military cargo plane, time on patrol dodging bullets, fixing, cajoling, shooting, writing and packaging will have come to nought. Your piece will drift past the audience ... and past award judges like me.Greatness needs both hard work and hype - but you know it when you see it.
source: 8http://www.zeepedia.com/read.php?structure_of_news_department_beat_reporters_online_media_tv_news_reporting_and_production&b=82&c=28