For a journalist, news producing is first and foremost following the news.
A journalist always gets into a newsroom meeting with suggestions of how to cover stories. Discussing them with the newsroom helps define the angle under which the story should be treated so that it fits with the newscast.
Finding a distinct (different from other media, from other stations, from the previous years…) way to cover stories and being creative are two keystones of the added value the journalist and the team working on the newscast can bring.
The newsroom meeting is a time for choices. For each story selected for the newscast, the editor-in-chief can ask the journalist to :
- Go out on the field with a team
- Use wire images, archive films or computer generated images to produce a story or box
The chief editor can also decide to let the anchorman/woman cover the story on set (with or without accompanying images, a guest or a columnist). Once all these decisions have been taken, each journalist in the newsroom must respect coverage, time and settings constraints so as to ensure the quality of the newscast.
News coverage = a topic + a story
9/11 is an event. To cover the tenth anniversary of this event, journalists round up precise topic (the topic is the stepping stone of the package). Each of these topic can be treated under various angles, thanks to whom the journalist will produce a story (a story = what is unknown, the news, the added value).
- 9/11 : a precise timeline
- 9/11 : testimonies from French (or American) survivors ten years after
- 9/11 : a fireman’s story : “the longest day”
A journalist should not try to say EVERYTHING: an angle is enough. The TV coverage of a story is a success when the information is evenly split between audio and images, which demands good coordination between the cameraman, the reporter and the video editor and more widely between everybody in the newsroom.
The package gets to the viewer if the story caught his interest, if the coverage caught his attention and if the package brings him brand new information.