05. Respecting time and setting constraints

The same story can be treated through rubrics or different settings. Each story myst be treated through the formula that brings most information and fits better within the newscast the package will be part of. 

Packages formats and durations in the newscast

  • Voiceovers (“off”)

These are sequences lasting 15 to 30 seconds that are commented on-set by the anchor. When editing, you must :

1. Tightly link commentary and powerful images.

2. Work extra hard on the opener (both the images and the commentary, that usually starts 10 to 15 seconds before the images).

3. Edit the ending shots so that they last longer, to facilitate cutting to the anchor when his commentary ends.

  • Interview

An interview is information you don’t need to explain through boxed text nor cover with related images. The anchor intro must underline its interest (unique, rare, touching, exclusive testimony) or recall how and under which condition the interview was solicitated and granted.

  • Field packages

Field reporting brings images and audio to depict reality. Descriptive commentary entices the viewer to watch the images and leaves room for ambiance.

  • Boxed text

When the story deals with abstract, impossible to demonstrate notions, the commentary uses illustrations: wire images, archive films, or graphs.

  • Feature

A feature covers the same story through various angles, articulating various treatments. In the newscast, a feature might last up to 4 minutes. In a special broadcast, the package might last between 13 and 56 minutes.

Major rubrics structuring the newscast :

  • Justice, News items, Education
  • Politics, International
  • Local life, Social Society, Economy
  • Science, Health, Medicine, New media, Culture
  • Sports, Environment

For a given topic it’s important to choose the relevant topic. For example, battery can belong to “news item” or to “society”. Such a choice highlights the newsroom editorial line.