Short News Package Planning

There are many different ways to organize your interview footage, b-roll, sound bites, graphics and voice overs to create a coherent news package.  Each journalist will develop a process and workflow that specifically works for him or her.  One structure that has been particularly helpful to my students is attached.

1.  Watch your interview footage and pick out two quotes from your interviewee (these quotes are called sound bites) that best illustrate or explain the content of your story.
2.  Find an opening shot with interesting action and good natural sound.
3.  Write an interesting lead to go with this opening shot. No more than 15 to 20 words. (3-4 words per second)
4.  Write a “bridge” sentence or two to connect your lead to what your first sound bite says. No more than 15 to 20 words. (3-4 words per second)
5.  Put in your first sound bite.
6.  Write a bridge connecting that sound bite and the next. No more than 15 to 20 words. (3-4 words per second)
7.  Put in your second sound bite.
8.  Write another bridge between your second sound bite and your ending. No more than 15 to 20 words. (3-4 words per second)
9. Your ending can do any of the following:
– Come to a conclusion based on the information given in the story.
Sample:  “While parents and children have different ideas of what constitutes
gang activity, everyone agrees there’s no place for it in Arizona.”

– Speculate on what the future may hold.
Sample:  “No matter which side of the issue seems most logical,
the situation will stir up more strong opinions before it is decided.”

– Tell viewers what to do to find out more information on the subject.
Sample: “For more information on how to get a model car club started in
your area, log on to Stardust.com.

(There are a number of other ways to conclude a package.  Just make sure it’s logical
and clear).

Check out the attached sample news package.  See if you can identify all the parts.

What to include                                                                          Video                           Audio

Opening shot with interesting action and
good natural sound.

Interesting lead to go with this opening shot.

Bridge between lead and first sound bite

First sound bite

Bridge between first sound bite and
second sound bite

B-roll video that fits with this sound bite

Second sound bite

Bridge between second sound bite and ending

Ending

B-roll appropriate for this ending

Tag

“For Stardust News (or SNN……….), I’m ________     __________.

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