It is logical to believe that communication skills would be at the center of any media profession. People expect journalists to be outstanding with their ability to communicate. They expect the person to speak well, write well, engage in interesting / meaningful conversation and be well read. In most cases journalists live up to that expectation.
However, I have found that many Mass Communication students need to work on their communication skills. Let me highlight the levels at which a TV Journalist has to communicate.
Ability to Comprehend: Every News Story begins with a story idea. This idea can come from various sources. The journalist should not only be able to read and understand the story, but is also expected to read between the lines. The ability to comprehend also comes into the picture, when any subject is being researched.
Presenting a story idea: He / she has to literally pitch his ideas at the editorial meetings, so that the editors agree to cover the issue. The ability to communicate your idea verbally in short and effective way is the key to such pitching.
Research: He / She has to read, understand, talk to experts etc to get a deeper understanding of the idea.
Explaining to his team mates: Once he / she has managed to sell the idea, the reporter should be able to explain it to the members of his crew. This would include the camera-person, OB Van operator and other people involved in the shoot.
Directing the camera on location: Further he has to explain to the camera-person what shot is expected out of him /her.
Talking to Interviewees: The idea is to get the right sound bite out of them.
Scripting: The journalist’s written communication skills come into play while writing the script
Explaining concepts to post production team: Reporters have to ensure that the right visuals and graphics are used at the editing stage.
Narration: His / her voice should have the power to highlight important aspects to the viewers.
Given that the TV Journalist has to communicate at different levels, it is a must that he / she works on this all important skill.
You can learn more about communication skills and the methods to hone it on my eBook.