Planning a News Story

Questions to ask yourself before you go out for the shoot

You have just been asked to cover an earthquake, which has taken place a few hours back causing massive destruction and death. On reaching the location you spot brilliant visuals required to tell your story. Your Cameraman is on a filming spree, shooting whatever he thinks can help the story. On returning to the editing table however, you have a problem in hand.  You have a lot of footage available, that too, with many repetitions. But some important visuals and crucial sound bites are missing. So how does one overcome this problem? The answer is planning.

Three vital questions:

Planning involves thinking through what you wish to cover.  To make planning simpler, ask yourself three crucial questions viz.:

i) What is the story?

ii) What are the Sound Bites needed and from whom to support the story?

iii) What visuals are needed to tell the story?

Sometimes the Reporter will have the opportunity to ponder over these questions. However, on most occassions, he will be in a hurry to get to the location and start shooting. Despite the hurry, it is important that Reporters seek answers to these questions in their own minds.  Journalists can utilise the travelling time to think through the questions.

The answers to these three questions will make Electronic News Gathering (ENG) easy.