Video production tips and techniques from Content Media Group.
Journalists of the New Media must commit to push beyond the four "W"s in their reporting. Fact regurgitation doesn't make a good journalist. In today's congested news space, you need to hook people with powerful stories. Stories sell. Stories motivate. If you aren't telling stories in your reporting or marketing, you aren't connecting. You must connect before you can sell.
Be a Teller, Not a Ticker
Strap on your helmet and protective eye wear. The revolution of access is on! Tapping into the news stream has never been easier or less avoidable. We are bombarded by chunks of news 24/7. TV, radio, web, cell, Walmart PA system...there's no escaping the Who, What, Where and When. Facts fly quicker than BBQ ribs at the"All You Can Eat Meat" night at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Journalists of the New Media must commit to push beyond the four "W"s in their reporting. Turn on any news channel, refresh any news web site and the facts leap off the screen. Station to station, site to site, they remain the same. All one needs to know about "the now" can be gleamed from a glance at the news ticker. Fact regurgitation doesn't make a good journalist.
The Dig is Always Worth The Story
Buried within the stacks of facts lie stories ripe for the telling. Aaaah, stories. They've been on the scene since the beginning of human history. Stories were the social glue that held communities together. Paid history forward. Reminded people of their oneness. From the walls of caves to the walls of Facebook, only the medium has changed. The hunger for rich story telling has never been greater.
In these chaotic times, good stories are a soothing balm to quiet the confused mind. Crafting meaningful reports that distill the four "W"s by putting a face to the facts is trans-formative. Viewers crave depth. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media has everyone on a Depth-Restrictive Diet. Depth takes time. Time costs money. Thankfully, you're a New Media Journalist! Be damned the crumbling institution of network news! Armed with your HD video-capable iPhone, you can produce the stories the world's dying to see.
The Most Powerful Three Lettered Word
Will the fifth "W" please step forward? Great stories all rely on the "why". No one word is more powerful. Used properly, "why" becomes a crowbar of context. Prying truth, meaning and relevance out of a subject is only possible with this inquiry. The other "W"s lack the depth required to transform a news report into a news story. The stories within the facts usually lead to the heart of the story.
I recently got back from an emotionally gripping trip to Haiti. We were doing a series "Six Months After the Quake" for a local news network in Los Angeles. Did we need to travel to Port au Prince to report the situation is extremely crappy? No. Other networks achieved that with voiceover and sad Haiti b-roll. Our goal was not to merely inform, but to move viewers to action. B-roll and voiceover rarely accomplish this.
Do Stories Really Matter?
Over 1 million Haitians live in tents. Touring the tent cities, we came camera to face with people the world has forgotten. Tent to tent, the stories were jumping out at us, begging to be told. Lives depending on us to tell them. Do stories matter? Ask the Haitians who'll be sleeping under a tarp tonight.
As you race to file your next report, take a moment, sip your latte and ask, "Am I a news ticker or a story teller?" Most likely, there's a community begging for their story to be properly told. Most definitely, your viewers are hungry for it.