Creating a broadcast news package

Patricia Baugher
Patterson Mill High School
Bel Air, Maryland

Overview and Rationale
Journalism students need to understand how to create stories using many different types of media. Video is one of those types of media. After reviewing and working on the basics of written news stories students will take these skills as a young journalist and create a small package that will cover a topic, relevant to school, within three class periods.

Goals for Understanding

·         Students will understand the basics of visual story telling

·         Students will learn to scout locations before an interview.

·         Students will learn how to interview on camera and shoot b-roll relating to the story & interview

·         Students will learn the basics of editing

Essential Questions

·         What is the difference in reporting a written story and a visual story?

·         What preparation is needed before reporting and shooting a news package?

·         What are steps needed to complete an edit for a news package?

Overviews and Timeline

Activity 1 (One 90-minute class)

1. Students start out watching a variety of news broadcasts using local or on-line news sources. (20 minutes)
Blood Drive video –

2.  Discuss with the class –

o        How did they set up the interviews – Microphone in the shot?

o        How would it enhance the interview to have the subject look towards the camera?

3. Discuss the outline of the news package.

4. Define types of video shots that establish the scene with natural sound before the voice over.(wide shot, close up, mid shot, etc.)

o     B – Roll that shows the details of the story.

o   Interviews that are shot with the subject in a mid to close shot (at least 2 for this project).  What is a story proposal?

5. Students will be divided into teams of three. They will need to assign the following responsibilities.

o        On Air talent/ researcher

o        Video editor

o        Writer / researcher

The team will agree on a possible subject for their story that is related in some way to a large event taking place in school.

6. Students will fill out news story proposal.
Activity 2 (One 90-minute class)

1. Review the footage.

2 .Decide what shots should be used in the story (can create edit decision list).

3.  Label all video so that it can be stored for future use.

4. Re-shoot additional b-roll or still shots to enhance the story.

5. Make sure audio for interviews and voice overs are technically sound.

7. Finish editing and publish to appropriate file format (AVI, MPEG, etc.)


Activity 3 (One 90-minute class)

Share the videos shot with the class.

§         Each group introduces the news package

§         They should include any problems they encountered as they shot the package

§         Show the news package

§         Solicit comments from the class about what went well and what could be improved


VI. Assessment

–          Review packages in class with introductions by the writers and editors. Discuss ways of using different shots for different effects.

–          Use rubric to grade the overall package. Top packages get played on air at the school news station & uploaded to the on-line paper.


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