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Basic Radio Journalism

Book Description

Basic Radio Journalism is a working manual and practical guide to the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in radio journalism. It will be useful both to students starting a broadcasting career as well as experienced journalists wishing to develop and expand their skills.

Based on the popular Local Radio Journalism, this book covers the core skills of news gathering, writing, interviewing, reporting and reading with extensive hints and tips. It outlines working practices in both BBC and commercial radio. There are revamped legal and technical sections as well as a new chapter on the journalist as programme producer. For the student, there is extensive advice about getting a job, marketing yourself and dealing with job interviews.

The Foreword is by Lord Ryder of Wensum, vice chairman of the BBC.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Chapter 1 The structure of UK radio
    1. Overview
    2. National radio
    3. Local radio
    4. BBC local radio
    5. Commercial local radio
    6. Digital radio
    7. Cable and satellite
    8. Internet radio
    9. Restricted Service Licences
    10. Access radio
    11. Pirate radio
  9. Chapter 2 Working in radio
    1. Understanding radio
      1. Radio versus newspapers and television
      2. Speed and simplicity
      3. Making pictures
      4. Person-to-person
      5. Localness
    2. The making of a broadcaster
      1. Qualities of a good radio journalist
      2. Starting out
    3. Getting the job
      1. Work experience
      2. Local newspapers
      3. Hospital radio
      4. Student radio
      5. College courses
      6. BBC training schemes
      7. Traffic and travel broadcasting
      8. Restricted service stations
      9. Freelancing
    4. Marketing yourself
      1. The CV and demo
      2. Persistence
    5. The job interview
      1. Preparation
      2. Nerves
      3. Body language
      4. Journalistic tests
      5. Awkward questions
      6. Thank you!
  10. Chapter 3 News gathering
    1. The newsroom structure
      1. Head of News or News Editor
      2. Bulletin Editor
      3. Senior Broadcast Journalist or News Producer
      4. Broadcast journalist or reporter
      5. One-journalist newsrooms
      6. Television journalists
    2. National news
      1. Radio news agencies
      2. Local intake
      3. Data feeds
      4. Live bulletins
      5. Television audios
      6. Wire services
    3. Sources of local news
      1. The emergency services
      2. News releases
      3. Audio news releases
      4. Public utilities
      5. Politicians and councillors
      6. Listeners
      7. Colleagues
      8. Pressure groups
      9. Freelance journalists and agencies
      10. ‘Rivals’
      11. Your own station
      12. The Internet
    4. Planning and developing stories
      1. The newsroom diary
      2. Newsdesk resource management
      3. Developing stories
      4. Newsroom contacts
      5. Resisting pressure
      6. Embargoes
    5. Story treatment
      1. Copy
      2. Interviews
      3. Voicers or voice pieces
      4. Cuts, clips and soundbites
      5. Wraps and packages
      6. Newsroom style guide
  11. Chapter 4 News writing
    1. Telling the story
      1. For the ear not the eye
      2. Keep it short
      3. Keep it simple
      4. Keep it happening now
      5. Keep adjectives to a minimum
      6. Talk to yourself
    2. Language and grammar
    3. Writing devices
    4. Contractions
    5. Punctuation
    6. Jargon
    7. Journalese
    8. Clichés
    9. Americanisms
    10. Names
    11. Dates
    12. Numbers
    13. Comparisons
    14. Cues
      1. The topline
      2. Going into detail
      3. Into the audio
      4. The audio cut
      5. Cue layout
    15. Avoiding offence
    16. Putting stories in context
      1. Attribution
      2. Exaggeration
      3. Cause and effect
      4. Casualty figures
      5. Organizations
      6. Titles
      7. Descriptions
      8. The truth
  12. Chapter 5 News bulletins
    1. The news agenda
      1. Your target listener
      2. Socio-economic groups
      3. Relevance
      4. Quality versus quantity
      5. Place names
      6. The ‘life’ of a story
    2. Bulletin styles
      1. ‘Infotainment’
      2. Youth stations
      3. Versioned bulletins
      4. Regional bulletins
      5. The hub
      6. Pre-recorded bulletins
      7. Multi versions
    3. Bulletin essentials
      1. Accuracy
      2. Taste
      3. Balance and fairness
      4. Tone
      5. Comment
      6. Signposting
      7. Experts
      8. Kickers
  13. Chapter 6 News presentation
    1. Reading the news
      1. Sound interested
      2. Understand the story
      3. Check and rehearse
      4. Technically speaking
      5. Breathe in and relax
      6. Keep level
      7. Tone
      8. Microphone technique
      9. Speed
      10. Stress
      11. Quotations
      12. Corrections
      13. Pronunciation
      14. Listen
    2. Self-op bulletins
      1. Getting ready
      2. In the studio
      3. Here is the news …
      4. Clock end bulletins
      5. When things go wrong …
    3. Breaking news stories
      1. ‘We’re getting reports that …’
      2. Going open-ended
    4. Specialized presentation
      1. Personality news presenters
      2. The ‘zoo’
  14. Chapter 7 Technicalities
    1. Audio recording
      1. Digital recording
    2. Audio editing
      1. Digital editing
    3. Computerized newsrooms
      1. The paper-free and tape-free environment
    4. Studios
      1. Headphones
      2. Microphones
      3. Playout systems
    5. Audio and actuality
      1. Sound quality
      2. Sound edits
      3. Dubbing
      4. Levels and equalization
      5. Location interviews
      6. Studio interviews
      7. Telephone interviews
      8. Telephone versus quality audio
      9. Studio discipline
      10. Talkback
  15. Chapter 8 Interviewing
    1. Types of interview
      1. Informational interviews
      2. Interpretive interviews
      3. Emotional interviews
    2. Interview preparation
      1. Location
      2. ‘What did you have for breakfast?’
      3. Watch the language
    3. Question technique
      1. Eye contact
      2. Listening to answers
      3. Asking one thing at a time
      4. Leading questions
      5. Cliché questions
      6. Coaching interviewees
      7. One-word answers
      8. After the interview
      9. Thanks
    4. Special interviews
      1. Live interviews
      2. Vox pops
      3. News conferences and ‘scrums’
      4. Unattended studios
      5. Interviewing other reporters
      6. Interviewing children
      7. Interviews with criminals
      8. Interviewing witnesses
      9. Interviewing victims or their relatives
      10. Interviewing politicians
      11. When interviews are refused
  16. Chapter 9 News reporting
    1. The radio reporter
      1. The briefing
      2. Fixing ahead
      3. Working to deadlines
    2. On location
      1. What to do first
      2. Eyewitness accounts
      3. Dealing with officials
      4. Dealing with other reporters
    3. Filing material
      1. Getting on the air
      2. On-the-spot voicers
      3. Q-and-As
      4. Live reports
      5. ‘Car park’ voicers
    4. Audio production
      1. Choosing the cut
      2. Wrapping or packaging
      3. Writing cues
  17. Chapter 10 Newsdesk management
    1. Running the newsdesk
      1. Getting organized
      2. Labelling audio and scripts
      3. Getting organized with computers
      4. Taking audio
      5. Deadlines
    2. Bulletin construction
      1. Finding the lead
      2. The rest of the bulletin
      3. Avoiding repetition
      4. Judging editorial priorities
      5. Follow that story …!
      6. Developing the story
      7. Breaking the rules
      8. Flash that snap …!
    3. Other newsdesk duties
      1. The network
      2. Check calls
      3. Headlines and teasers
      4. Allocating reporters
      5. Giving orders
      6. Priorities
      7. Coping with crisis
      8. Weather news
      9. Travel news
      10. Stormlines and snowlines
      11. Bomb threats
      12. News blackouts
      13. Defence advisory notices
      14. Reporting suicides
      15. Fooling around
  18. Chapter 11 Legalities
    1. Libel
    2. Libel defences
      1. The best defence
      2. The truth
      3. No identification
      4. Consent
      5. Death
      6. One year
      7. Fair comment
      8. Privilege
      9. Accord and satisfaction
    3. Different kinds of libel
      1. Indirect libel
      2. Nameless libel
      3. Unintentional libel
      4. Criminal libel
      5. Problem areas
    4. Contempt
      1. A step-by-step guide to contempt
    5. Court reporting
      1. Basic rules
      2. Reporting restrictions
      3. Sexual offences
      4. Children and young people
      5. Jigsaw identification
    6. Other cases
      1. Civil law
      2. Inquests
      3. Official secrets
      4. Injunctions
  19. Chapter 12 Newsroom management
    1. Resources
      1. Rotas
      2. Budgets
      3. Estimating costs
      4. Cutting costs
    2. Complaints
      1. Phoned complaints
      2. Correcting errors
      3. Solicitors
      4. Regulatory authorities
      5. Privacy
    3. Winning audiences
      1. Audience figures
      2. Targeting audiences
      3. Presentation formats
      4. Promos
      5. Sponsorship
  20. Chapter 13 Small newsrooms
    1. Setting up
      1. First tasks
      2. Making contacts
      3. Technical requirements
      4. Filing systems
      5. Calls list
    2. Going on air
      1. Preparing for the first day
      2. Getting exclusives
    3. Recruiting staff
      1. Training and coaching
  21. Chapter 14 Programme production
    1. The Producer
      1. Responsibilities
      2. Qualities
    2. Preparation
      1. Programme items
      2. Treatments
      3. Running orders
      4. Pot points
    3. Fixing guests
      1. Choosing guests
      2. Approaching potential guests
    4. Studio production
      1. Think ahead
    5. Tech Ops
    6. Discipline
    7. Trails, teasers and promos
  22. Chapter 15 Specialized programming
    1. The news round-up
      1. Content and style
      2. A typical format
      3. Jingles and ‘beds’
    2. Features and documentaries
      1. Using audio
      2. The essence
      3. Setting up
      4. Editing
    3. Outside broadcasts
      1. Planning
      2. Radio links
      3. ISDN landlines
      4. Telephone links
      5. Couriers
      6. Standby presenters
    4. Phone-ins
      1. Selecting subjects
      2. Studio operations
      3. Phone-in presenters
      4. The delay
      5. Problem phone-ins
    5. The music-speech mix
      1. Qualities of presenter
      2. The right mix
      3. Blending
    6. Elections
      1. General guidelines
      2. Closing of nominations
      3. Programme packages
      4. Discussion programmes
      5. Other news items
      6. Election phone-ins
      7. Opinion polls
      8. Polling day
    7. The Chancellor’s Budget speech
      1. Experts
      2. The speech itself
    8. Commentaries
      1. Planning
      2. Mood
      3. Style and content
      4. Using silence
    9. Sport
      1. Match reports
      2. The sports diary
      3. Daily sports bulletins
    10. Obituaries
      1. The obit alarm
      2. Breaking the news
      3. Back to normal
  23. Glosssary
  24. Index