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Tape Tip #9 - Keep Good Records

Posted by Jay Jackson on May 29, 2014 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

When you start the process of sending your links or dvds to news directors (nd), remember to keep a good record of where and when you sent each reel.  NDs. hate to get the same reels every other week.  You don't want your name and face attached to the thoughts of an angry news director.  Be very accurate.  Take your time.   Send 2 to 3 tapes a week to keep the workload managable. 

Tape Tip #8 - Learn to Shoot and Edit

Posted by Jay Jackson on May 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Learning how to shoot video and edit wil make you a MUCH better reporter.  Shooting teaches why you should write-to-video and editing teaches you to write concisely.  

Tape Tips #7 - Know Their Name

Posted by Jay Jackson on May 20, 2014 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

When you're interviewing people for a soundbite, don't just ask them to spell their names on camera.  Make sure you write it down, too.  The reason:  You'll be going from story to story, interviewing lots of people everyday.  At some point, the producer/writers will need the names of the people you've interviewed so they can create the on-screen graphics when the soundbite appears.  You won't have time to stop what you're doing, pull out the tapes you shot your interviews, turn on the news van generator, fire up your edit equipment find each name and relay it back to the station.  It's just easier to write it down when you do the interview.

Tape Tips #6 - Write to video

Posted by Jay Jackson on May 15, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

One thing news directors hate, almost more than anything, is wall paper video.  That's video that just airs, but has very litte to do with the words being said by the reporter.  Try, as much as possible, to write to the video that is showing.  For instance, if the video shows a murder victim lying in a street, don't start off with something like "Police are looking for a murder suspect in..."  You should say "A murder victim lies in the street near...."  The video will write your story... if you let it.

Tape Tips #5 - Watch The News

Posted by Jay Jackson on February 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Stay informed.  There's little else sadder than a reporter who's general knowledge of the world around them is poor.  If you don't know who the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, your congressperson, etc is, then you're way behind.  But don't think it's just limited to those examples.  General knowledge is extremely important because you'll more than likely start as a general assignment reporter.  You should have some knowledge about anything that's making news.  Whether it's the latest rap song from Lil Wayne to new voting laws in Alabama, stay up to date on news and newsmakers.  it will be a powerful tool during the job interview. 

Tape Tips #4 - Develop Stories

Posted by Jay Jackson on December 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Find good stories!  News directors like to hear stories that are controversial.  Anything that has to do with racism, anti-semitism, abortion, protests, etc.   are good.  They will get the news director's attention.  They certainly get the viewers attention.  You can find sources at NAACP, Jewish Defense League, Anti-Defamation League, Gay Rights advocates.   Try to get these types of stories on your tape.

Tape Tips #3 - Best Is First

Posted by Jay Jackson on December 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Make sure your best work appears first.  The story should have live reports (if you have them).  If not, stories with the most exciting and interesting video should be your first story.  News directors are always intrigued by attention grabbing video.

Tape Tips #2 - Brighter The Better

Posted by Jay Jackson on December 26, 2011 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

When you send your DVD to the News Director, try to use bright color dvd sleeves.  Make it easy for the nd to find your reel on their cluttered desks.  Also, if you're sending a link, instead of the standard blue colored link, try to change it to red.  A little difference goes a long way!

Tape Tips #1 - Tidy Tapes

Posted by Jay Jackson on December 24, 2011 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Tape Tip #1


Make sure your disk/tape is clean and without scratches or broken pieces.  When a news director sees a disk in poor shape, it says a lot about you... mainly, that you don't care.

Why a resume tape?

Posted by Jay Jackson on December 24, 2011 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Basically, the primary tool to break into and advance in the TV news business is your resume tape.  It shows the news director, who generally hires reporters/anchors, what you look and sound like.  It shows you write, report and connect on camera.

If you have a tape that captures a new director's attention, you're off to a very good start.  if it doesn't capture their attention, you're going to have a hard time getting in.   That means when you make your tape, make sure you make it INTERESTING.  

In college, they tell you the important thing is to simply get your reel complete.  True, but if you expect to get a job, it has to be a great and interesting reel.  Your stories should have controversy, exciting video and attention grabbing sound bites.  So the next time you go to cover a story for your reel, make sure it has all of those ingredients.  You'll be off to a great start.


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