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Three basic questions for TV journalists

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In my experience many journalists venturing into TV production let reality and their research overwhelm them. Instead of making distinct choices they line up their findings like beads on a string. The result, often, are unclear and overloaded stories. A simple cure to this is to ask yourself three basic questions before starting your production:

1) Who is my main character? (The main character will often be a person but can also be a group or even the journalist himself and the main character is typically the one followed by the camera)
2) What is he/she struggling to achieve? (Is there a resistance he/she is trying to overcome?)
3) How can I best demonstrate this struggle to my audience? (Can I be present and follow “before”, “during” and “after”?)

Choosing can be hard. But letting fate, coincidence or luck decide is even harder in the long-run. Not making a conscious choice beforehand costs a lot more time and effort during the production and in the editing room resulting in a poorer outcome.


So grab an editor or colleague near you and try to answer the three questions above!

For inspiration and tips on storytelling techniques, a journalist may use fictional storytelling, such as this story about one man’s improbable travails.

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