20 Tips for Producing Newscasts
- Fill in the full name of the anchors
on the top of the format.
- What is the most important and/or
interesting news of the day?
Choose a story that will affect and interest the most people. If it is a national story, find a
- Group like stories together so that
stories flow naturally from one to another. (This isn’t always possible.)
- Start with harder news and get
progressively softer throughout the newscast and throughout each Block.
- Change anchors when you want to
indicate a change in subjects.
Keep the same anchor when two stories are related. (You don’t want
to play ping pong with the anchors.)
You can keep the same anchor for two short stories (usually readers
or a reader and a VO). You
can add a camera turn for an anchor reading two dissimilar stories back to
back. That will help the audience transition between stories.
It’s a good idea to have an OTS graphic (Over The Shoulder) for one
of the stories.
- Alternate anchors for the lead story
in each Block.
- Vary the format of the stories. Mix up packages, VO/SOTS, readers,
etc. This will keep up the
pace of the newscast.
- Make the newscast as visual as
possible. If stories don’t
have video, search the web to add visuals. You can use photos, videos or
graphics that have a Creative Commons license. Add a FSCG when you have info but no video. Dress up readers with an OTS
- OTS graphics are titled on the rundown
with the name on the graphic. For example “Traffic” or “CU Buffs”. You can use them for readers or other stories. But you can’t use two OTS graphics
back to back.
- Hello/Goodbye. Each anchor reads ½ of the
Hello. Whoever says the 2nd
part of the Hello reads the first story. The Goodbye begins with the anchor who did NOT read the
last story. Sports toss. Anchor 2 talks to sports (middle person on the desk).
Assign the anchor who is the most comfortable with sports if possible.
- Write to your video on your
teases. Leave out some
intriguing bit of information so the audience will stick around to watch
- You backtime in a live TV show like
news. Start with your out
time of 12:29:57 and subtract the time for each story until you get to the
- Go in at least :30-:45 light. NewsTeam eats up time!!!
- The last story in the newscast should
be something the anchors can talk about so they can show some personality
and fill time if needed.
- Before you go into the newscast decide
what you will drop if you are over time. Always have at least two stories in the E-Block so you
can drop one.
- If a story is on the edge of not
making it in time for the newscast, have a backup plan and tell the
director what that is.
(Usually you just go with the next story on the rundown. But you will also need to decide
where to insert the late story when it does come in.)
- Be as prepared as you can be the night
before. See what is in the
news the day before and what is happening on the day of the newscast. Communicate, communicate,
communicate. Make sure you
tell anyone and everyone who is affected by changes or any other important
- Keep an eye on the big picture. Check in often with reporters, writers, editing and prompter.