• Reporter’s Checklist: Questions to ask yourself during every assignment

    This is adapted from Bob Dotson’s book, Make it Memorable.

    1.  How can I make this a compelling story with universal values that appeal to a wide audience?

    2.  Where can I find a strong opening, preferably a visual lead, that instantly telegraphs the story to come?

    3.  Is my writing strong, tight, free of information that people would already know?

    4.  Does the story build to a close?

    5.  Are there elements of surprise within the visuals or sound to attract and hold viewers?

    6.  Is the subject matter interesting, concrete, important — not just another fluff piece?

    7.  Does my piece meet and answer the “So what?” test?  Does it contain historical perspective that defines the story’s larger context? Does it address a larger issue?

    8.  Is my story told through people engaged in compelling action that is visual or picturesque?  Does the report let people tell their story whenever possible?

    9.  Is my camerawork steady? Do I have a creative treatment of content and composition; interesting angles; no unmotivated pans and zooms? How ell does my camerawork meet my (and my instructors’) professional and creative standards?

    10.  Are my voice-over narrations delivered with authority, spontaneity, feeling?  Are they tight, active voice, understandable, readable, listenable?

    11.  Is my audio quality crisp and clean?   Am I using natural sound and soundbites to break up long narration?

    12.  Is my lighting natural? Can I use natural light? Does it highlight was I want the viewer to notice?

    13.  Does my editing give the story pace?  Am I building the story in a logical sequence? Am I matching action? Does it cut smoothly from wide shot to close up? Or are there jump cuts? Do my soundtracks overlap smoothly? No dead air or gaps? Do I have b-roll to cover everything I need to say.


    Sometimes the answer to those questions will be “no,” or “not much,” but a successful story will have more yes answers than no.


    ----------Posted on August 21, 2014 by in 4804, 4806, Help Files, Uncategoried

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