Writing for Electronic Media
Copyright Year: 2017
Publisher: Rebus Community
Conditions of Use
The text covers a full range of topics on writing for television, but spends only one chapter on radio and does not address the use of cross-over mediums such as podcasts or websites. The authors are all working in the industry, and provide... read more
The text covers a full range of topics on writing for television, but spends only one chapter on radio and does not address the use of cross-over mediums such as podcasts or websites. The authors are all working in the industry, and provide behind the scene terminology and anecdotes, which students will find both useful and entertaining. A glossary is provided and key terms are defined as necessary in each chapter.
The main author continues to work in the industry and is a trusted and reliable source of information. Contributors are also industry workers and provide detail and perspective in specific chapters.
The author spends considerable time providing information for a "typical" news broadcast, but provides only a few paragraphs detailing breaking news and how to write or load breaking news into the stack. There is also little information concerning the cross connection between social media and mainstream platforms, a rapidly growing aspect for a news-seeking audience.
As a person who has worked his way up in the industry, the author is able to clearly provide information, explain jargon, and show the process behind creating and producing news content. At times, the writing is a bit too simplistic for a college text, and the book reads much like a narrative story combined with a technical manual rather than a higher education text.
The book makes use of industry jargon and uses each term and phrase appropriately throughout the text. Once or twice, industry terms were introduced without explanation, and were covered in subsequent chapters.
Most chapters are able to stand alone when reading, and each chapter builds upon the previous. There are a few times when an industry term is mentioned, but not fully explained until later, which could confuse students in an introductory course. Most chapters are short and well divided, although multiple examples of the same issue was sometimes slightly tedious.
The text, with few exceptions, builds upon information provided previously. There is a logical flow to the information provided, from an overview at the start, to chronologically organized chapters about building a news story. Side remarks may be slightly distracting to some readers, as the book is conversational and prone to feel more like storytelling.
Images and videos help to exemplify the information being provided. They are timely and work within the text itself, rather than having to follow a link to an outside source. This was extremely helpful and allowed for contiguous reading of each chapter.
No grammatical errors were found in the text.
The text is inclusive, and although refers to photographers as male, this is an industry reality addressed by the text.
The text would be useful for an introduction to television journalism course. While it is very narrative at times, and unlike a typical higher education textbook, it provides insight about the television news industry. I would have liked to have seen more concrete information about news writing, and while news writing structure and tips are discussed, a bit more focus on this topic would have been helpful. The text provides no exercises or study questions to supplement chapters.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Newsroom
- 2. Leads
- 3. Common Mistakes
- 4. Interviewing
- 5. VOs
- 6. VOSOTs
- 7. PKGs
- 8. Producing
- 9. Teases and Promos
- 10. Live Shots
- 11. Social Media
- 12. Working With Photographers
- 13. Radio
- 14. Sports
- 15. Motivation and Ethics
- 16. The Job Market
About the Book
Welcome to Writing for Electronic Media, an OER textbook. OER stands for Open Educational Resource, which means it’s free for all who access. Since it is electronic, I will do what I can to keep it updated with the changing media. People’s viewing habits are changing as they migrate to mobile sources, social media, and kitten videos.Television News is still a dominant #1 source, and radio is still the safest way to stay informed in your car. Hopefully, you already have some journalism background. This book does not teach the who, what, when, where, why, and how of reporting; its goal is to teach how to present the journalism you already know via electronic media, primarily television.
About the Contributors
Brian Champagne,Utah State University, he started his career 1988 at KGET (NBC) in Bakersfield, California. He then worked at KEYT (ABC) in the Santa Barbara station’s Santa Maria Bureau. After building up a photographer’s resume under renowned photographer Herb Tuyay, he went on to KTXL (Fox) in Sacramento. He worked with some great reporters there, and started his on-camera work reporting on the Automotive Beat. He also promoted to Chief Photographer, supervising a staff of nine. After ten years in Sacramento he was hired to staff the KUTV (CBS) Utah County Bureau in the Salt Lake City market. He took some time out from news to work on a college sports show and do corporate video and commercials before going back to KUTV and resuming his Automotive reporting once a week. Now full-time at USU, he does fill-in shifts at Salt Lake City affiliates, shoots news video for affiliates and networks, and produces a weekly automotive news segment for KSTU (Fox).