The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Pieces

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A news story contains four parts, regardless of medium, subject or taste.

You lead, summarize, expound, and close. Begin by drawing in, saying something news worthy, “this important person did this,” “this happened to this important place,” etc, or by saying something unexpected. The lead should grab a reader by the throat and refuse to let go.

The summary gives the story in short. What’s most important – the who, what, when and where. Expounding takes on the why and how. Closing is …. well … closing. You can figure that one out.

In video, an interesting image will take the lead, then someone, either the reporter, or a source will summarize. Expounding comes from narration and quotes, and the closer is another image.

Broadcast news doesn’t often do this, but will occasionally in pre-recorded segments. Those pre-recordings show, roughly what convergence video news aught to look like.

Journalism’s about telling stories; stories that inform, spark conversation and incite change. Sometimes, the form we tell a story in effects how people listen, and retaining one medium does a disservice, more than a service. Journalism’s storytelling, an artform not unlike bedtime stories.

It’s an artform that too often fits story to medium.

It should fit medium to story.

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Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm

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