Editing Newscasts

From storyboarding to shooting to editing, film productions require an immense amount of planning. The person behind the camera and the actors must seamlessly relay a story to the audience and avoid choppy transitions and awkward arrangements. Whew, now that is a challenge!

As I read “Visual Storytelling,” I could not help but sympathize with news reporters. Video producers are given adequate time to thoroughly prepare a video production. Producers follow a detailed storyboard and actors repeat scenes multiple times to ensure everything is perfectly in place. However, reporters must report live from the scene of an event with minimal preparation, yet the public expects the same seamless transitions of prerecorded video content. An awkward comment taken out of context can instantly make a reporter the laughing stock of YouTube. A choppy transition or disconnection between the reporter and person filming the newscast can quickly discredit even the most reputable sources.

In the heat of the moment, even common recording techniques such as the use of b-roll can become challenging as seen in the following clip where Piers Morgan interviews Erin Burnett during Hurricane Sandy:

Piers Morgan interviews Erin Burnett live from Battery Park

Clearly, Erin was not aware that the cameraman was panning to a shot of a well-lit building while she reporting on the “completely dark part of lower Manhattan.” Even Piers Morgan felt the need to interject and cover up the blunder.

Can you recall another instance where a news clip botched other editing techniques such as continuity, shot relationships, or transitions? What steps can reporters take to create error free newscasts?

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