Andy Dickinson writes about training print journalists to write, shoot and edit better video. Amongst all the talk of lighting, framing and interviewing, writing still remains important. As print journalists get deeper into video, writing and story boarding will play a vital role in quality online video.
The stories came out, on average at between 3-400 words. The script, I told them, should be a minute – around 150 words. This caused horror. We were wasting 200 words.
We shouldnâ€™t forget that words are a print journalistâ€™s primary means of expression. We often lose sight of that in the accuracy, clarity and brevity driven ethos of the newsroom where the tight-writer is top of the class. We emphasise the concept of filling space, counting letters and words to make sure we donâ€™t bust a headline. But the reality is that, if the information is there, space will be made for the longer piece.
In TV, even if the information is there, we still have finite amount of time, less on the web, and it isnâ€™t likely to be 400 words worth. That makes script writing practice a vital issue. Not for the tone or the style, but to ease the pain of restricting the use of one of a print journalists most treasured tools.