Radio News Production
JMSC0071 and JMSC6101
Undergraduate and Postgraduate course
Journalism and Media Studies Centre, HKU
Visiting Lecturer Angharad Law
Particulars for Angharad Hampshire
Telephone: 9130 4839
Class Meetings and Location
· Tuesday lecture: 1400 – 1600 Digital Media Lab
· Thursday tutorial: 14:00 – 15:00 Digital Media Lab
In this course, we will explore the different forms of radio news, how to find stories and turn them into good radio. We will learn how to use the equipment needed to turn a print story into radio and learn how to edit digitally using Adobe Audition 3. Emphasis will be placed on sourcing stories, good interviewing technique, writing for radio, moving a story on, learning how to read the news, and feature making. We will also discuss journalistic ethics and study the legal restrictions within which broadcast journalists work. The course will have a very practical focus.
By the end of the course you will:
+ Put together a 5 minute news bulletin containing straight reads, a 2-way, a feature and an interview.
+ Be proficient in digital editing using Adobe Audition 3
+ Know how to record using portable radio recorders
+ Have a practiced news reading style
+ Be able to write clear 3 line news stories for radio
+ Know how to structure an interview and get good soundbites
There is no required reading list rather I expect you to listen to radio news and be on top of what’s happening in the news – see below. YOU WILL NEED A PROTABLE HARD DRIVE OR USB FOR AUDIO.
Required Work between classes
I expect you to listen to as much radio news as you can – from RTHK to the BBC to local music stations’ news. I expect you to be on top of the national and international news to be able to cover these stories in the classroom. Students will be expected to offer comments on unfolding news stories and to offer reasons for covering them, plus ideas on how to report and develop them further.
We will run through the syllabus below. I would encourage you to ask as many questions as possible during both lecture and practical sessions. Occasionally, we will engage in some reporting and writing exercises. Except when noted, these assignments may be submitted by email. Deadlines must be met. Deadlines will be extended only under exceptional circumstances.
You will not receive a letter grade until the course’s end – from A+ to F. Assignments will be returned as we progress. The end of term mark will be based as follows:
10% on attendance and punctuality, 40% on classwork and attitude, 50% on your final bulletin
If you have concerns or questions please about this, please ask me.
Preparation and participation: Please come to class with a knowledge and understanding of the week’s news. If you have been set homework please have it done and ready.
Attendance: Timely attendance is required. If you must be absent, please tell me beforehand. Multiple absences or habitual tardiness will affect your grade negatively. If you are sick for more than one class you need a sick note.
Communication: File names for assignments will be announced in advance.
Integrity: Your work must be fully your own. Any plagiarism or fabrication of quotes, facts or events will have immediate and severe consequences.
Attitude: I expect everyone to be open-minded, inquisitive, cooperative and respectful of other’s ideas and comments.
Week 1 – Introduction to course. What is Radio News. An introduction to your recording equipment.
Tuesday January 17th
Lecture: Introduction to the course, me and you. I want to know what you are hoping to get out of the course. We will then listen to radio news bulletins and discuss the different elements. We’ll have a look at the university’s recording equipment and practice using it. We’ll also have a quick look at the editing system that you will use.
Week 2 – CNY – no classes
Week 3 – Interviewing techniques
Tuesday January 31st
Lecture: The importance of the interview, what you are looking for and how to get it. Asking the right kind of questions, getting sound bites and also longer answers. A look at difficult interviewees – be they evasive or sensitive – and how to deal with them. Different interview situations – press conferences, phone interviews, face to face – and how to approach them. Writing out the questions for your interview.
Homework: recording an interview using recording equipment
Week 4 – Digital editing using Adobe Audition 3
Tuesday Feb 7th
Lecture: An introduction to Adobe Audition. I will run through the editing system with you. We will then concentrate the entire session on practicing editing your interviews.
Tutorial: Practice, practice, practice at digital editing. I will answer your questions.
Week 5 – Writing for Radio
Tuesday February 14th
Lecture: We will listen to more news bulletins and critique the language and style. We’ll look at how to turn a report or news wire into a 20 second read for radio, looking at the top line, expanding the story, and adding a quote or additional information. I will give you stories to write up into radio news.
Week 6 – Ethics and legal issues
Tuesday February 21st
Lecture: I will cover the main issues in media law and discuss fairness and ethics. We will look at defamation and libel, privacy, contempt of court, jigsaw identification, identifying sources, victims of sexual offences, interviewing children, door-stepping, empty-chairing, fairness, coverage of political parties and protecting data.
Week 7 – Two-minute news bulletins
Tuesday February 28th
Lecture: Listening to some two minute bulletins. We will then discuss picking the lead and running orders and practice putting together some news bulletins. We’ll learn the art of getting the news to time plus how to read a bulletin.
Tutorial: You will run through your bulletins reading them aloud and we’ll have some feedback from the class plus tips on newsreading.
Week 8 – Reading week
Week 9 – 2-ways
Tuesday March 13th
Lecture: An introduction to two-ways – staples of radio reporting – we’ll listen to some and then have a go at writing some.
Tutorial: Practical session on two-ways
Week 10 – Despatches
Tuesday March 20th
Lecture: What is a despatch?
Tutorial: Writing and recording a dispatch
Week 11 – Feature Making Part 1
Tuesday March 27th
Lecture: We’ll listen to some radio features and discuss what we like and don’t like about them. When to use a feature as a treatment. Ideas for features. We will then pick a feature subject each and come up with who we are going to interview and how we are going to structure it. Including reporter links and sound.
Tutorial: Feature Making Part 2.
This week we will also have an evening lecture: Reenita Malhotra, Producer and Presenter of ‘Money For Nothing’ on RTHK 3, will come to talk to the class and to answer questions. She was an MJ who took this radio class last year.
Week 12 – no classes this week
Tuesday April 3rd – brainstorming and planning your features.
Week 13 – Bulletins with clips
Tuesday April 10th
Tutorial – Listening to bulletins with clips in. Planning your story with clip.
Week 14 – Final bulletin
Tuesday April 17th
You will continue making your features, editing them together in the classroom with my help. I will be available for questions.
Week 15 – Final class
Tuesday April 24th
Last minute work on bulletins.
Tutorial: Class evaluation. Any final questions. Listening to features.