Television Broadcasting Tutorial 13


This tutorial looks at technical aspects of camerawork that programme-makers need to understand if they are to successfully record their own professional television content. The technical detail may differ depending on the video camera being used, but the core principles are the same for most situations when filming.

In this case, the detail is specific to students who use a Sony V1 camera and a Manfrotto 501HDV tripod. These pieces of equipment will be referred to directly in this tutorial.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 12


This tutorial follows on from Tutorial 11 and completes our look at the Ofcom Code, which regulates commercial television and radio.  So far, we have looked at elements of the code that offer guidance on how to protect under-18s from adult content, and avoid harm and offence to viewers. We’ve also seen how programme-makers should be fair to contributors and protect their privacy.

Next, we discuss guidance offered to broadcasters about the tricky issue of commercial references in television and radio programmes (e.g. product placement and programme sponsorship). This detail is found in sections nine and ten of the code and ensures editorial independence and the transparency of commercial arrangements.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 11


And they are… wait for it…

…the 10 Sections of the OFCOM CODE

 (not exactly glamorous, I know… but absolutely vital all the same)

Every broadcast professional – from television news journalist to producer of a sports magazine show – should know about the detail of the Ofcom Code. It’s the set of rules that governs the way commercial broadcasters operate in the UK. When it comes to factual programming for instance, the code states that commercial broadcasters must be impartial when covering politics and social issues, must be accurate, treat people fairly, respect privacy, avoid causing harm and offence and ensure that under-18s are protected from harmful material.

The code also contains guidance that applies to commercial references in television programmes including product placement, sponsorship, advertiser-funded programming and competitions. This information is becoming increasingly important as different business models are used to fund the making of programmes on commercial channels. Broadcasters of these kind of programmes must maintain editorial independence and clearly understand where the boundaries lie.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 9


A guide to online video and videoblogging on YouTube, and how to use SEO to maximise their impact. This builds on information discussed in Tutorial 6.

The television broadcast professionals of tomorrow will be multi-skilled. Of that, there is no doubt. They will seamlessly move from television to online content, and chances are they will be operating across a number of different platforms simultaneously. So it’s essential that programme-makers are aware of how online content is made and how the demands on them differ slightly.

Putting performing cats to one side for the moment (…did you know that 30,400,000 searches for ‘cat’ are made on Google every month? Yes, more than 30million!!!), online content has developed its own grammar.

Online journalism for instance, is video and text working together to tell a complete story. A journalist can write an article and embed a video alongside it to give a more rounded, 360-degree account of the news event, or he/she can make a video first and then write text to add another layer to the narrative. The story can be developed further with audio podcasts, pictures and links to other content online.

Online video was explored in Tutorial 6 which you may want to refer back to…

Another area where online video is proving useful is in helping to promote a company brand, which is the subject of this tutorial. Today, it’s vital that a business has a strong online presence, and company managers are quickly realising that video should be central to a marketing campaign.

The fact is that we are a visual society. Companies upload hours of video to websites, Twitter and Facebook. But this has to be quality video that engages an audience. Bad video gets ignored straight away because we simply don’t have the time to decipher and digest it.

This tutorial will discuss the following:

  • How to make online video with impact that engages a target audience
  • SEO – Maximizing the impact of a videoblog by attracting a large audience

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 8


This tutorial offers tips and advice on how to use radio mics when recording audio for television. Below is a video tutorial from Sennheiser about how to use the radio mics they produce. These are commonly used across TV broadcasting.

When attaching this radio mic to the Sony V1, you should clip the receiver pack onto the interior belt of the hand strap, just in front of the velcro padding, using the belt clip provided (Picture 1 below).

How to strap radio mic receiver to the Sony V1

How to strap radio mic receiver to the Sony V1

Just like with the gun mic, you connect the radio mic to Input 1 (Picture 2 below). The only difference is that 48V phantom power has to be switched off, because too much power can damage the receiver pack (Picture 3). Remember to monitor audio levels to ensure a successful shoot (Picture 4).

Radio mic into Input 1

Radio mic into Input 1

Make sure 48V phantom power is switched off  on Channel 1

Make sure 48V phantom power is switched off on Channel 1

Check the audio level on Channel 1 before you press record and during the shoot

Check the audio level on Channel 1 before you press record and during the shoot

Television Broadcasting Tutorial 7


A Piece to Camera (PTC), also known as a Stand-Up, is one of the most important parts of a news story. Ideally, it’s a compelling mix of well-chosen words and strong visuals from a relevant location. The best PTCs are conversational yet authoritative, leading the viewer through the essential information of a news story. It shows the reporter in the middle of the story, at the heart of the action, and a TV audience connects with this personal touch.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 6


Every broadcast journalist today should be multi-skilled. They’re expected to blog online about their stories and record video for online platforms. But when you’re recording content for an online audience, is it different? Are there new considerations for the traditional TV broadcast journalist?

The answer is yes. But first, let’s try to understand why online content is now so important. A survey in the United States revealed that more than half its adult population use the internet to watch or download video and that news is the second most popular online genre after comedy.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 5


Interviewing for television is different to print. You are still trying to gather factual information but the demands are not the same.

This is the view of one of our nation’s greatest TV interviewers, Michael Parkinson, in an article for the Telegraph:

“I think the real tip for interviewing is listening. And that’s the tough one. It’s easy doing a print interview, because you can be discursive, you can chat, you can ramble, and then you go back to your office and you shape it whichever way you want. It’s in your hands. You can’t do that with television, you’re stuck with what you’ve got. So you’ve got to actually think of it immediately as being a beginning, middle and an end, a story complete. That’s what you want from the person you’re talking to. But that also involves doing a lot of research, having it in your mind, but you must listen, because they might say something that you don’t expect.”

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 4


Television sequences are the sentences and paragraphs of visual storytelling. Alongside a tight script, they drive a narrative, informing and entertaining the viewer. In the same way that a script complements what’s seen onscreen, so a sequence illustrates the information in a voiceover. They work in partnership and shouldn’t be created in isolation from each other.

Once a student fully grasps the powerful combination of a strong sequence and an engaging script, they’re well on the way to a successful career in television broadcasting.

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Television Broadcasting Tutorial 2


So, where to start…

Firstly, let me explain the elements that come together to make up a TV news report. They are the following:

—  Piece to camera by reporter

—  Voiceover by reporter, with a script written to pictures

—  Interviews (2 or more)

—  B-roll footage to illustrate the interview

—  Natural sound

—  News angle

You’ve all seen TV news reports on a regular basis, so I’m sure this will make absolute sense to you. A reporter drives the narrative of the news story with a voiceover script and carefully selected soundbites from two or more interviews he/she has filmed. The reporter then uses an in-vision Piece to Camera (PTC) to make a key point about the story.

The best TV news stories combine sequences of powerful images with a voiceover script that complements what is being seen on screen. The core news values that drive all journalism are still at the centre of all you do in broadcast journalism. The news angle is the first thing you have to think about. What’s the story and why is it important to your audience? And that means answering the ‘five Ws’, of course. What happened, when and where it happened, who it happened to and why? Perhaps throw in a ‘how’ there too.

But then how you tell your story takes a different path to a print journalist…

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