ABC News goes multi-media Reply

mcmurtThe Australian Broadcasting Corporation plans to launch a seamless, new multi media News process.

Under the News system being tested this week, desk editors and producers were working with Chief of Staff desks and day editors in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane newsrooms to coordinate national stories, from commissioning through to production – across all platforms.Reporters working on the new system were supported on news angles by a story producer and a day editor, chasing talent  or identifying interstate material.

Reporters were asked to consider five key priorities:

  1. SMS  a one sentence news flash on breaking news stories.  “If you have a smart phone and can grab a still or moving images we’d like you to email it  so it can be used immediately by online and other programs or bulletins going to air.
  2. File five comprehensive paragraphs of copy to their local subs which can be used across ABC News output.  “But remember, the overriding objective is to get the story out as quickly as possible, so if you’re hard up against a broadcast deadline – radio or 24 – then do that first.”
  3. File radio news voicers.
  4. Live crosses to News 24 or radio programs
  5. Television news package

Editor Craig McMurtrie said that although many ABC journalists were already working across all platforms, others would need training “to get everybody up to speed”. “We don’t expect that you will be able to do all these things straight away,” he said.

Each story is different.  We may have someone dedicated to live and/or digital content or we might divide the workload up between radio and television.  It will depend entirely on the assignment. …ABC News has been through many changes over the years, this is a big one, but our focus must stay on what always matters most – compelling storytelling. Whether it’s for online, radio or television the mission is the same…
…delivering relevant, original and accurate reporting.

ABC News Priorities confirm that prospective journalists must be multi skilled. Specifically, they need to be able to :

  1. Write what News agencies called Snaps; Tight sentences which quickly and accurately summarise the key point of breaking stories.
  2. Write longer scripts which include key points, sources and context.
  3. Craft, articulate and record voice reports, using both studios and remote locations.
  4. Be informed and confident enough to engage live with presenters
  5. Be able to produce simple television packages and contribute to more complex visual reports

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