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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Tips on how to make a video news report

Do you want to make a TV news report but have no idea where to start?

Watch this video to see how a group of students, with help from the BBC's Sophie Long, go about it and read the advice below.

How to make a video news report

What's the story?

Before starting any news report, the most important point to remember is: Keep it simple. Think about how can you tell the story in the most engaging way, without making it too complicated.

For the purposes of showing how to make a news report, the students in this video had fun impersonating the head teacher and school chef.
However, it is important to remember news is based on fact and your news report should be true and accurate.


As with any story, you must plan how you want to start your report and how you want to end it. This will keep your story heading in the right direction, and you won't miss out any important information in the middle.

When planning your report, you will need to consider the five Ws. These are:

What - What is the story? Get the facts right before starting your report.

Why - Why is the story important to your audience? Which points do you need to focus on to get their interest?

Who - Who is involved? Think about who will be able to tell their sides of the story in an interesting way. Make sure they're available to film when you need them. Remember, if you want to film anyone under the age of 18, you must get permission from their parent or guardian. If you are filming at school, in school time, this permission can be given by the head teacher.

Where - Where is the story happening, and where is the best place to film? If you're shooting outside of school, you may need to get permission first.

When - Has the story already happened, or is it about to happen? If there's going to be a significant event you want to report on, make sure you get there on time!

By planning each of these points in detail, you'll know exactly what you need to film, where and when. That way, you won't miss out on anything when you're on location, or waste tape by filming things you don't need.


Once you have done all your planning, then you can start to film.

A basic TV news report is made up of five parts:

Introduction - This is where the reporter starts to explain the story. Don't make it too long, keep it short and snappy.

First interview - The first person you talk to will give their opinion on what is happening, and how it affects them.

Second interview - You need to talk to someone with a different opinion, to provide balance.

Extra shots - These show the audience more about the place and the people in the story. They make the report more interesting.

Conclusion - This will be the reporter's sign-off, where they summarise the outcome, or possible outcomes, of the story.

Think carefully about where you want to set up each of the shots, using different backgrounds and angles to keep it interesting for the audience.

For example, reporters can look straight at the camera when they do their introductions and sign-offs. These are called "pieces to camera".

This interviewee stands on one side of the frame looking to the reporter on the other side
Think about how to position your interviewee in the shot

Interviewees usually stand on one side of the frame looking over to the other side of the screen. This is because they are looking at the reporter, who stands on one side of the camera, so you can't see them in the shot.

Be very careful to check your audio levels too. Wear your headphones! Without good sound you won't be able to use the video that goes with it.


Always bring plenty of pens and paper, spare camera batteries and tapes. If you run out during an interview, you won't be able to finish your story. And if you've got a tripod, take it with you to keep the shots steady.

Health and safety

When filming, you and your team's safety is top priority. Don't film in dangerous places - in the road, for example, or balancing on top of something. Be careful of cables and leads - keep them out of the way so people don't trip over.

Planning ahead can really help, so you know where you're going and don't get lost. Always make sure someone in charge knows where you will be.


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