Well, my junior Neha Mehta has already given you all a good idea of what it means to be a TV news reporter. While she has covered most of the tougher aspects of television reporting, I thought of sharing some personal tips that I learnt as a reporter with Aaj Tak/Headlines Today.
Yes, TV reporting is tough, but I sincerely believe if you’re passionate about it, you will love it. I most certainly did!
Okay, so you are passionate and you would love to do stories that can change someone’s life. What next? You have to keep some crucial aspects in mind if you are planning to become a TV news reporter. Here are a few pointers.
When you are new to TV news reporting, these are some of the thoughts that can cross your mind. But remember, however clichéd it might sound, with power comes great responsibility. Also remember that what you say on screen as a reporter does hold great importance. Your story might change the lives of many, but if it is portrayed wrongly it can not only ruin your channel’s reputation, it can also put your career in jeopardy.
So, treat your story as your own baby. Research your idea thoroughly. Find out all possible angles for your story, figure out whom it can impact, and, if possible, speak to all of them. After you have collated all your information, fight for your story to go on air. Do not let anyone scrap it from the channel’s run-down if you know you have the content to back your story.
|SUSHMITA CHATTERJEE IN ACTION FOR HEADLINES TODAY.|
Poking into other people’s lives comes in handy for TV news reporters at times :-). Ask questions! Sometimes you might get bad-mouthed for asking questions people term as ‘stupid’. But as Ramesh Sir says, No question is stupid. As a TV news reporter, you always need to keep these golden words in mind. That’s what I mean when I say be thick-skinned, do things that will impact the end-result: YOUR STORY!
4. KNOW WHEN TO STOP WHILE TAKING SOUND BITES
But there could be cases where some people reveal a lot of details while they are talking. If you expect such a thing, do not stop them. The best way is to reduce the duration of each sound bite by asking questions in between. This would make the task of selecting crucial sound bites easier for you.
|SUSHMITA CHATTERJEE, ALONG WITH OTHER ALUMNI, WAS AT COMMITS EARLIER THIS YEAR TO JUDGE THE SECOND SEMESTER TELEVISION NEWS BULLETINS.|
6. DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW-UP ON YOUR OWN STORIES
7. STAY HEALTHY!
These were just a few of the things that might make your dream of becoming a TV news reporter easier. I enjoyed my stint with television for two years. And I hope a few of these tips will help you carve a better future too. It’s absolutely true that the feeling of seeing your story on air after a hard day’s work is worth all your effort. All the best!
- Sushmita Chatterjee now works as an Instructional Design Analyst for Accenture's Content Development Centre in Bangalore.
- FURTHER READING: Sushmita Chatterjee's Commits junior NEHA MEHTA (Class of 2009) gives us her views in "What it means to be a TV news reporter-1".
- ALSO READ: What it means to be a sub at a TV news channel, by Neha's classmate, DIPANKAR PAUL and What it takes to be a TV news anchor, by FAYE D'SOUZA, Class of 2004.
- Want to know how to have a successful internship at a TV news channel? Read this post.