Newsroom Week 1 (8/2): Orient yourself!

BY RUTH BERAN

“Welcome” by renaissancechambara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

First, a quick game (and an example of vox pops) – Couple, Siblings or Strangers

Orientation

Let’s go through the Subject Guides for Writing and Research; and Newsroom, including Assessments.

TASK: Vox pop

What is a vox pop?

Vox pop is abbreviated from the Latin “vox populi” meaning “voice of the people”. A vox pop is when a sample of the general public is interviewed on a topic to get their opinion.

For example, Ash King focuses on the people in Surry Hills in her vox pops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTOzfG78yCo

TASK: In groups of 2-3 people, come up with an idea/question for a vox pop.

Pitch the idea in the class Newsroom.

What is a newsroom?

The newsroom is where stories are prepared and put together for broadcast or publication.

Who is in the newsroom?

The people in a newsroom can differ depending on the outlet.

As well as the Editor or Chief of Staff, the staff in a newsroom can include:

  • Journalists/reporters
  • Photographers
  • Camera crew
  • Sound and lighting technicians
  • Sub-editors
  • Archival staff or librarians (sometimes)
  • Graphic designers
  • News desk coordinators

How does the newsroom work?

Every newsroom is different, but generally a newsroom works along these lines:

  • Stories come into the newsroom in a variety of ways:
    • Media releases
    • Contacts providing tip-offs
    • Coverage of newsworthy activities
    • Story leads followed up by journalists
    • Stories assigned to journalists by their editor
    • Chasing up new angles on current stories by journalists
  • Editors in chief will often hold news conferences where journalists pitch or are assigned stories
  • The journalists will cover their assigned stories, this can be done in the field or from the newsroom with use of archival material
  • Photographers and camera crew will go out and record visuals and sound
  • Stories are then put together for deadline
  • Stories will often be fact checked

If a big news story occurs, some stories from the day may be cut back or even spiked.

TASK (continued):

Now that you have pitched your idea for a vox pop – video, record (audio) or write your vox pop

Interview your classmates or go outside on campus and interview 3 – 5 people.

Each person should have a role eg interviewer, videographer, sound person, talent scout, or take it in turns to ask the question.

Take still images of the people you interview, particularly if recording or writing your vox pops so your story can be published online.

Author: veritychambers

Journalist and teacher

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