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JOURNALISTS' RESOURCE CENTRE: pitching and commissioning


When you pitch a story, write more than just a general description about something which is happening in your area. Explain who is going to tell it (one strong person is best for five minutes with a couple of others backing that person up or disagreeing), where the story is set – again for five minutes stick to one or two locations, preferably those with  potential for good sound.

We don’t want features which describe a project or a conference.  Find the case studies that they’re based on and then one really strong character to illustrate.

Use real people at the top and bring experts in later.  Experts appear in a lot of media already and IWR would rather hear about how issues effect local people from the local people themselves.

Please remember that any story idea submitted to InterWorld Radio must be submitted in the following format:

1.  Story outline...

One paragraph explaining the main point of your story and some background.

2.  A list of interviewees...

that you will need for your story.  Don't forget that interviews with ordinary people can be just as important and as interesting as the views of experts and politicians. Individuals’ stories are always more compelling on radio than overviews and statistics.

3.  What sounds you will collect...

We need a variety of actuality- and location-sounds to give these reports a lively atmosphere.  Please listen to some of our most recent features to get an idea of what we are looking for. 

4.  A possible broadcast angle...

When would be a relevant time to broadcast this story (e.g. World AIDS Day, etc)?  This is not always necessary, but can be useful for us to plan our production schedule.

5.  Have you got access to do the story?

Before you suggest the story, make sure it is possible for you to get permission to carry out the interviews and collect the sounds you need.

6.  How will you record the material – DAT or Minidisc? (Minidisc is preferred)

Once we have agreed on the treatment of the story, you can then collect the interviews and sounds, and send us a first script. Where necessary, we may need to see full transcripts of some interviews.

Then we need to agree on the script. Once the script has been finalized with the IWR producer, you should record your links and send us the material.

You will only be paid once we have received the material and checked its quality. If the audio is not broadcastable, however good the content is, we can not pay – although in certain circumstances, we might pay a nominal “kill fee”.

So, if you have any doubts about the quality of your equipment and recordings, please check with us first.

PLEASE NOTE - you do not need to do any editing. All the editing is done here in London , so this means you will have to identify tracks and time-codes on your final script.


 
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