Field Reporting Priorities:

1. Sound: the explicit meaning of a story is communicated through language, so speech must be clear and understandable.  Natural sound from the environment adds context and realism but unless the sound is the story, it should not dominate or interfere with narration.  Visual news stories benefit from a momentary image animated by sound such as crowd noise, machinery, footsteps in water, or sounds from nature.  Pay attention to ambient sound such as room noise that can cause poor audio quality.

2. Light: subjects must be adequately illuminated for good visibility.  Avoid backlighting that will causes a silhouette and make the subject featureless.

3. Visual narratives must be planned carefully to follow the rules of composition, orient the viewer, and illustrate the story.  Limit the time allowed for a Ōtalking headĶ and always gather images to visually represent a speakerÕs story.  A reporter should control an Interview.  Ask informed questions. Interviewees should not directly address the camera.

4.  Pacing: Tell the story: a narrative must have a rhythm, or pace that conveys events that develop over time.  In visual storytelling, images also tell the story and should be varied.  Unlike a stage play that maintains a consistent point-of-view, video changes the visual perspective with long shots, medium shots, close-ups, and angles that enhance the narrative. If location sound, light, or other visual components do not allow camera images to effectively communicate the story, find an alternative approach or the story cannot be produced as video.


Evaluation Rubric for Video Production Assignments:

Video assignments must develop a clear narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.  Evaluation of video productions includes the script and technical excellence based on demonstrating understanding of the following technical terms:


For COM 4110 Field Reporting Assignments:  Do not confuse advertising and public relations with reporting news.  If you are reporting about an event or an issue, your report cannot be used to promote a product or service.  If you wish to report about someone who is in business, it must be a human-interest story, not a story that promotes a product or service If you submit advertising or PR when assigned a news story, the assignment may be rejected.

Team up and work with other people from the class on every shoot.  If it is your project, you may need someone to operate the camera.  Choose locations with good sound control if you are recording speech.  Check all the shots for light and composition following the rule of thirds.  Alter your angles and get long shots, medium shots, and close ups so you can vary the images when you are editing.

Journal Assignment for Video Production Assignments

Write a short essay explaining errors in your performance, production, or editing choices that did not conform to the basic principles of narrative video stated above.  Explain how you could do the job better under the same circumstances.  In a professional format and style, compose about 1 page (250 words) with at least two citations (not from class notes, but including this handout and any other sources) using correct APA citation style.  Refer to Writing Across The Curriculum evaluation criteria posted as Written Assignment Grading Criteria on