Preproduction: Building a News Package

Originally developed by
John Enyeart (View Original)

Preproduction: Building a News Package

While shooting and editing (Production and Post-Production) are considered the "fun and active" part of a production, it is the planning phase known as Preproduction that "sets the stage" for a successful production. In this Problem-Based Learning project, students will learn the elements of planning a News Package for a live or live-to-tape broadcast. The final project will be the completed AV Script that incorporates the knowledge gleaned from all four lessons. Since reporters/photogs generally work alone or in pairs, students may do this project individually or in pairs.

Preproduction: Building a News Package: The Lessons...

  • Lesson 1: Identifying & Developing 4 Types of News Package Scripts
    • In this lesson, students will examine the structure of four types of News Packages: Informational/PSA, Profile/Interview, Investigative/Human Interest, and Live/Breaking News. They will develop a story concept that fits one of these four models to write an A/V script.
  • Lesson 2: Scripting and Reverse-Engineering a News Package
    • In this lesson, students will develop their story concept from Lesson 1 into an A/V Script that allows for structured storytelling and Pre-Production planning, while maintaining the ability to fill in the "live production" details later. 
  • Lesson 3: Planning and Shooting Effective Interviews
    • In this lesson, students will prepare for interviews in multiple environments (in-studio versus on-site) and under multiple conditions (pre-planned versus impromptu) in order to develop an interview segment for their News Package.
  • Lesson 4: Telling a News Story Through Images, Video & Audio
    • In this lesson, students will focus on techniques to grab and keep the attention of their viewers and how to use multiple forms of media (titles/text, graphics, animations, background music, and sound effects) to accomplish that goal and enhance the message or main points of the story. All of these ideas will culminate in the final draft of their PBL project...the News Package AV Script.

Teacher Materials Needed: Computer with audio, internet and video-playing capabilities, projector, word processing software. Optional: Celtx  web-based scriptwriting software.


Prerequisite Knowledge: It is helpful for students to be familiar with planning and writing simple Audio/Video scripts, standard camera shot types/movements, and news broadcasts in general.


Distance Learning Modifications: Teachers using the Google Suite may share their screens, use breakout rooms, Jamboard and the chat/poll features to increase student engagement. Assignments may be completed digitally with Google Docs or MS Word. If teachers use Celtx, students have individual accounts and projects may be shared  (collaboration on projects is also an option) or downloaded as a PDF file.

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