How to Make Your Own News Report

Have you ever thought that there’s too much bad news around, or that stories you think should be covered are being ignored? If you thought there wasn’t much you could do about it but grumble, take heart – with modern technology, anyone can make their own news report, complete with audio and special effects, and edit it to make a film people will want to see. Even if you don’t have a camcorder, smartphones have very good recording facilities, and with a bit of help you could come up with something that will catch the attention of your community, and maybe spread far and wide.

Your story

If you have a burning issue that you haven’t seen being discussed in the media, think about how you want to present the story and start drawing up an outline for your film. You’ll need to do some research so you can be sure that what you are saying is accurate, and try and tell both sides of the story to make your film more balanced. If you only show your point of view, what you’re doing is making a propaganda film rather than a news story, so include the opinions of the opposition and leave viewers to come to their own conclusions about which side merits sympathy. If you want to tell a good news story, choose something that will be interesting to as many people as possible. Showing a film of how you assembled a model plane will only appeal to a few fellow modelling enthusiasts, but telling the story of how you and your group of volunteers are helping disadvantaged children to learn craft skills and find new interests will make a much greater impression.

If you only show your point of view, what you’re doing is making a propaganda film rather than a news story.

Filming

When you are ready to make a video, it’s key to remember it isn’t a live report. You can shoot and reshoot as many times as you need until you have each section looking and sounding precisely the way you want them to. Arrange interviews with people who are affected by the issue, and if you can get an interview with someone from the council or relevant organisation, it will lend authority to your film. Don’t make the video too long or viewers will lose interest. Have a look at your local news station and see how long their special reports or features are, and make your film a similar length. There are some very effective and simple to use editing tools available online, so you can fiddle with all your uncut footage until you have compiled a film that gets the message across in an interesting way without going on for too long.

Once you’re happy with your film, you then want people to see it. It’s up to you how much effort you want to put into getting it out there. You could upload it to Facebook and YouTube, tell all your friends about it and spread the word through social media. You could go a step further and contact all your local news outlets to tell them you’ve made this film and why. You could even contact national newspapers and websites, or publications and organisations that would have an interest in the topic you’ve covered. The more you do to promote it, the more people are likely to see it – and if it reaches a wide enough audience, or is seen by the right people, you may find you’ve initiated a change for good.

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