Researching Topics

For the first major assignment of the Advanced Broadcast Journalism 2 Unit, myself and fellow peers Matthew Mitchell and Corey Hammond were asked to develop a news package either for TV or radio based on an issue to do with the 2012 ACT Election in the Brindabella electorate.

We chose to create a radio news package to submit to the NextACT election forum.

Before we could even decide on a topic it required thorough research to determine what would be a topic which is interesting and affects a lot of people. This is a standard process any journalist undertakes before deciding on a story or an issue to cover.

Once we decided on exploring the issue of the poor health of Lake Tuggeranong we then set about researching the topic in more depth to determine who are the best people to speak with on the issue. This again, is a standard process for any journalist looking to pursue interviews.

We secured lake expert Martin Lind from waterwatch ACT to discuss the topic with us, as well as Brindabella candidates from each of the major parties for the upcoming 2012 ACT Election.

Before we set about interviewing them, we conducted even more research on the topic and their past stances on the issue to form the basis of our questioning to maximise the quality of the answeres for the benefit of our overall news package. Again it is a standard practice for any journalist.

Research is the key to news. Journalists must have a prior knowledge of what they are reporting on. If a journalist sets out to cover something they have no knowledge about, they must research the topic and become informed about it before the coverage can begin.

I believe it is the most important process of the whole journalistic process. There is nothing worse than looking like an idiot because you go into an interview or undertake a news program or package without having the slightest idea of what you’re talking about.

I believe our news package is rich in quality content solely because of the research we undertook. We were able to pick a strong topic, strong interviewees and perhaps most importantly strong questions which provided us with the answers needed to create a successful package.

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