An Effective News Package

April 9, 2012

In Life, Interrupted: A Video Portrait of Cancer in Young Adulthood, this documentary-style video portrays the essentials of a well produced and effective news package.

The video chronicles the story of a young women in her twenties whose life is interrupted when she gets diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

In the first twenty seconds of this video the voice over/ narrative establishes the story and hooks the audience. The news package video has an array of standstill photos, of before her illness, and present photos of herself.

Suleika Jaouad, the narrator of video, slowly speaks with fluidity, and emphasis. It is a heart wrenching video to watch.

Similar to a news feature story, many viewers will be enticed to watch this video because it’s a human interest story.

In the book Journalism NextBriggs states there are  two types of video assignments, a full documentary-style video or breaking news and highlights clips. Both types of video assignments require the same thinking as if it was to be written. The things to brainstorm before making a video, is thinking about how the video will tell the story and what is the message being portrayed throughout the video.

What makes this video an effective news package?

It focuses on one central idea, and it uses an array  of short clips in chronological order. Lastly the video has a clear beginning, middle and end. The short clips display an array of different angles, wide-angle shots, medium shots and close-ups zoom. Also the short video clips was able to include the five-shot sequences:

  • Close-up on the hands: Example: The Nurse inserting a needle into Jaouad‘s arm or typing on her laptop.
  • Close-up on the face: The last video clip, shows a close up of Jaouad’s face and discussing about her difficulties and fears.
  • Wide Shots: Showed the view of the doctor’s room.
  • Over the shoulder shot: The shot when the mother was talking, the angle shot was over the shoulder of Jaoud but focusing on the shot of her mother.
  • Creative Shot: Receiving a Hair Cut.

Another reason this video is an effective news package is all video clips have good lightning. Also the video clips have good focus and exposure.  The video, also mixes in still images at the appropriate time, making the images very purposeful. The video editing was well though out, with pleasing transitions and purposeful timing. Lastly, the video has an array of good audio, from coherent narration, intersecting music and natural sound.

Some criticism of the video:

  • The Length: It is rather on the long side, maybe not because it’s a documentary style video but it could hinder viewers from watching the video.
  • Rules of Thirds: I noticed some of the video shots were not angled according to the rules of thirds. Example: In the last clip when Jaoud talks about how she overall feels. The shot of the video frames her dead center and if it followed the rules of thirds, Jaoud should have been angled on the far right side of the shot.
  • The Music: This is a taste preference but I thought there could be a better choice of the music used in the video.
Overall this is a great news package video that is effective. Although the video probably could’ve been edited more, making the length of video a little shorter. The video does contain every element a  good news package should have!
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