Validating a Source’s Tip

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The above screengrab from a Twitter account of a journalist has caused me to write this post. The tweet started the rumor that President Benigno Aquino collapsed hours before this tweet was posted and became the basis of subsequent news stories about the health of the president.

Hence the post is a “news” tweet from a journalist, it was taken seriously by other colleagues in the media and the general public. Is there anything wrong with the content of the tweet? Is it fair and balance? Yes, it has taken the side of Malacanang through Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda. But is it appropriate?

From my point-of-view as a former mass communication instructor and a journalist, the “news” tweet lacks prudence and further investigation. It was posted in haste to go ahead of competition or it was just a mere desire to share the information without validation.

Getting the side of the affected party to balance the delivery of the news is not validation. A journalist has to investigate in order for his facts to be valid. When a second source tells you the information is not true, then go back to the first source who broke the “news” to you and re-validate. If the first source can prove the information he relayed to you is true, then ask again the second source for rebuttal. Go back to the affected party to explain their side–whether the incident will be totally denied or get an explanation of the alleged incident.
This “news” tweet may had been a product of manipulation of the media to create a scenario aimed at stirring public opinion.

In my media ethics class before, i had emphasized on “sourcing” the need to: 1.) Ascertain the truth of the source’s assertion; and 2.) Determine if the source is not polluted and beneficial to the information.

If you validly determined the correctness of the information and there is proof to it, then proceed to Step 2. If the source falls under the description stated in Step 2, care in handling the story is required in order for the journalist not to be dragged into the motives of the source.

If in the first place you have proven the information is not true, a journalist may stop right there and NEVER publish the wrong information. Otherwise, the journalist has fallen to the bait of the interested party in spreading rumor.

The aforementioned tweet have stirred a rumor and unnecessarily drew attention from the public and the officials concerned whether the post was in good faith or not. 

AUDIOCRAFT, “Tools of Radio”

I must admit. When i joined radio in 1987, i only learned a few about broadcasting and about radio per se except for its technical side where i had been trained in school.

I honed my skills in radio broadcasting through self-study and work experience. I further dipped my fingers in radio when i took my master studies in UP-OU and more about digital radio production during my Digital Radio Journalism course at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center For Journalism in AdMU.

Fortunately, for my students at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City they shared my vast knowledge i gained for years. Here is one lesson that i also liked–AUDIOCRAFT.


*Ironically, the audio clips here have no sounds because of the Slideshare’s inability to play sound.

SLIDE 1

I appropriately named this presentation as Audiocraft, “Tools of Radio” because the items inside are all collaborative in producing an excellent piece of audio production.

SLIDE 2

Watching your favorite news program without any sound coming out from the TV set could caused you to be upset. It would surely crave you for its sound.

SLIDE 3

That feeling proves that without sound, picture is incomplete. Sound is “half the picture”. Sound completes the ideas presented along with the picture.

SLIDE 4

No one wants talking in front of the rostrum but you can’t be heard by the audience.

SLIDE 5

(playback with sounds already)

SLIDE 6, 7, 8

Audiocraft is not only the combination of different sounds but it’s the management of different sound elements. It deals with inter-relatedness of voice, music and sound effects. A montage voiced report is an example of how sounds are managed to picture a story.

SLIDE 9

Voice, Music, and Sound Effects are elements of Audiocraft.

SLIDE 10

While Voice is created by the human’s vocal chord, not every person is created equal when it comes to voice. The human voice can be mimic but not completely copied. Our voice is unique to each and every person.

In broadcasting, there’s a newscaster’s voice: baritone for men while lyric tone for women. Most male newscasters are baritone. GMA’s Mike Enriquez, to name a few, is an exception. The late Angelo Castro of ABS-CBN was a good baritone-voiced anchor. The likes of Korina Sanchez, Mel Tiangco, Claire Celdran, and other female anchors have the sweet and melodic voice. The veteran news anchor Tina Palma, on the other hand, doesn’t fall in this category.

SLIDE 11, 12

Voice comes with proper pacing and delivery to achieve impact. Most of the time, it is done according to the type of script you are voicing or narrating. To deliver the lines correctly, you have to familiarize with the script. Read it aloud and mark the lines where you are supposed to pause to change idea or catch your breath.

SLIDE 13

Pronunciation and Enunciation provide the clarity of speech. Announcers who commonly mispronounce words are oftentimes perceived less credible. Be familiar with the words and do a pronunciation guide in the script. Enunciation refers to the ability of the newscaster to phonate or produce or not to produce the sound of the individual letter.

SLIDE 14, 15

Emoting simply means actually feeling what you are reading or talking about. In other words, let your voice create the “picture” in your listener’s mind.

Underline the word/s that needs to be stressed. Stress or degree of emphasis on a word can enhance the meaning of what you are talking about.

SLIDE 16

Modulation is what makes a stage performer and a radio announcer differ from one another. A stage performer is taught to project his voice all the way to the back of the hall while the announcer is trained to focus his voice only to the microphone.

A relatively low pitched voice sounds more credible than a high pitched one. So, a news anchor in radio or TV doesn’t need to shout. He is not inside a hall. He is facing a microphone that is used to enhance his voice and let everyone hear him like he’s talking to them in person.

SLIDE 17

Microphone technique is a way to effectively use the tool. I’ve discussed thoroughly about the Microphone– its type, characteristics, pick-up patterns, and technique in my previous post.

SLIDE 18-22

Music, as an element of Audiocraft influences the mood and experience of the audience. It can be used as background or as a music bed and as a jingle.

SLIDE 23-28

The use of sound effect completes audiocraft. It completes the picture that one creates in his mind while listening. It can move us as an action sound. Teleport us to a scene when it is used as a setting sound. And it makes us feel of certain conditions when it symbolizes a scene or condition.

SLIDE 29

The management of sounds (music and sound effects) follows basic directions. These directions are most often indicated in the script to guide voice talents, directors, audiomen, and effects men.

Establish or Hold– is executed when the level of the sound is at normal (at about Zero in the Volume meter). It stays at this level for certain period or for few seconds before fading out.

Fade-in, Fade-out, Fade under– is done by adjusting up and down the Volume level.

Segue– is done by an abrupt change of sound or music while both outgoing and incoming sound or music are at normal level.

Crossfade– as explained in the slide is fading out of the current music/sound and fading in of the incoming music/sound. Later, the incoming music/sound will stabilize at normal level.

SLIDE 30

Sneak In, Sneak Out– is the coming in and coming out of a sound/music as if a car is passing by an area.

Montage– is a combination of many sounds: voice, music, effects. It can depict a scene like in a war or emergency. Proper management of sound levels and mixing is needed for this.

Bridge–is done when a music or sound connotes connection between a scene to other scene like depicting a dream in a radio drama.

Stinger– is mostly used in public affairs or radio commentary programs to stress a statement. It can be voice, music or sound effects. Bombo Radyo has been using the bass drum (Bombo) inside their announcer’s booth to mark a point literally with a bang of the drum. A fart sound could be used to convey lying or telling lies. A smashing glass could be used to point an accident. The list is endless for stingers.

That’s all folks. Drop a comment or two below if you have questions or reactions to share. Thanks.

 

Lapulapu or Lapu-lapu? How to Use a Hyphen in Cebuano

The rule on the use of a hyphen and a dash in Cebuano writing is the same as in the English rule. The Akademiyang Bisaya is adopting the rule in English grammar on the use of a hyphen and is now being use in our Cebuano tabloids.

If you notice, “nalupog” is not written the way we speak the word as “nalup-og” in all write-ups in our tabloids. It’s because separating the word with a dash or a hyphen doesn’t follow the rule and it will just distort the word.

Here’s my presentation during my Cebuano Journalism class at the USJR in Cebu City.

Like other rules, there are always exception to the rule:

  • In both oral and written forms, a hyphen is necessary to separate “g” from prefixes like mag when it is directly followed by a vowel. Example: mag-abot, nag-usik-usik, pag-abot, etc.
  • There are also other Cebuano root words that need a hyphen because the one with a hyphen has different meaning with the same word without a hyphen. Example: laway (saliva) vs. law-ay (lewd)

Radio News Scripts Format

Please find below the Radio News Script formats that are commonly and widely used in radio newsrooms around the world.

There are three (3) basic news script formats for radio: Script-Only, Script Clip, and Wrap/Voiceover.

The Script-Only is an equivalent to the News Item (N.I.) format or Read-Only format for TV news script. The whole script is to be read by the news anchor without any voice clips.

On the other hand, the Script-Clip has a voice clip any where in the script where it shall be appropriate.

The Wrap/Voiceover format includes the lead paragraph which shall introduce the voiceover report (canned or live) of the reporter.

TIPS:

  • Just like the TV news script, radio news scripts should also have its SLUG as shown at the upper left corner of the script .
    (title of the newscast) Afternoon News/March 1, 2005 (date)
    (title of the story)NightClub fire/script-only (script format)
    (writer/reporter) Kenneth
  • Use one-half crosswise paper for radio script to avoid unnecessary noise created by the paper when the anchor is changing scripts.
  • As a rule, voice clips should be introduced before playing and again after it is played.
KENNETH GALANO HAS THIS REPORT FROM CITY HALL…
  =====================================
  VOICE REPORT: NIGHTCLUB FIRE/KENNETH (1:00min)
  CUE IN: They’re angry at the government over…
        CUE OUT: The fire is one of Argentina’s worst disasters.
                        Kenneth Galano reporting from City Hall.
  =====================================
  KENNETH GALANO REPORTING FROM CITY HALL…
  • Cardinal Rule in Writing for Radio:
    IT’S SPOKEN (“Write for the ear, not for the eye”)
    USE CONTRACTION (to make it more conversational)
    USE SIMPLE WORDS ( say “bad breath” than “halitosis”)
    PUNCTUATE FOR SOUNDS ( ? ! / :) )
    AVOID SOUND CLASHES (Wilma and William watched the window washers walk with Walter)
    PUT A PRONUNCIATION GUIDE (“noo-mo-nia” for Pneumonia)
    BREAKDOWN SCIENTIFIC/TECHNICAL TERMS (ex-tra-ter-ri-to-ria-li-ty)

That’s all folks.

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Principles of Broadcasting

One of the subjects in mass communication which i am very familiar with is the “Introduction to Broadcast Media” (MC-3 @ the USJR). Broadcasting runs in my blood being with in the industry since 1987. Being heavily involved in the news production on daily basis, i acquired huge stock knowledge about broadcasting in both theories and practical uses.

Whenever MC-3 is offered in the first semester at the University of San Jose-Recoletos where i had a five-year teaching stint, i always see to it i can explain the technical terms in layman’s words. My technical training has put me on the advantage to explain well about the matter. I told my class that they should know the technical side of broadcasting to fully understand it.

Here’s my presentation to the class on the principles of broadcasting: