Aim for the Heart: Write for the Ear, Shoot for the Eye, a Guide for TV Producers and Reporters

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Bonus Books, Inc., 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 229 pages
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Al Tompkins is Broadcast and Online Group Leader for the prestigious Poynter Institute for Media Studies. In Aim for the Heart, he shares the secrets of great storytellers and writers, and helps professional broadcast journalists write clearer, stronger stories.

Aim for the Heart offers practical, specific advice on how to:
Find a laser-beam story focus
Decide whom to interview
Select the most memorable soundbites
Write tighter copy
Find the story lead and open
Create memorable characters

Aim for the Heart gives reporters, producers and writers page after page of practical advice on how to avoid cliches, passive verbs and "news jargon" that viewers hate. This book goes beyond the story to help reporters and producers find their leadership voices. Tompkins shows journalists how to deal with difficult people in the newsroom, and how to coach others to higher performance, rather than fixing the same frustrating mistakes over and over.

Tompkins is the co-author of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation ethics workbook. In Aim for the Heart, he includes advice for how to make tough ethics calls on deadline. He helps journalists:
Think through when it is appropriate to "go live" with a story
Draft guidelines on when and how to identitfy juveniles
Decide when and how to use confidential sources
Cover difficult stories thoughtfully and aggressively

Al Tompkins is one of America's most honored local broadcast journalists. He is the recipient of the National Emmy, five National Headliner Awards, the Japan Prize, two Iris Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, the National Bar Association Silver Gavel and The Clarion Award. The NationalPress Photographers Association awarded him the Jack Lemon award in 2001 for outstanding service to photojournalism. In his 25 years of working in local broadcast news he has been a photojournalist, reporter, producer, investigative reporter, director of special projects and investigations, assistant news director and news director.

 

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Contents

Aim for the Heart
1
The Shape of the Story
17
Find Memorable Characters
35
Write Inviting Leads
43
Verbs and Adjectives
51
The Art of the Interview
59
Shoot for the Eye
83
Tough Calls on Deadline Ethics and Broadcast Journalists
121
Quick Get Me Some Disaster Pictures
165
The Power of Enterprise Reporting
173
Surviving and Thriving in Todays TV Newsroom
199
Copyright

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