A Day in the Life
Live News Director
What you do: The range of the job?
Direct News and Current Affairs programmes in both automated and traditional galleries. Co-ordinate the planning, preparation and the production of TV output and ensure that editorial intentions are met and the highest productions standards maintained. Use traditional craft and technical skills as well as new and developing technologies to produce the highest standard of News programmes. The Director assists the Producer or Programme Editor in all stages of television production, liaising between the newsroom and resources to achieve production aspirations. To take direct accountability for the execution of a programme, referring when necessary to editorial matters. The job involves News direction in the studio,at rehearsals, recording, transmission or in outside broadcast situations - often during unsociable hours. An ability to vision mix is an advantage. You will need to be familiar with the news region to be able to direct confidently. You may direct both live and recorded Current Affairs programmes, ranging from studio discussions to one off specials - using multi-camera outside broadcast facilities. You will simultaneously direct and vision mix some news bulletins and supervise the design of graphics packages. You will contribute ideas for programme content and offer positive feedback to production and resource staff in an effort to improve production techniques. When necessary to assist in the training of production and resources staff. Co-ordinate preparatory arrangements for all supporting staff, facilities, locations, artists and contributors. Maintain liaison with outside authorities and individuals where appropriate or necessary for the successful execution of the programme and its parts. Employ technical awareness and expertise to achieve editorial aims, improve working practices and achieve highest production values Use visual and creative awareness. When directing you will be the gallery leader, supervising production and technical support staff.
Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?
Confidence, excellent communication skills, a calm and reliable character as live news is ever changing and stressful.... An appetite for news and stress. You will also need an informed interest in the aims and output of the News and Current Affairs dept you are working for; the ability to contribute original material and to adapt written material, practical experience of single and multi-camera direction; knowledge of production techniques and editing practices and knowledge of administrative and costing procedures for television programmes.
Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?
You might start as a runner, researcher, assistant floor manager, cameraman etc.. This was the route into directing for David Wheeler the founder of StartinTV.com. Probably following news directing, you might move on to other live shows such as Newsnight, Watchdog, or recorded studio shows such as Top Gear could follow.
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