Television reporters are one of a kind: they have to crunch masses of footage into, usually, a one minute story that engages viewers.
How do they do it? How do they choose the quotes? How do they come up with engaging stories like the one we loved about the call for people to knit poppies?
Surprise is often the starting point.
What surprised a reporter about the story they were covering? If it surprised the reporter, then is likely to surprise the viewer.
Our checklist for putting together a collection of facts to tell an engaging story include:
- What surprises us?
- What is the most interesting part what you are being told?
- Have we learned anything new?
- What will viewers want to know?
- What does the viewer need to remember?