Television Scripts

Contents

THE TEMPLATE

The iNEWS template is the core of our scripting operation. After our video has been sent, sending the template triggers its delivery to clients. It gives clients key information to allow them to start using the video. Here’s an example, ready to be sent (NOTE: HIGHER RES FILE TO BE UPLOADED):

Image:File.jpg

On the following pages you’ll see how to fill the template in (some fields do not need to be filled in by non-DI bureaux but these are highlighted below).

PLEASE NOTE – SCRIPTING EXAMPLES ARE ITALICISED IN THIS GUIDE FOR READING CLARITY – WE DO NOT ITALICISE OUR SCRIPTS IN INEWS

SLUG

Producers: normally your story will already be named before it is given to you, but if you are naming a story yourself, or an editor, there are some things to remember.

The main rule is that TV, text and pix use the same slugs as each other.

Check for text coverage on your story first; check the list at the top in the WNE LOG queue in iNews; check Newsplanner and if still unsure, your multimedia desk should be able to help.

Your slug will begin like this (it should include two hyphens and a forward slash) STORY NUMBER-SUBJECT-SUBJECT/

e.g.: 3057-MIDEAST-CRISIS/ 1066-EUROPE-MIGRANTS/

It is the two ‘subject’ words before the forward slash which must be identical with pix and text.

After the slash, you will then add further words to reflect the actual content of the story. This may or may not contain the location of the story, depending on what is appropriate.

e.g.:

3057-MIDEAST-CRISIS/MOSUL 1066- EUROPE-MIGRANTS/FRANCE

If necessary, you can always add further hyphens, e.g.:

1066-EUROPE-MIGRANTS/FRANCE-LEPEN

One thing you do need to keep in mind, is that the total number of characters (including the number, hyphens and forward slashes) in the slug must be no more than 49.

In the story above, the number of characters is 29, so this would be fine. Please note – if text, pix and video have all worked together on a multimedia operation for a specific story, then the entire slug must be identical across all three platforms. If you are aware that it is a multimedia story, then please double-check which slug is being used.

There are also occasions when text uses more than one word before or after the hyphen. E.g.: NORTHKOREA-NUCLEAR/KIM or PEOPLE-GEORGEMARTIN/ Again, we should follow their lead.

If you want to know more about text’s slugging procedures, you can read about it here. http://handbook.reuters.com/?title=News_Presentation&elq=27d9f34ce73449ccbafb6550f1f9918e &elqCampaignId=336#Slugs_and_Slugging

What happens if text is not doing the story?

If video covers a story before text has filed, you must still check with text whether they are covering and agree a slug as usual.

But if text is not covering the story, then we have a little more leeway in choosing a slug that suits us. Please still try to follow existing procedures, e.g. if it is a story about measles, it would still be wise to slug the story HEALTH-MEASLES/.

If you have any doubts please check with a regional or duty editor, London output editor or night editor depending on the time/where you are.

The following three paragraphs are for DI bureaux/hubs/London producers:

FEED

The name(s) of the feed(s) your story will be sent to. During dayside, this will be decided by your local editor/London output editor. If you are doing it yourself, here’s how: select the feed from the drop down menu marked FEED 1. You can send to a secondary feed at the same time by selecting FEED 2.

EUROVISION

We also send material to the Eurovision news exchange, which includes most European state broadcasters, but could include others as well. Unless specified, all Reuters copyright material can be permissioned for Eurovision. We do not want to permission material uppicked from other Eurovision members. Dayside, your local editor/London output editor will decide if a story should go to Eurovision and will tick this box accordingly. If you think something SHOULD be permissioned for Eurovision and the box has not been ticked, please check with the Output Editor. When there is no editor available and you must make the decision yourself, please check with London intake desk if there’s any doubt.

PRIORITY

Stories are generally sent as a Priority 4. The London Output Editor, Editor of the Day (EoD) or Night Editor may change this to a higher priority (or ask you to), depending on how they are managing the flow of stories through WNE. These are the only people able to authorise a change of priority, so please call in to request an upgrade. The lower the number, the higher the priority.

The following paragraphs are for every producer:

HEADLINE

The headline should be short, accurate and reflect what is seen in the edit. Sometimes the headline used by text in the wire will be ideal, sometimes it will not.

Headline Basics

  • Try to keep the headline down to around six words if possible.
  • Headlines should be written in the present tense i.e. Seattle explosion injures nine firefighters not Seattle explosion has injured nine firefighters
  • Use the active voice, i.e. Pakistan earthquake kills 10, not Ten are killed in Pakistan quake
  • Refer to the name of a country, city or well-known figure to indicate location of story.
  • Generally SUBJECT-VERB-NOUN works well, or in other words WHO-DOES-WHAT.
  • Don’t try to be too clever (especially on hard news scripts). Clients who have limited English may not understand a play on words, pun or double-entendre!
  • We do not put full stops at the end of our headlines
  • You do not need full names for major world figures, e.g.: Putin, Trump.
  • Use titles for those who are less well known, e.g.: U.N. security chief criticises Israeli army report
  • Do not use times or dates unless crucial to the story
  • Try to avoid clichés and weak verbs such as “to be”, i.e.: is, am, are, was, be, being, been.
  • Be wary of using humour in straight news stories.
  • Do not use the word “amvid” in headlines.
  • Many people do not know exactly what it refers to, and it means different things in different countries.
  • Instead we should be clear about what the video actually is, i.e.: amateur video, CCTV video, security video, police video, etc.

Examples of good headlines:

  • Thousands protest Rajoy investiture
  • Car blast kills four in Benghazi -officials
  • Drone footage shows Italy quake damage
  • Zombie flashmob dances in Berlin
  • Twitter to shut down Vine

The content of soundbites is often helpful when trying to decide on a headline. There are several ways to cast a bite-led headline, grammatically:

  • Trump says winning the presidency would be Brexit times ten
  • Philippines’ Duterte says God warned him off swearing
  • U.N. chief 'deeply troubled' by North Korea missile launches
  • One summit won’t fix Europe’s “critical situation– Merkel
  • Erdogan: Second TurkStream stage depends on European market

Double-check that there are no spelling mistakes (including names of people and places) or typos before moving on. The headline is the first thing many of the clients see on Media Express, so you must be sure you have it right. If you have any doubts, ask a fellow producer or the Sub.

INTRO

Leave the INTRO field blank in the template. (One exception: VIRAL video, please write your intro here and not in the script box, see how to write an intro under the INTROS section below.)

TXDATE

This is the date the story is being transmitted, i.e. “today’s” date. It is added automatically by iNEWS and has the format: 01.01.17 (day-month-year). No action is required.

DURATION

.Must be written like this: 2:03 or 3:15. Use a colon between the minutes and seconds and time the story without the slate. The slate is five seconds long. So if your total duration with the slate is 3:30, the duration on your script should be 3:25. If the correct duration is not on the template, then your story will not process through WNE as it will not match the video you have sent.

CHK1

This should be the initials of the person who originally wrote the story. If the story was written in a bureau, then check the bureau’s script to see who wrote it. They should have put their initials in and you should copy those over into your version of the script. If it is not clear who wrote it, then put the first three letters of the bureau, e.g., BAG for Baghdad, ROM for Rome etc., but the actual initials of the person is preferable. Do not copy over the ‘R’ next to the initials.

If you are writing the original script in iNEWS (i.e. it is a story generated in your office/field LNG), then put in your own initials. While you are working on the script, you should put a ‘P’ next to your initials. When you have finished, you should put an ‘R’. So it would be something like: AB-P or AB-R

CHK2

If you have not written the original script, then this is where you would put your own initials as the next person to work on it.

Again, you should put a ‘P’ next to your initials while you are working on it and an ‘R’ when you have finished and it is ready for subbing. If you wrote the original script, then the subbing producer would put their initials in here after they have checked it.

CHK3

This is for the subbing producers initials if the other two initial boxes have already been used. They too, should use the ‘P’ and ‘R’ system, so that people looking at the script know that it is in the process of being subbed.

PLEASE NOTE: It is important to include these different sets of initials. If a problem is raised with the script, even several months down the track, we need to be able to see who worked on it – from beginning to end.

This paragraph is for DI bureaux/hubs/London producers:

TX'D FIELD

After you have sent your template to the clients put a ‘T’. After you have sent your shotlist to the clients, change the ‘T’ to an ‘S’. After the full script has been sent, the person sending the script changes the ‘S’ to the initials of the feed name. If a script has been sent to more than one feed i.e. World and Showbiz, then the initials should reflect this, e.g.: WD/SB.

The following paragraphs are for every producer:

ARVD FIELD

Ignore this field

LOCATIONS

Write in upper case the location(s) where the story was shot. This will invariably be a town/city and country. Example: PARIS, FRANCE.

If there is more than one town/city, the style is PARIS, LYON AND TOULOUSE, FRANCE. There may be multiple country locations, if so separate them with a slash. Example: PARIS, LYON AND TOULOUSE, FRANCE/ SAN FRANCSICO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES.

It’s important that the locations are clear to clients and this may mean using the geographical region, state or province that the town/city is located in as well. Example: MYSORE, KARNATAKA, INDIA.

Do make sure you follow the Reuters style when referring to countries. Example: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK, not: LONDON, BRITAIN. Also remember the UNITED NATIONS is just that, not UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES.

When we are dealing with material from disputed territories, we often name the place regionally, rather than by country, to avoid appearing to “take sides” in our country names.

For example – GAZA, JERUSALEM, or WEST BANK rather than ISRAEL or PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES.

We also use ANTARCTICA rather than the particular country which might have territorial control over the bit of Antarctica in our edit. Use the script to explain the circumstances of the location.

Other location conventions include:

  • UNITED NATIONS - For events which are filmed at the United Nations building in New York. If events are filmed at the United Nations in Geneva, we still call it GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
  • IN SPACE
  • IN AIR – for shots filmed in planes that are actually flying, rather than landed at an airport
  • AT SEA - We use AT SEA as the country name when the action in the video is out of sight of land. But if the video is of a ship just off the coast, where the land is visible, use the actual country name. For example: a location could beOFF PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND, UK, with BRITAIN as the country name for the slug (if you are including a location in the slug). If you know the name of the actual sea, then use that instead, e.g.: PACIFIC OCEAN or EAST CHINA SEA. If you are not sure, then leave it as AT SEA
  • INTERNET - for websites such as Facebook, blogs, a government website, etc.
  • ANIMATION - for animated sequences

TYPE/SPORT

Ignore this box, unless working on the Sports desk, or other desks that use it.

SLATE

This will be pre-populated with 0:05. Leave as is.

KEY FRAME

This will be pre-populated with 0:05. Leave as is.

SOURCEASPECT

This is the aspect ratio the video in the edit has been shot in.
The default is ‘W’ (wide) which refers to 16:9 video – our standard aspect ratio.
If your edit is actually all converted 4:3 material (where the video has been converted and has black lines down the sides) then you would choose ‘P’ (pillar-boxed) from the dropdown menu.
If your edit has a mixture of both, then choose ‘M’ (mixed).
Choose ‘P’ for mobile phone footage shot in portrait.
If your edit contains still photographs alone in a variety of aspect ratios leave this box blank.

SOURCEDEFINITION

Choose ‘H’ from the dropdown menu if the original source content is entirely HD, ‘S’ if all content is entirely SD, or ‘M’ if it is mixed. If it’s just a stills edit, leave this box blank. If your edit contains still photographs alone leave this box blank.

GRAPHIC/NUDITY/PROFANITY CHECKBOXES

These boxes must be ticked if your edit contains graphic material, nudity or profanity. Tick any that apply to your edit by clicking in the boxes. Very often it is a fine judgement about whether your images count under these, so highlight the potential issue to an editor if you are not sure.

DATES

This is for the dates on which your video is shot. It reflects the way the dates appear on the slate for your edit.
Write dates in uppercase in this exact manner: JUNE 23, 2017
If the edit contains material from more than one date, then use a separate box for each date, with the most recent date first.
If your edit contains video which is RECENT from more than one date, just put RECENT in one of the boxes, rather than all of the exact dates.
If your edit contains FILE from one or more dates, just put FILE in one of the boxes, rather than the exact dates.

SOUND

Always use the following style: NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH
Do you have more than one language? NATURAL WITH FRENCH AND RUSSIAN SPEECH
Have we uppicked the pictures from another broadcaster? If so we may have commentary or narration. Commentary usually accompanies a live event or sports broadcast. Write NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH AND RUSSIAN COMMENTARY
Is the edit from a reporter’s package? If so write NATURAL WITH FARSI NARRATION
Your edit may be a combination of all three, e.g.: NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH, FRENCH NARRATION AND FARSI COMMENTARY
If your edit has no audio, write MUTE
If part of your edit has no audio, use NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH/PART MUTE Note also that the language you refer to is correct.

SOURCE FIELD

We often use video uppicked under contract from other broadcasters, agencies or independent providers and must attribute those pictures as such. Our own video must always be stated as REUTERS, not RTV, RVN, or any other acronym. If your edit contains material from different sources you would write it like this:
REUTERS/NBC/ITN/ANI

Sometimes we shoot stories which we share with other agencies such as APTN. Usually this is a pool between news agencies which can also include AFP. For either of those sources we call it AGENCY POOL. If we shot the material in such a pool it is REUTERS FOR AGENCY POOL (in both template and shotlist).

You may also use VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS as a source. This could be for a number of reasons. i.e. we are using stringer video in a dangerous area and we want to protect the stringer’s identity or because we have purchased the video from someone who does not want to be identified. If you are not sure whether this should be the case, discuss it with a senior colleague.

If your edit includes a screenshot from a website, it should be sourced as follows:

For social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter we put:
SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE – ACCESS ALL and then describe the shot in the shotlist as:
1. SCREENSHOT OF ACTOR ROB LOWE’S TWITTER PAGE IN WHICH HE SAYS XXX
We should NOT source the website itself. i.e. it should not be TWITTER – ACCESS ALL or FACEBOOK – ACCESS ALL

For other (non social media) internet sites such as a government website, blog, company ‘About’ page etc we would put, for example:
BUCKINGHAM PALACE WEBSITE – ACCESS ALL and then describe the shot in the shotlist as:
1. WRITTEN STATEMENT ANNOUNCING BIRTH OF BRITAIN’S PRINCESS CHARLOTTE

In all cases the location should be INTERNET.

We should never describe screenshots as REUTERS – ACCESS ALL. This would only happen if we had filmed the computer monitor ourselves with a camera, rather than taken a screenshot directly from the screen. In that case the location would be wherever the filming took place.

MISC

Ignore this field.

KEYWORDS

Please add 4-6 keywords to your story:

The keywords should be the most important words or phrases in your story – the phrases or words that you would use to search for the story on a search engine.

The words you assign as keywords should represent the core subject matter of the video, as well as the subject matter in which it falls.

Keywords should either be words or mini phrases, similar to the way that you search in a search engine like Google.

Keywords MUST be case-sensitive – use caps and lower case as in normal text, e.g. Vladimir Putin, China, euro, German election, immigrants,

There should be commas between each word and a space after the comma.
Any individuals, organisations, sports teams, political parties etc involved in the story should be added as a keyword – if you name someone in the shotlist – add them as a keyword, no need for full title.

Keywords should be in the language of the script.

Acronyms, transliterations etc. should be in Reuters style.

Here is an example:

Airlines ban game trophy transport

American Airlines joins United and Delta in banning the transport of game trophies after the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion.

Keywords: airlines, Cecil the lion, United, Delta, American Airlines, game trophies,

The following three paragraphs are for DI bureaux/hubs/London producers only:

COUNTRY

Choose from the dropdown menu the country where the story mainly takes place. If it is in more than one country, then you can choose VARIOUS.

SUBJECT

Choose the subject of your story from the dropdown menu. There might not be something which is exactly correct, but choose the best option available. The country and subject selections create a code which allows your story to be watermarked. It is essential you do this, or we will not be able to track how many clients have used the story.

EXPIRES

We have also a box into which we can add the expiration date of an edit. We only need to use this if there is a SPECIFIC TIME RESTRICTION on some third party content (e.g. 48 hours use only, no use after xxxx, etc). Simply set the expiration time and date in the box - the material will then automatically be removed from WNE and MEX (Media Express) at that time. We should also continue to put this information in the restrictions in the body of the script and shotlist. There is NO need to use this box UNLESS there is a specific restriction.

The following paragraph is for every producer:

RESTRICTIONS

This is just below the template but must be filled in before sending your template to the clients. The following will appear automatically on your script:

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: Digital: **~

You need to fill in the space between the stars with the restrictions. These will be on the bureau script or you will have been advised by the Output Editor.

To check restrictions for particular broadcasters, go to INTAKE.UPPICKS.RESTRICTIONS in iNEWS and search by country.

It is essential that restrictions on scripts are correct. It is also important that the stars and squiggly lines etc remain (~** **~ ), because if they are removed it can stop the script from going through the system.

We list broadcaster and digital restrictions separately to accurately reflect the markets our clients service these days.

If there are no restrictions, it would be: BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: NONE Digital: NONE**~

If it is SABC material, for example, it would be:

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA Digital: NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA**~

If we have material from both SABC and NBC for example, it would be: BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: PART NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA. PART NO ACCESS USA/NO ACCESS CNN Digital: PART NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA. PART FOR BROADCAST CLIENT USE ONLY/NO ACCESS INTERNET/MOBILE/WIRELESS **~

SLATE

TO BE UPDATED

INTRO

The intro appears before your shotlist. It expands and adds details to your headline, giving the clients a summary of the story to come.

Decide on one of the main point of the story is and put it into context. It should not just be a repeat of the headline.

The intro should be:

  • Written in the present tense
  • Written in correct grammatical sentences, not ‘headline’ style
  • A maximum of two sentences, but preferably one
  • No time references unless essential to the story

Here are some examples of good intros and the headlines they follow:

HEADLINE: Chinese surgeons carry out free cataract operations in Zimbabwe
INTRO: Chinese eye surgeons carry out free cataract operations on elderly patients in a hospital outside Harare, as the two countries continue to strengthen their economic and political friendship.

HEADLINE: Rare Islamic miniature sets new sales record in London
INTRO: An illustrated page from a rare 500-year-old manuscript detailing the early history of Persia sells for 7.4 million pounds, the equivalent of $12 million, at a Sotheby’s auction.

A client can get a pretty good idea of what the story is about, just from the headline and intro.

Some common mistakes are revealed in these examples of intros:

“The Pussy Riot three address the appeal court, say their action was political and not anti-religious, demand acquittal.”

This assumes a certain amount of knowledge about Pussy Riot which the client may not have, and is written in more of a headline style, not as a full, grammatical sentence.

It should be something like: “The jailed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot demand to be acquitted as they tell an appeal court their actions were political, not anti-religious.”

And….

“Romanian FM Titus Corlatean meets President Peres during two day visit to the region.”

This is typical of many of the ‘handshake’ type stories we often have to deal with at Reuters, sometimes with very little to go on in terms of the story. But in this case we had some soundbites that could have been drawn on to spice up the intro. We also need to give an indication of where the action is happening, which is not evident from the original version. While not exactly exciting, this next version tells us a bit more:

“Israeli President Shimon Peres says Romania is heading in the right direction as he meets the Balkan country’s foreign minister in Jerusalem.”

Be wary of what you promise clients in your intro. Look at this example:

“Some 101,834 Syrian refugees have now fled to Turkey the country's Disaster Management Agency says in a written statement posted on its website.”

If you were a client reading this intro, you might be expecting to see video of the Disaster Management Agency’s website showing the figures quoted. But actually – this was our shotlist:

SHOWS: SYRIA (FILMED FROM CILVEGOZU, TURKEY) (OCTOBER 17, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. SYRIAN TOWN
2. VARIOUS OF HOUSES

CILVEGOZU, TURKEY (OCTOBER 17, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
3. VARIOUS OF CARS CROSSING CILVEGOZU BORDER GATE ACROSS SYRIA'S BAB AL-HAWA CROSSING
4. SYRIAN WOMEN WAITING AT BORDER GATE FOR PASSPORT CONTROL
5. AMBULANCE CROSSING INTO TURKEY
6. VARIOUS OF NEWLY ARRIVED REFUGEES PASSING THROUGH GATE
7. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE, MOHAMMAD, SAYING:
...."We just want to stop the fighting and plane attacks against civilians. If people really care they should ask the regime to put an end to air assaults. What is happening in Syria is unbelievable. People don't realise that one day what's happening there and all those killings might happen to them as well."
8. VARIOUS OF WOMEN AT GATE
9. VARIOUS OF CAR WITH A SYRIAN PLATE
10. GIRL AT GATE
11. NEWLY ARRIVED REFUGEES TALKING
12. AMBULANCE LEAVING

Better perhaps to have an intro like the one below which is more reflective of what clients will see in the edit, yet still mentions the new figures:

Syrian refugees call for an end to fighting against civilians as latest figures show more than 100,000 have fled to Turkey.

SHOTLIST

WHAT A SHOTLIST IS FOR

Here is an example of a Reuters shotlist:

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: NONE Digital: NONE**~

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes the new U.S. administration, and says the alliance plans to offer training on Iraqi territory from next year as its contribution in the fight against Islamic State.

SHOWS: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (NOVEMBER 21, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)"
1. NATO CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
2. NATO SECRETARY GENERAL, JENS STOLTENBERG, APPROACHING MICROPHONE
3. DELEGATES LISTENING TO STOLTENBERG
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL, JENS STOLTENBERG, SAYING:
...."I am welcoming the incoming administration in Washington and I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump. The partnership between Europe and the United States has been rock-solid for almost 70 years, a partnership that has always received bipartisan support in the United States. And better burden-sharing will make the trans-Atlantic bond even stronger."
5. DELEGATES
6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL, JENS STOLTENBERG, SAYING:
...."Training local forces is one of our best weapons in the fight against terrorism. This year alone we have trained hundreds of Iraqi officers in Jordan and we recently decided to extend our training and capacity-building efforts into Iraq. That work will begin early next year. This training is an important contribution to the fight against ISIL."
7. CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS

The shotlist should tell the client exactly what they will see in the edit, as well as provide vital information about sources, restrictions, locations, people’s names, titles and what they say. It is a list of the shots in the edit, in the order in which they appear.

You must look through your edit and make sure your shotlist matches your pictures, shot-for-shot. It is not uncommon for the bureau to have provided an inaccurate shotlist. This could be because the video was re-edited at some stage in the process or because the camera crew has sent the story directly from the field. In this case the crew may have phoned the shotlist in to the bureau producer (who has not seen the pictures), resulting in inaccuracies.

DATELINE

The dateline is made up of the location, the date the pictures were shot, and the source of the material with any restrictions, e.g.:

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA (FEB 21, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

This tells the clients that all the video which appears underneath that dateline was shot in Medellin on February 21 by Reuters, and there are no restrictions on its use.

If one (or more) of those elements change, then you must create a new dateline.

Another example:

TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 30, 2017) (TV TOKYO - Broadcasters: NO ACCESS JAPAN/CNN & CNNI, BBC WORLD, NBC, CNBC MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'TV TOKYO' IF PICTURES TO BE SHOWN ON CABLE, COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN JAPAN Digital: NO ACCESS JAPANESE WEBSITES)

You only need to break the shotlist up like this if there are changes.

PLEASE NOTE: The word "SHOWS:" only appears before the very first dateline in the shotlist. It should not appear in subsequent datelines.

What happens if material has been shot across borders?

If we have an edit where the action depicted clearly takes place on one territory but is filmed from another, we should dateline that sequence as the location where the action is taking place.

Thus, shells landing in Syria but filmed from Turkey, should be datelined Syria. Similarly, a rooftop protest in the Vatican, filmed from Italian soil, should be datelined Vatican.

The shotlist should look like this:

VATICAN (FILMED FROM ROME, ITALY)(OCTOBER 3, 2012)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. PROTESTER ON ROOFTOP

Or this:

AZAZ, SYRIA (FILMED FROM NEAR KILIS, TURKEY)(OCTOBER 3, 2012)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. SHELLS LANDING, SMOKE RISING

Producers should also add a clarifying line to scripts making clear how/where the footage was gathered.

WRITING RESTRICTIONS IN SHOTLIST

If material is unrestricted it should be written in the dateline as: (SOURCE – ACCESS ALL). For example:

(REUTERS – ACCESS ALL) (AL MANAR – ACCESS ALL)

If the material is restricted it should be written with broadcast and digital restrictions separated, like this:

(SABC - Broadcasters: NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA Digital: NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA)

DESCRIBING THE SHOTS

As much as possible someone should be ‘doing’ something in the shotlist. Do not just say: U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP – rather you should describe what he is doing; i.e.: U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP WALKING TOWARDS ENTRANCE OF OFFICE

Do not use words like: CUTAWAY, WIDE, PAN, TILT, VIEW OF, TOP SHOT. Instead just describe what you are seeing. This helps us remove unnecessary words from the shotlist, making it as easy to read as possible.

WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE should be something like:
NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS

If shot changes such as a pan or zoom in or out use ‘/’ (forward slash):
PAN FROM FLOWERS ON TABLE TO POSTER should be:
FLOWERS ON TABLE / POSTER

If there are several things to draw attention to in a stable shot, separate with commas:
WRECKAGE OF CAR, BILLOWING DUST, PEOPLE RUNNING AWAY

There are occasions when you may want to particularly draw attention to a close-up of something important. In this case it is fine to say:

CLOSE-UP OF BRITISH FLAG ON PROTESTER’S LAPEL – but please be sure it actually is a close-up and do not over-use.

We no longer use the word MORE in shotlists to describe additional pictures of something we have already seen, i.e. it should not be:

3. DAMAGED BUILDING 4. DAMAGED CAR ON ROAD 5. MORE OF DAMAGED BUILDING

Rather – just describe what you see, i.e.:

3. DAMAGED BUILDING 4. DAMAGED CAR ON ROAD 5. DAMAGED BUILDING

Do not use the location in the shot itself, i.e.:
10. MAN WALKING ALONG JOHANNESBURG STREET

We already know we are in Johannesburg, because the dateline has told us. So therefore it should just be:
10. MAN WALKING ALONG STREET

An exception is when the street name is important to the story, such as Downing Street.

You can list a sequence of two or more similar shots under VARIOUS as in:
2. VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS

Various must only be used when there is more than one shot.

Do shotlist as single items the image highlights of your edit:
4. CHILD PROTESTER LIGHTS CANDLE

TITLES AND NAMES

When writing someone’s name in a shotlist, it should appear as follows:

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY WALKING INTO NEWS CONFERENCE

WITNESS TO CRASH DELIA GOODMAN LOOKING AT WRECKAGE

The title should go first, as that indicates immediately to the client why this person is important. In the example above, the name Delia Goodman means nothing to the client. But the fact she is a witness to the crash explains why we have included a soundbite from her, and as this is the most important information, this should go first.

In shotlists, separating the title from the name with a comma can clarify where one starts and the other finishes. The importance of this is not evident in many cases, but it is particularly useful for examples such as this:

LEADER OF INDIA'S RASHTRIYA JANATA DAL PARTY RAM KRIPAL YADAV WALKING

Without the commas it might be difficult to determine where the title ends and the name begins. It is far easier to read if it is:

LEADER OF INDIA'S RASHTRIYA JANATA DAL PARTY, RAM KRIPAL YADAV, WALKING

The first time a person is mentioned and in every soundbite the full title and name is used. But for all subsequent mentions, just the family name is used.

For every soundbite, isolate the title from the name using commas.

1. POPE FRANCIS GREETING FILM DIRECTOR MARTIN SCORSESE AND HIS WIFE, HELEN MORRIS
2. POPE GREETING DELEGATION ACCOMPANYING SCORSESE
3. SCORSESE HOLDING JAPANESE PAINTING
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM DIRECTOR, MARTIN SCORSESE, SAYING:
...."It is a Japanese artist from the 17th century. And the original is in the 26th Martyr (museum). This is the most revered image for the hidden Christian."
5. POPE, SCORSESE SHAKING HANDS

When your edit contains important figure or those that might become important it is vital to shotlist their names. Accessing file material from our archive depends on this. Sometimes the only material we have on a leader is from their arrival and departure at a summit meeting. Please use standard Reuters spelling – essential for archive searches! .

AUDIO

Sometimes it is important to draw attention to the audio in a shot. When you are doing this, please include this information in brackets. i.e.

5. REBEL RUNNING ALONG STREET (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE)

MUTE SHOTS

Sometimes when we uppick third party material, some or all of the edit is mute. You need to make the clients aware of this on the slate, template and in the shotlist. This is so they know it is not a problem with the delivery or recording of the edit if they cannot hear any audio, and so they can plan accordingly. It would look like this:

For the slate: Mute, or Natural/Part Mute, or if there is speech as well it would be Natural/Spanish/Part Mute

For the template in the SOUND section: MUTE or NATURAL/PART MUTE or NATURAL WITH SPANISH SPEECH/PART MUTE

For the shotlist:

SHOWS: SYRACUSE, SICILY, ITALY (OCTOBER 6, 2013) (COAST GUARD HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
1. BOAT COMING INTO PORT CARRYING MIGRANTS
2. VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS BEING HELPED ASHORE

Please note: If there is only one mute shot in the edit, just put (MUTE) before the shot itself, and not create a whole separate section, e.g.:

SHOWS: SYRACUSE, SICILY, ITALY (OCTOBER 6, 2013) (COAST GUARD HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)
1. (MUTE) BOAT COMING INTO PORT CARRYING MIGRANTS
2. VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS BEING HELPED ASHORE
3. WOMAN BEING HELPED ASHORE

NIGHT SHOTS

We also draw our clients’ attention to when we have included night shots in the edit. There is no need to put this on the slate or template, but we DO include it in the shotlist. Example:

SHOWS: NATAF, ISRAEL (NOVEMBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. CARS DRIVE DOWN ROAD, FIRE TRUCK DRIVES UP
2. FIREFIGHTER, FIRE BURNING
3. VARIOUS OF FIRE BURNING IN WOODS AROUND THE COMMUNITY

NATAF, ISRAEL (NOVEMBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (NIGHT SHOTS)
4. VARIOUS OF FIRE BURNING IN WOODS, FIREFIGHTERS MONITORING

Please note: If there is only one night shot in the edit, just put (NIGHT SHOT) before the shot itself, and not create a whole separate section, i.e.:

5. (NIGHT SHOT) POLICE CLASHING WITH PROTESTERS

TEXT IN SHOTS

It is important that we transcribe (and translate if required) when our shots contain written words, i.e. newspaper headlines, signs and placards. This is our style:

1. FRONT PAGE OF ‘THE TIMES’ NEWSPAPER, HEADLINE READING (English) "CABINET SPLIT THREATENS TO DERAIL MAY'S BREXIT TALKS"
2. CLOSE OF PART OF SUB HEADLINE, READING (English) "LEAKED MEMO"

If you know the language of the text, then include it, as above. Write the text itself in uppercase, to differentiate it from soundbites.

SOUNDBITES

When producing, it is essential that you listen to every soundbite and check/do the following:

  • The language being used (to the best of your ability!).
  • If the soundbite is in your mother tongue or a language you are proficient in, you must listen to it and make sure we have a word for word transcription (if the language is English) or a good translation (into English).
  • Transcribe English soundbites exactly as spoken.
  • If you think you can improve the sense of an English translation from another language, please check with someone proficient in that language if you are not.
  • Avoid putting editors notes in brackets mid-soundbite, much better to clarify the unclear subject of a ‘bite in your script or amplify that the leaders aide later clarified that what she’d actually said was misspoken.

Soundbites are written as follows:

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER, VIKTOR ORBAN, SAYING:
....“I am particularly looking forward to travelling on one of your red buses and visiting Buckingham Palace.”

Please note that the soundbite itself begins on a new line and is indented by four spaces. We put brackets around the word (SOUNDBITE) and the (Language). The language is in lower case, except for the first letter which is capitalised.

If the translation we have been given has not been provided by a Reuters employee, but by a third party, e.g. the official translators at a summit or a broadcaster, then we should acknowledge that in the shotlist in this manner:

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER, VIKTOR ORBAN, SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION)
....“I am particularly looking forward to travelling on one of your red buses and visiting Buckingham Palace.”

OR:

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER, VIKTOR ORBAN, SAYING: (TRANSLATION GIVEN BY AIDE)
....“I am particularly looking forward to travelling on one of your red buses and visiting Buckingham Palace.”

This gives us some protection if the translation is incorrect.

If you have a translation that you are not entirely confident about, and you are not able to check it with someone who speaks the language proficiently, then you should put (APPROXIMATE TRANSLATION). This should later be checked with a fluent speaker and the script updated.

What if we are using non-Reuters material where the soundbite is overlaid over other shots?

This often happens with pool or handout material. Here are some examples of how we might deal with it. Our main objective is to make it clear to the client that unlike a normal Reuters edit, the soundbite is not contained to a single shot of the person speaking, and they need to take care with their editing.

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MODERATOR, MARK LAWSON, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE ENDS ON SHOT OF ROWLING SEATED)
...."The last time you read in public there were 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium, an estimated billion people watching worldwide. We don't know how many people are watching on the live-stream, but it's probably not a billion."

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL 'THE CASUAL VACANCY', J.K.ROWLING, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER SEVERAL SHOTS OF AUDIENCE)
...."I had the idea for The Casual Vacancy while I was on tour in America for Deathly Hallows, and I had the idea on a plane. Yeah I know, something about me and vehicles, I have to be moving, clearly, to have an idea."

VOX POPS

When using vox pops please include the name of the person spoken to (possibly just their first name if they do not want to give their full name) and something about them that will help you when scripting i.e. their profession, or what they are doing which is related to the story. So you would have:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TESCO SHOPPER, DAVID, SAYING:
...."I am devastated to find I might have been eating horse-meat all of this time."

Or

(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) BUSINESS OWNER, GIANNI TRICHILO, SAYING:
...."If Berlusconi wins this election, then I’m leaving the country."

If you do not have any information about their profession or something relevant to the story, then please find out where they are from so you can write:

(SOUNDBITE) (French) PARIS RESIDENT, PIERRE FOUCAULT, SAYING:

If you do not have their name, please be clear if they did not want to supply us with the information i.e.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) MAN WHO DID NOT WISH TO BE IDENTIFIED, SAYING: - for someone who refused to give their name

OR

(SOUNDBITE) (French) UNIDENTIFIED MAN, SAYING: - for when we did not ask them their name.

They might also provide you with the age of the person you are speaking to. You do not need to include this as a matter of course. If the story is about pension cuts or unemployed youth, then the age would be relevant; write like this:

(SOUNDBITE) (Spain) 19-YEAR OLD UNEMPLOYED MECHANIC, JUAN FEREZ, SAYING:
...."I have been out of work for six months, and I have not been able to find anything."

What if there is more than one person speaking in the soundbite, or there is a reporter interjecting?

Here are two examples and how to deal with this if two people are speaking within a single shot. The main thing is to make it as clear as possible to the clients..

4. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PROTESTER, GEORGE KIADES, SAYING:
...."I’m here to make sure the politicians know how I feel."
....JOURNALIST ASKING: "How do you feel?"
...."I'm very angry."
.... JOURNALIST ASKING:"Who will you vote for in the election?”
...."I’m tempted not to vote at all."

5. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PROTESTERS GEORGE AND ANNA KIADES, SAYING:
....GEORGE: “We are very angry about this…”
....ANNA: “Very angry….”
....GEORGE: “I’m so angry I don’t think I will vote in the elections this time.”
....ANNA: “But you have to vote.”
....GEORGE: “I’m not going to.”


WHITE FLASHES IN EDITS

Sometimes we do not have cutaways, relevant b-roll or file to use in an edit but we must still separate our soundbites with something. As a last resort we use white flashes to do this.

When this happens it must be reflected in the shotlist.

At the top of your script, write:

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES TO SEPARATE SOUNDBITES

Then in your shotlist, you must also make the white flashes clear. i.e.:

1. (SOUNDBITE)(German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING:
...."I am going to speak for a very long time without any cutaways."
2. WHITE FLASH
3. (SOUNDBITE)(German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING:
...."I am still speaking, and you haven't had a chance to move the camera away from my face."
4. WHITE FLASH
5. (SOUNDBITE)(German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING:
...."OK, this is the last thing I'm going to say, but I have to rush off and there's no time for cutaways."

RECENT AND FILE – WHEN TO USE WHAT?

While the majority of our edits deal with pictures shot on the same day we are putting them out, we often include video from previous days, months and years. There are many different variables and circumstances to take into account when this happens, but here are some general guidelines to follow. If in doubt, seek advice from an editor.

RECENT
If the pictures are from within the last month and you know the date, put the actual date on the slate, template and in the shotlist.
If the pictures are believed to be from within the last month, but you don’t know the exact date, put RECENT on the slate, template and in the shotlist.
If there is more than one date from the last month, then put RECENT on the slate and template to reflect all of those dates, but please use the actual dates in the shotlist whenever possible.
If you are writing the exact date in the shotlist, there is no need to also write the word RECENT. i.e. just put (OCTOBER 10, 2012) rather than (RECENT – OCTOBER 10, 2012).

FILE
When you are putting video in your edit which is more than a month old, it will generally be material which is deliberately being added to illustrate a particular past event, place or person. In this case the story is FILE. When using FILE you should put in as much date information as you can.
For example – if you were adding video of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, the shotlist should read:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE – SEPTEMBER 11, 2001) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

But often when dealing with old material, you might not know the exact date. In this case you should include the month and/or year, so at least clients have some idea when the material was shot. e.g.:

IZMIT, TURKEY (FILE – 2000) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)
1. REFUGEES RETURNING TO THE RUBBLE OF THEIR HOMES AFTER EARTHQUAKE

It would not have been very useful for clients if this had just said (FILE) with no year, as it makes it difficult for them to put the shot into context with other material they might have available to them.

This is also true of exteriors of buildings, something we often have FILE of.

If you are preparing a profile on Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and want to include some file video of the exterior of Microsoft headquarters, it is much more useful if you know the exteriors are (FILE - 2005) rather than just (FILE) which could be from any time in the past thirty years.

So, please always include as full a date as possible for particular events, and at least a month or year for more general shots. Don’t forget – our material is archived, and in ten years time, someone is going to want to have at least a rough idea of when the video was shot.

EXCEPTIONS FOR FEATURES
If your story is a feature in which the dates are not important (and possibly shot over several days or weeks) then it is permissible to use RECENT for the slate, template and shotlist. This is true even if the story is more than a month old. There is no need to advertise that the feature may have been prepared several weeks, or even months in advance, by putting the exact dates. But, if that feature includes archive material then it should be handled as FILE as above and if any of the more recently shot material refers to a specific event when the date is important, then you must use the actual date in the shotlist. Put yourself in the position of the client and use common sense as to when the date is important, and when it isn’t.

SHOTLISTING FOR STILL PHOTOGRAPHS

Sometimes you will be asked to include one or more still photographs in your edit which we have sourced from our colleagues on the picture desk.

This is how it should be written in the shotlist.

PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 15, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
1. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, ARRIVING AT AIRPORT

If our stills colleagues have distributed third party material it will be clear from the sourcing of the photograph. Make sure you pay attention to any restrictions, which may be worded differently from what we are used to. For example, it may say: FRANCE-OUT which we would change to be written in our usual style, i.e. NO ACCESS FRANCE. Sometimes third party restrictions will also have something like: FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NOT FOR SALE, FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. We do not need to add these restrictions as our stories are always for editorial use only, not for sale or for use in marketing or advertising campaigns. But because the stills client base is different, they need to put that in.

You will also probably find that when you add a still photograph to the timeline in your edit, that it will be stretched and you need to “convert it to 16:9”. Even if you do this, you do not treat it like converted 4:3 material in your shotlist. 4:3 and 16:9 are television aspect ratios, they do not refer to still photographs. You just write the dateline as above.

ASPECT RATIO

Since the beginning of 2010, Reuters has been providing video to our clients in the 16:9 aspect ratio.

This presented us with a problem, as some of our clients broadcast in 16:9 and some in 4:3. And while it is now our standard to shoot video in 16:9, on occasions we need to put 4:3 material in our edits. This is generally third party material or file, but may also be because it has come from a stringer who has an old camera which only shoots 4:3.

We convert any 4:3 material into 16:9 by pillarboxing it, which produces black bars down the sides of the image. We never give the clients 4:3 material. It is ALWAYS converted. This can be a confusing concept, so please feel free to discuss this with a senior colleague if it does not make sense to you.

It is imperative we make it very clear to clients when we are including converted 4:3 material in our edits. There are three things you must remember in terms of scripting.

1) IN THE TEMPLATE
In the SOURCE ASPECT field change the W to a P (pillarbox) if your edit is entirely made up of converted 4:3 material.
Change it to an M (mixed) if your edit contains a mixture of both 16:9 and converted 4:3.
This is because clients ingest our material in different ways, and this field tells the ingesting machines some clients use which format they should use to do so. It is extremely important for those clients that we do this every time.

2) AT THE TOP OF YOUR SCRIPT
You must write the following after your restrictions and before the intro.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3

3) IN YOUR SHOTLIST
The dateline for the parts of your edit which includes the converted 4:3 material should read as follows:
PARIS, FRANCE (FILE – AUGUST 2009) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

BEFORE SENDING YOUR SHOTLIST, DOUBLE CHECK YOU HAVE DONE ALL THREE OF THESE THINGS

SOCIAL MEDIA FORMATS
With the rise of social media, you will have to process material which is not a standard broadcast format.

1) Please choose M or P in the template, whichever is appropriate.
2) Amend the aspect ratio information at the top of the script to reflect the format of your material, e.g.:

EDITOR PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY SHOT IN PORTRAIT

Or…

EDITOR PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY SHOT IN SQUARE FORMAT

3. Add the information into the shotlist dateline, e.g.:

PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 13, 2015) (ORIGINALLY SHOT IN PORTRAIT) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE – ACCESS ALL

WRITING SCRIPTS

We are not writing a script for the client to voice up, we are writing a resource for the client to draw on as they write their own script, often in a language other than our working language, English. If your script doesn’t work as a resource, it fails.


YOUR SCRIPT MUST BE

  • Factual
  • Accurate
  • Impartial
  • Clear
  • Simple
  • With impact
  • Without emotive terms or embellishments


STORY LENGTH

The STORY: we write after the shotlist needs to be brief, with just enough detail to make sense of the edit/shotlist (and story):

  • Breakings news (e.g., a bombing): one to three paragraphs (see examples of Iraq bombing and Kim nuclear below)
  • Updates to breaking news: three to five paragraphs (depending if soundbite used)
  • Reaction pieces: five paragraphs (see example of pope below)
  • Arrivals, roundtables etc.: two to five paragraphs (depending if soundbite used)
  • News conferences: four to six paragraphs (consider not including more than two bites, paraphrase the rest)

Features/multimedia edits: likely to need more, but make sure every word counts

File edits/obits/profiles: may need to be considerably longer; again every word needs to count

We no longer need to include soundbites embedded in the script. Many clients use other sources for their writing. Here are examples of stories where you don’t need to include the soundbites in your script:

  • If a ‘bite make sense without further explanation and clients can add it to THEIR script straight from your shotlist
  • If the ‘bite is a straightforward feeling-based reaction, you can paraphrase with a line of script
  • If the ‘bite is an expert giving technical details of a story (e.g. WHO Zika briefing); unless,as below, the ‘bite is the story

When to include ‘bites in the script:

  • The ‘bite is the story, e.g., Merkel announces new migrant controls (you can include that bite in the story and paraphrase any secondary bites)
  • The ‘bite needs explaining, e.g.:“Daesh drove a truck full of C-4 straight at the checkpoint soldiers, then there was a blinding flash and bodies everywhere.” (Daesh being Islamic State, C-4 being a type of plastic explosive)
  • If for any other reason you think the client will be scratching their head over a ‘bite

BREAKING NEWS - EXAMPLE SCRIPTS

We should be intelligent about how we use the ‘paragraphs’ guide above. A few short sentences can have more impact than one long one with sub clauses.

EXAMPLE ONE

A suicide attack on an Iraqi police checkpoint south of Baghdad kills at least 60 people. Islamic State claims responsibility. Your edit contains shots of the scene, showing mangled vehicles and debris. It doesn’t have soundbites and shows only officials and bystanders on the scene.

One line of story will give enough for clients and leave you to get on to the update:

STORY: Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack with an explosive-laden truck on an Iraqi police checkpoint at an entrance of the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad on Sunday (March 6), killing at least 60 people, according to a toll provided by medical and security officials.

But a few terse lines could add impact/context to the story:

STORY: A suicide attack using an explosive-laden truck killed at least 60 people at a police checkpoint at Hilla, Iraq, on Sunday (March 6), medical and security officials said.

Hardline Sunni group Islamic State said it carried out the attack.

A security official said it was the largest bombing to date in the majority Shi’ite area, near Baghdad.

A later update script can tell clients more about the state of play in the Islamic State conflict and why it matters.

EXAMPLE TWO

A more complex breaking news story. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens the use of nuclear weapons. Your edit contains shots of the website where his statement was issued.

Under the new style we could stick with this for first edit (more or less the first two lines of the original text URGENT):

STORY: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to "pre-emptive attack" mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, official media said on Friday (March 4).

The comments, carried by official KCNA news agency on its website, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the U.N. Security Council imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear programme.

Note that in two lines this script tells Who, What, Where, When, How and Why We Should Care.

In fact, the story went out with file shots of Kim watching missile test-firing, so we could add a third paragraph (which also drills home why at least South Korean, Japanese and U.S. clients should care):

North Korea has previously threatened pre-emptive attacks on its enemies including South Korea, Japan and the United States and Kim has been shown on state TV watching missile drills.

NOTE These are GUIDELINES. There will be exceptions. One example is our niche services, such as SHOWBIZ, where in a fashion story a severely brief script would NOT give the client what they need. Double-check with an editor or colleague if you are not sure.

HOW TO CONSTRUCT YOUR STORY

After your shotlist, you should leave one blank line and then start your story, with the word STORY and a colon. Like this:

13. MAN WITH FIST RAISED IN THE AIR
14. VARIOUS OF PROTEST IN PROGRESS

STORY: Hundreds of people attended a rally in Madrid on Monday (October 15), calling for the resignation of the Spanish government.

The story is not intended to be a voice-over but it should explain our edit and provide all the information our clients need to produce their own packages. It should answer the ‘W’ questions – who, what, when, where, why, and how, so they have enough information to tell the story without having to embark on extensive research to make sense of the pictures we have sent them. The story should also have enough contextual information to answer the “so what?” or “why should we care?” questions that clients will be asking before they broadcast our pictures.

Let’s assume we have the following shotlist:

SHOWS: VATICAN CITY (FEBRUARY 11, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS CARRYING LARGE WOODEN CROSS ARRIVING AT ST. PETER'S SQUARE
2. PILGRIMS SINGING AS THEY ENTER ST. PETER'S SQUARE
3. PILGRIM HOLDING BOOK WITH TITLE READING (English): “HE IS ALIVE!"
4. VARIOUS OF PILGRIMS CARRYING WOODEN CROSS ARRIVING AT ST. PETER'S SQUARE
5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRENCH PILGRIM, CECILLE, SAYING:
...."I want to pray for the pope, and first I want to thank God for all the grace he gave to the Church during his pontificate. And I want to pray to the Church to ask the Holy Spirit to work on the Catholic Church during the next few intense weeks that are going to happen."
6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN TOURIST, MELANIE BOWERS, SAYING:
...."I just heard the news when I arrived at the station two hours ago, and I came straight here. I can’t believe this has happened on my first day here. I think it is fine that he has made the decision which is right for him. I wish him all the best for the future.”
7. PILGRIMS WITH WOODEN CROSS OUTSIDE ST. PETER'S BASILICA

For this we can use a general format which works for most scripts:

1) Your first line should tell us exactly what the main point of your story is. If you only had one line to tell your story, this would be it. i.e.

....Pilgrims began arriving at St. Peter’s Square on Monday (February 11), following an announcement by Pope Benedict that he would resign at the end of the month.

2) A line or two of background which provides context to your first line.

....The 85-year-old German-born pontiff said he no longer had the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pope since the Middle Ages to take such a step.

3) Go back to your pictures and what is happening in your story

....As the news filtered out, hundreds of visitors and pilgrims began arriving at St. Peter’s Square.

4) Paraphrase the soundbites:

....They offered to pray for the pope and wished him well.

5) End with another line or two of background that the client can use to help them tell the story. e.g.:

....A Vatican spokesman said the pope would step down from 1900 GMT on February 28.

WRITE TO THE PICTURES

Write to the pictures. If our pictures show pilgrims/tourists arriving at St. Peter’s Square, do not make your story all about which cardinal is likely to replace the pope or a long discussion on the reason for his resignation – it is about the pilgrims and tourists.

IT IS VITAL THAT A HEADLINE FOR A STORY WITH DRAMATIC PICTURES REFLECTS THE VIDEO CONTENT (Not least for clients and our own archive searches)

USING SOUNDBITES IN YOUR STORY

HOW TO INTRODUCE A ‘BITE

If you are including soundbites, be careful how you introduce them. A full line paraphrasing what the speaker is about to say can be lame and add unnecessary padding.

This is good style:

STORY: Portugal's new centre-right president took office on Wednesday (March 9) with a message to the Socialist government that the country must stick to budget rigour demanded by Brussels to avoid future economic crises.

"We have to be loyal to the commitments we have adopted, especially the ones that are part of our foreign policy, such as the European Union," Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told parliament where he was sworn in.

Consider this style too:

STORY: Portugal's new centre-right president took office on Wednesday (March 9) with a message to the Socialist government that the country must stick to budget rigour demanded by Brussels to avoid future economic crises.

After being sworn-in Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said: "We have to be loyal to the commitments we have adopted, especially the ones that are part of our foreign policy, such as the European Union."

Or,

STORY: Portugal's new centre-right president took office on Wednesday (March 9) with a message to the Socialist government that the country must stick to budget rigour demanded by Brussels to avoid future economic crises.

“We have to be loyal to the commitments we have adopted,” Marcelo de Sousa said, after being sworn in, “especially the ones that are part of our foreign policy, such as the European Union."

In this instance the “loyal to commitments” is the headline of the story, so it is appropriate to keep the ‘bite in.

SOUNDBITES NEEDING CONTEXT

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING:
....“That’s exactly what I told him, and he didn’t take it very well.”

How can the client possibly use this soundbite if you do not help them in the script by explaining who or what May is referring to? This is an extreme example, but some are not so obvious, so double-check your soundbites all have enough context to be useful.

YOU DON'T HAVE THE BITES TEXT HAS

If you see a quote running in a Reuters wire, but don't have it in your edit (it may not have been said on camera), but you think it essential to our clients’ understanding of the story, find a way to paraphrase it in the script instead.

Direct quotes should only appear in scripts if we have the corresponding soundbite in the edit. An exception to this is if it is made very clear in the story that a particular quote was made in a statement, or over the phone, when it would never have been possible to have the quote on camera.

Do not start a story with a direct quote. Using a quote at the end of the story is acceptable if it is a“kicker” – that is, rounds the story off well with no need of further explanation.

USING VOX POPS IN STORIES

We often include vox pops in our stories. In these cases be careful not to make a generalisation about what the whole population feels on the basis of one or two comments from people in the street. Rather than saying:

....The people of Athens are angry at the budget cuts.
...."I don't know how I will survive if these austerity measures continue," said Giorgio Yanopolous, who has been unemployed for three years.

It would be better to just keep Giorgio's opinion as his alone. i.e.

....Athens resident Giorgio Yanopolous has been unemployed for three years.
...."I don't know how I will survive if these austerity measures continue," he said.''

Or make your lead into the vox pops more generic. i.e.

....On the streets of Athens, opinion is divided as to whether the budget cuts are good for Greece.
...."I don't know how I will survive if these austerity measures continue," said Giorgio Yanopolous, who has been unemployed for three years.
...."The cuts are essential," said businesswoman Maria Samaras.
...."Greece has to swallow some tough medicine to move forward," she added.

With vox pops, we are simply reflecting a snap shot of opinion held by members of the public. Try and reflect a range of opinion if possible and use at least three of them.



SOURCING/PLAGIARISM

Sometimes you may want to include something in your script which you did not witness yourself or has not come from any of our Reuters colleagues, either on the ground or in the wires. Do this with caution.

Any material we did not gather ourselves MUST be clearly attributed in our scripts to the source, including when that source is a rival organisation. If we don't do this, we are open to charges of plagiarism. If the same information comes from several sources, it is permissible to say, “Reports said...”

You must source every statement in every story, unless it is an established fact or is information clearly in the public domain, such as court documents or in instances when a Reuters reporter, photographer or camera crew was on the scene. We cannot make statements without supporting what we say. Opinion and editorialising are not fact and lay us open to litigation. It goes without saying that you cannot just copy big chunks of text from Wikipedia or other sources on the internet, and act as if it is our own. Not only would we be plagiarising, we have no way of knowing if the information is accurate.

We often use video uppicked from other broadcasters, and more often than not there will be no script provided. In this case you will have to say something like:

“Syrian Television is reporting that a suicide bomb blast in the centre of Damascus has killed at least 10 people.”

Do not write this statement as fact unless it has been verified by our own wire service .

If you decide a script you have been provided with by the bureau requires some extra information and you seek that information from other sources on the Internet, then follow this procedure: 1. If possible, send the script back to the originating bureau for checking or speak to them over the phone about the information you have added. 2. If that's not possible, get the script checked by the sub-editor or another colleague - and be sure to highlight the material you have added. Use your common sense - take great care to ensure the facts you add are correct, and get your script checked by someone who knows more about the subject than you do.

Sometimes you might receive a script from someone and you are suspicious as to whether the story they have written is their own work. This might be because the English is of a different style from their usual scripts, or it includes information you don’t think they could possibly know. If this happens, take a paragraph of their script and put the whole thing into a Google search. It will soon become clear if it has been lifted from another online publication.

NUMBERS IN SCRIPTS

Generally numbers from one to nine should be written out in full, while those from 10 upwards should be written as numerals. But when a sentence begins with a number, always write the number out in full. e.g.:“Fifteen people were killed in the Dagestan car bombing.”
Always write ‘percent’ in full, rather than using the % symbol.
For someone’s age, the wires will say the following: “Joe Bloggs, 60, was arrested.” This is not the way people actually speak, and in television we prefer to follow a ‘spoken’ style in our scripts so you would need to change it to: “Sixty-year-old Joe Bloggs was arrested.”
Keep in mind that you only need to include the person’s age if it is relevant to the story, whereas text often include it as a matter of course. Use your judgment here.

OTHER THINGS TO NOTE

  • We need to be able to explain all of the pictures in our edit. If we have included pictures and then can’t think of anything to say about them, how do we think our clients are going to manage?
  • Many of our clients are not native English speakers
  • Never use the terms “today”,” yesterday” or” tomorrow”. We are a 24-hour news agency serving many different time zones. Use the day and date instead.
  • The first time a day is mentioned in the script, it should be followed by a date in parenthesis. i.e. on Thursday (April 8). After that, the date is not needed. But if you then mention another day. i.e. “Friday”, then it too should be followed by a date in parenthesis the first time.
  • Avoid the use of words with leading meanings or those that cast doubt on what someone says. For example: when quoting someone, always use ‘said’ or ‘told’. Using words such as ‘claimed’ or ‘asserted’ casts doubt on what they say.
  • Full names and titles must be used the first time they are mentioned. After that, just use the family name. Some exceptions to this rule would be if the subject is a child (in which the first name might be more appropriate), if there are two members of the same family with the same surname (you might need to use their first names to differentiate) or with some honorific titles – such as Prince William.
  • After a full stop, there is one space (not two) before starting the next sentence.
  • Paragraphs are indented by four spaces. But as text have recently changed their formatting to make their paragraphs inverted by five spaces, then either four or five is acceptable, just keep it consistent within a single story.
  • We use British spellings for our stories, unless the story is for the AMERICA feed. Make sure both your computer AND iNEWS are set to British English so any American spellings are picked up in the spell check. You can set the language in iNEWS by going to TOOLS – SET LANGUAGE – ENGLISH(UK)
  • Always assume your eyes are the last to see your story and no-one else is going to correct it.
  • Make sure you spell check, but keep a close eye on it – we have often had occasions when the spell check has replaced names with entirely inappropriate words.
  • Also read through thoroughly and check for sense, grammar etc.before handing your script over to be subbed.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Increasingly news breaks online and is distributed via social media, which means we need to spend more time looking for video and verifying it.

It is essential that everything Reuters puts out is properly accessed and compliant with the Reuters Trust Principles. http://thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us/trust-principles.html

Always consult with your regional editor and/or the Editor of the Day in London when sourcing social media material.

The social media desk in London has produced a separate Guide to Social Media. If a hard copy is not available in your bureau, please contact London for a digital copy.

OBTAINING PERMISSION

We must obtain written consent for everything that we source.

Only in extreme circumstances do we run material without the copyright holder’s written permission (please see below).

Make sure the person we are in contact with is the person who shot the video or holds the written authority to deal with it on behalf of the person who did.

As a general rule we need to establish:
1) That the person took the video/photograph themselves
2) That they have not promised the material to anyone else exclusively (non-exclusively is fine)
3) That Reuters can distribute it to clients worldwide on TV and online as per the permission wording
4) How that person would specifically like to be credited

We have standard terminology you can use and pro forma agreement letters/emails which can be translated into local language. You can find them in iNEWS at: SOCIAL-MEDIA.GUIDELINES.PERMISSIONS

The most certain form of consent is written and signed in ink, scanned and emailed to the bureau with a copy of an identity document of the signatory. But very often the pressure of news makes this impossible and we can obtain permission in email form. Try and press for it to be followed up with a written agreement.

As a last resort, people can give consent via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. In that case, make sure that the provider clearly answers ‘Yes’ to the three questions above.

Take a screenshot of your exchanges and retain a hard copy.

Beware of spoofs and fakes. We are seeing an increasing amount of material which is not genuine. If in doubt, consult with the social media desk in London.

Always consult with your regional editor or the EOD in London.

This is the warning which should appear at the top of the script, above the intro.

THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER-GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. REUTERS’ SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM HAS VERIFIED THE CONTENT AND OWNERSHIP BY CONTACTING THE UPLOADER AND HAS RECEIVED PERMISSION TO DISTRIBUTE IT. IT HAS BEEN REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR AND WE ARE CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE

VIDEO WITHOUT PERMISSION

Occasionally we take material from social media when it is clear that it’s for public distribution and the source is not communicating. i.e. Islamic State, Boko Haram and some Syrian rebel groups.

This can only be done in consultation with the regional editor and the EOD, who may refer up to global editorial management.

In those circumstances we will only issue the video after considerable effort has gone into verification and once we are as certain as we can be that the video portrays the events in question.

Scripts for the video (including all battlefield footage) should contain the following qualification above the intro.

THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS’ SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE.

SOURCES

This section sets out some clarifications concerning a number of news, or quasi-news, organisations operating in the social media sphere.

1. AMAQ It makes sense to source Amaq items to Amaq. We shall continue, however, to include the full health warnings we use for social media video. There should also be a line in the script to explain Amaq's affiliation to Islamic State. Thus:

SOURCE: AMAQ NEWS AGENCY - ACCESS ALL

SAID TO BE (ADD DATE)
SAID TO BE (ADD LOCATION)

FULL HEALTH WARNING:
THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS' SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE

Line in script:
Video released on the Internet by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency shows ...

2. WHITE HELMETS Video from the White Helmets should now be sourced to them. Full health warnings and a line in the script.

SOURCE: WHITE HELMETS - ACCESS ALL

SAID TO BE (ADD DATE)
SAID TO BE (ADD LOCATION)

FULL HEALTH WARNING:
THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS' SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE

Line in script:
Video released on the Internet by the civil defence group known as the White Helmets shows ...

3. ANHA ANHA is a Kurdish news agency and our Istanbul team accesses individual clips formally through our Diyabakir stringer. We can treat ANHA as a conventional uppick. No need for health warnings:

SOURCE: ANHA: ACCESS ALL/ MUST COURTESY ANHA/ NO USE AFTER (30 DAYS FROM TRANSMISSION DATE)/ DO NOT REMOVE OR OBSCURE LOGO

4. SYRIAN GOVT CENTRAL MILITARY MEDIA Ideally, if we spot Central Military Media pix on the Internet, we should ask Damascus colleagues to see if they can access the material, perhaps in better quality and with fewer logos. This is not always possible, so sometimes we do take the material from the Internet. In this case, we treat the cover as we would any military handout, being careful to source all claims to the organisation in the script.

SOURCE: CENTRAL MILITARY MEDIA - ACCESS ALL

5. SMART, AMC and other larger YouTube channels covering the Syria conflict. Until further notice we are treating all other Syria-related social media channels as conventional UGC with full health warnings.

SOURCE: SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL

SAID TO BE (ADD DATE)
SAID TO BE (ADD LOCATION)

FULL HEALTH WARNING:
THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS' SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE

Line in script:
Video released on the Internet by XXXX shows...

SITE MONITORING GROUP

The SITE monitoring group often provides video with the SITE logo and a full transcript. This can be used after consultation with the Washington Bureau. It is to be sourced to: SITE INTEL GROUP with the restriction: MUST COURTESY 'SITE INTEL GROUP'

It needs to run with the following warning above the intro for the script:

THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS OBTAINED FROM SITE MONITORING GROUP. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS' SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE.

VIRAL VIDEO

TO BE UPDATED

CAPTION VIDEO

TO BE UPDATED

SUBBING

Our subbing system is a devolved one where most scripts will be subbed locally by a colleague. There is the additional resource of a dedicated sub in London (working between 0900 – 2000 hours daily – that’s GMT in winter and BST in summer).

Here’s how to script sub an edit:.

  • Open the edit on Media Express, WNE monitor or download a version to your desktop (remember to delete afterwards).
  • Check slate information on the edit corresponds to the template.
  • Check all information in the template and the restrictions in the script. Most errors occur under the WHO, WHAT, WHERE WHEN categories, if you add SAYS WHO (source) and HOW TO THEY SAY IT (languages). If you check these through the template, script and shotlist you’ll have already covered where 50 percent plus of our errors come from.
  • Read the headline to yourself, check it word for word for spelling – that catches the one error area where mistakes shine out like a beacon.
  • Scroll through the video, making sure the shotlist matches. Listen to the soundbites that are in English (or any other languages you understand) and make sure the transcriptions in the shotlist correspond.
  • Double-check the restrictions. If something appears odd about the restrictions (e.g. uppick material running as ACCESS ALL) double-check with producer.
  • If there is a relevant wire related to the story, have a read through the latest one to make sure the script you are subbing does not have information/spellings/titles etc which conflict with it or need updating.
  • Read through the story carefully. As a fresh pair of eyes you will pick up mistakes the producer may have missed. Check the following:
    • Does it make sense?
    • Are you left with questions which the story hasn't answered?
    • Check facts, including numbers and dates.
    • Check the spelling of names and places not featured in wire.
    • Check grammar.
    • Make sure 'RESENDING WITH FULL SCRIPT' and any other notes to editors are written below the restrictions and above the intro.
    • Put your initials (e.g. LM-R) in the next free initial box in the template, send the script, put the feed code in the TX’d box and copy (drag and drop) the whole script into the appropriate feed’s script queue.
  • Always run a spell check, you can find the iNews ‘Spelling’ checker under ‘Tools’. You can also set up Microsoft Word to proof and it’s faster than iNews and picks up more errors.
  • Some bureaux have the practice of subbing the template before it is sent. This is a good practice and we should all accommodate such subbing requests where we can.
  • The London subs are a very useful point of contact for gnarly style or detail questions; please reach out to them if you are stuck on an issue.

COMMUNICATING WITH LONDON

A brief note to our global teams on communication with London.

One of the most difficult jobs London has to do is keep track of what the Direct Inject (DI) bureaux and hubs are all working on. At any given time clients expect us to know what is happening across our global file and we need to be able to tell them.

This means that consistent communication with London is vital and various systems have been put in place to help make that happen. The information we ask for is used to form advisories, logs and archive lists – as well as to answer the multitude of questions and requests received from clients via phone, email and the Media Express chatroom.

We are very aware of how busy you are, but your co-operation and adherence to the procedures is much appreciated.

COMMUNICATING WITH INTAKE

Although you may well be largely self-sufficient, please be in touch with Intake by phone, topline, RM or email (the method of contact depending on the urgency of the situation!) for breaking news. Letting us know what you are planning helps us keep clients updated, and as we are aware of what they are asking for we may be able to assist with ideas and decision-making.

LIVE OFFERS

London needs to know about any live opportunities as soon as they are on the horizon, so that the CMS entry (which advises the clients) can be prepared in plenty of time. Whenever possible, please email a written offer to TVINTAKE with the following information: Slug, headline (fewer than 60 characters), location, a description of the live with the names of who is expected to speak if appropriate, source, restrictions, aspect ratio, whether it is SD or HD, delivery method and who will be co-ordinating the live with their contact details.

Here's an example of a live offer:

December 6
TIME TBC
SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-MAD-DOR/ZIDANE
MADRID, Spain – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane looks ahead to his team’s Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund
LIVEU – PLS ADVISE SERVER
COORD - TBC
REUTERS (ACCESS ALL)
HD

Sometimes you will not know all of this information, but please give us what you know and then you can update us as the information becomes available. It takes several minutes for the CMS to be prepared, so even if the live is only a possibility, giving us any information you can straight away allows us to be ready to go when it becomes more definite.

Once the email has been sent, call the desk and have a verbal conversation about the offer. It will be much easier for the Intake Editor to make a decision on the live when they have the information in front of them.

Obviously, sometimes there are breaking news situations where a live appears unexpectedly and needs to be put out without delay, in which case a phone call should be your first move. But experience suggests this is rare; there is almost always some lead time to work with.

FLASH OFFERS

Please follow the following procedure if you have a flash to offer.

  • Call London to let them know you are working on an edit and when you expect it will be available to flash. This means we can give clients as much notice as possible.
  • Give London the edit number and fill in any information you know in the script template – especially a headline telling us what the flash is going to be about. You can always change this later if you need to.
  • Start working on your edit.
  • Update the template with information as you go, so the Helpdesk can make any changes to the CMS and slate as necessary. London will use this information to help prepare the CMS entry.
  • Let London know if, for any reason, the flash is likely to be delayed.
  • Call London when you are ready to flash.

For other diaried events there is no need for a direct conversation, but please advise of any changes as soon as you are aware of them. If there are stories that have not been entered into News Planner or information is missing, then please update this directly with Intake also.

Please remember Intake Editors are extremely busy. While they would love to chat, they generally don’t have time and are being inundated with information from all angles. Please be brief and concise when speaking to them, especially by phone or topline. It will make their day easier if you just give them the vital information they need, without too much preamble!

OTHER USEFUL STUFF

CORRECTIONS/WITHDRAWALS

Reuters is always transparent when there is a need to correct information related to a story. For video, this means informing the clients as quickly as possible when there is a mistake in an edit or script. The procedure will generally be managed by an editor, but as a producer you may be asked to do any or all of these steps.

CORRECTIONS

In the script: 1) Change the slug to add the word CORRECTION between the story number and the slug itself, like this:

1234-CORRECTION-IRAN NUCLEAR/IAEA/SPOKESMAN

2) Add, to the top of the script, an explanation of why the story has been resent, e.g.:

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: RESENDING THIS STORY TO CORRECT THE DATE IN THE SHOTLIST TO JANUARY 11, 2016 (SHOTLIST ORIGINALLY SAID JANUARY 11, 2015)

3) Send the script to the original feed(s). Then, dupe your script to the OUTPUT.CORRECTIONS queue, where it will act as a record of the incident.

If it is a significant correction, we must also do the following:

4) Issue an advisory telling clients the story has been corrected and why, and continue to carry the message on rolling advisories for the next 12 hours.

5) Send an email to the email group ‘Global-TV-Corrections’ with the subject line: ATTENTION PACKAGING PRODUCERS/EDITORS – REF. (for example) EDIT NUMBER 1100WD-CORRECTION-SPAIN-ECONOMY. This is an internal group of anyone who needs to be informed – such as packaging producers. ET Now, Reuters website producers etc. There are some other non-Reuters email addresses we should copy to; you can find those in the OUTPUT.PROCEDURES queue, under CORRECTIONS/WITHDRAWALS

WITHDRAWALS

Sometimes the problem with the story is so severe the story must be withdrawn completely. The procedure is similar: 1) Change the slug to add the word WITHDRAWAL between the story number and the slug itself, like this:

1234-WITHDRAWAL-IRAN NUCLEAR/IAEA/SPOKESMAN

2) Add, to the top of the script, an explanation of why the story has been withdrawn, i.e.:
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS STORY HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN BECAUSE (here add the reason for the withdrawal – be transparent). PLEASE MAKE NO FURTHER USE OF THIS EDIT

Also add, if applicable: A REPLACEMENT STORY WILL BE SENT AS EDIT – here add the number and slug for the new story.

You must check the wording of the withdrawal information on the script with an editor or the Sub before resending your script.

3) Send the script to the original feed(s). Then, dupe the withdrawn script into the OUTPUT.CORRECTIONS queue, where it will act as a record of the incident.

4) Overwrite the video with black. For details on how to do this please see the OUTPUT.PROCEDURES queue and look for CORRECTIONS/WITHDRAWALS, or speak to the Picture Supervisor.

EXAMPLES OF WITHDRAWALS AND CORRECTIONS 1) We do not have access to the images – WITHDRAWAL 2) The images were incorrectly sourced, although accessible by Reuters – CORRECTION 3) The story is not true, the video is not what it claims to be – WITHDRAWAL 4) Details in headline/intro/shotlist/script are incorrect – CORRECTION

CONTACTING A BUREAU/FIELD PRODUCER

There will be times when a producer in London or DI bureaux/hubs may want to contact someone in another bureau or in the field to clarify something about one of their scripts. If the person who has written the script is logged into iNEWS, then send them a brief, polite topline with your question, or if it is complicated, ask if it is ok to give them a call. Remember, they are often very busy, and you must be conscious of that.

If they are not logged into iNEWS then you should be able to find their phone number in CONTACTS.ALL under the country name. But in this case, it is advisable to have a discussion with the Intake, Output Editor (in London) or local editor first, so you can check whether it is ok to ring them. It is possible the person on the ground has been working 18- hours straight, and has a very short time in which they are able to get some sleep before starting again the next day. Always be conscious of the time zone in which the producer is working. If they have left the office for the day, or are working in the field, then calling them might be inappropriate. The Intake/Output Editors will have a much better idea of the circumstances in which they are working/resting and will advise whether you should call them or not. They may also be able to offer some suggestions on other ways you can find out the information you are looking for.

BOLDING AND UNDERLINING IN INEWS

Please keep in mind that any bolding or underlining in iNEWS (apart from the restrictions at the top of the script) will not appear in your final script – so there is no point in doing it.

PROCEDURES QUEUE

The PROCEDURES queue in inews contains a wealth of information on what we do and how we do it. You should make yourself familiar with this queue. When we have a change in policy on how to do something, this is where you will find the information. From how to book a company taxi to how to source material by our stringers in conflict zones, this is the place to look. It sits just under the OUTPUT folder.

QUALITY AS INCOMING/AUDIO AS INCOMING

Sometimes we need to put out material that we don’t feel reaches our standard level of quality – this is generally third party material that we consider so important, that even though it is of low quality, it is of use to the clients. When this happens, we like to warn the clients of the situation. We do this by:

1) Putting the phrase QUALITY AS INCOMING on the slate
2) Putting the phrase EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING at the top of the script

Sometimes the quality of the pictures is fine, but there are problems with the audio. In this case, replace the word QUALITY with AUDIO, so that it says: AUDIO AS INCOMING

This way the clients know that the problems with the sound are inherent to the story, and not a result of the way it has been transmitted to them.

GRAPHIC CONTENT

When an edit contains graphic images, such as severe injury, mutilation, body parts or bodies, we should place the following warning on the script:

EDITORS PLEASE NOTES, GRAPHIC AND TASTE WARNINGS

The phrase EDITORS PLEASE NOTE should only be used when warning the clients of something unusual or if there are graphic material/taste issues in the edit. It should NOT be used for standard notifications such as RESENDING WITH FULL SCRIPT

GRAPHIC CONTENT

When an edit contains graphic images, such as severe injury, mutilation, body parts, bodies or large amounts of blood, we need to make this very clear to clients by doing the following:

  • Tick the ‘Graphic’ checkbox in your iNEWS template
  • Put the following warning above the intro of your script:

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES

  • Write the following on your slate, using this exact wording and style (with the asterisks/stars):

**CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES**

This warning should appear at the bottom of the slate after all other details.

Set a low bar for these warnings of graphic imagery: clients need to know anything that might affect their workflow as they process our material.

If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult the Output Editor, Editor of the Day or any senior colleague. Never send a story containing images you have the slightest doubt about without seeking a second pair of eyes.

TASTE WARNINGS

We also need to add warnings when an edit contains images that some clients may consider to be in poor taste. Typically, an edit may contain nudity, profane language or obscene gestures. The warnings should be as follows:

  • Tick the ‘Nudity’ or ‘Profanity’ checkbox in your iNEWS template (whichever is appropriate)
  • Put the following warning above the intro of your script, choosing the particular taste issue that applies:

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS NUDITY/ PARTIAL NUDITY/ DEPICTIONS OF NUDITY/ PROFANE LANGUAGE/ OBSCENE GESTURES

  • Be precise about the nature of the images concerned. Do not confuse nudity with partial nudity, or with a depiction of nudity, for example.
  • Write a warning on your slate, using the precise nature of the images concerned and the following style (with the asterisks/stars). i.e.:

**CONTAINS NUDITY**

Or:,

**CONTAINS PROFANE LANGUAGE**

This warning should appear at the bottom of the slate after all other details.

Set a low bar for warnings concerning taste: clients need to know anything that might affect their workflow as they process our material.

Again, do not hesitate to consult the Output Editor, Editor of the Day or any senior colleague if you are in any doubt. Never send a story containing images you have the slightest doubt about without seeking a second pair of eyes.


TERROR/TERRORISM

We need to be very careful about using the words ‘terror’ and/or ‘terrorism’ in our headlines, intros, shotlists and scripts. Our guidelines are as follows:

“We may refer without attribution to terrorism and counter-terrorism in general, but do not refer to specific events as terrorism. Nor do we use the adjective "terrorist" without attribution to describe specific individuals, groups or events. Terrorism and terrorist must be retained when quoting someone in direct speech. When quoting someone in indirect speech, care must be taken with sentence structure to ensure it is entirely clear that they are the source's words and not a Reuters label. Terrorism and terrorist should not be used as single words in quotation marks (e.g. "terrorist") or preceded by so-called (e.g. a "so-called terrorist attack"), since that can be taken to imply that Reuters is making a value judgment.”

Unless actually quoting someone, try to find an alternative word or expression. For example, an attack on the Chechen parliament is best described as a "suicide attack", or an "attack by armed insurgents". In many cases an “attack” is all that is needed.

NEWS CONFERENCES

Reuters does not use ‘press conference’ or ‘presser’ in our stories or shotlists. Instead, it should be referred to as a ‘news conference’. Neither do we refer to our colleagues as ‘the press’. Instead use ‘the media’ ‘journalists’ or ‘camera crews’ – whichever is appropriate. The word ‘press’ refers to newspaper journalists only.

ABBREVIATIONS

Please make sure that the first time an organisation is mentioned in a shotlist, it is given its full title with its abbreviation in parenthesis. After that, just the abbreviation is fine. i.e.

1. FLAGS FLYING OUTSIDE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) BUILDING
2. EU LEADERS GATHERING OUTSIDE FRONT OF BUILDING

But please revert to the full name when giving someone’s title. i.e.:
PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, DONALD TUSK, WALKING INTO ROOM

Like our text colleagues we abbreviate the United States as U.S. and the United Nations as U.N. with full stops in our scripts. But in our slugs it would be USA and UN, with no full stops.

NO ACCENTS OR SPECIAL CHARACTERS

Please note, we cannot use special characters such as accents and umlauts in any part of our scripting process, as these can become corrupted.

CURRENCY

When we refer to $ in our script, we mean US dollars. There was a time when the $ sign corrupted our scripts, but this is no longer the case, so we should use the $ sign rather than write it out as ‘U.S. dollars’ as previously instructed. It is also ok to use ‘pound’ to refer to the British currency, ‘euros’ for the European currency, and ‘yen’ for the Japanese currency, but with other currencies please make sure you also refer to the countries they belong to. i.e. Australian dollars or A$, Algerian dinars or Philippine pesos.

Please note the word being used for the currency should not have a capital letter at the beginning, so it should be ‘euro’ not ‘Euro’.

Convert all currencies into an approximate U.S. dollar equivalent in brackets i.e. 100 pounds ($155 approx) to help clients understand the values we are talking about.

METRIC VERSUS IMPERIAL

Use metric measurements in scripts (i.e. kilometres, kilograms, litres etc) and provide an imperial measurement in brackets afterwards if you feel it is an essential element to the story. i.e. the record weight of a gold nugget.

DON'T HAVE COMPLETE INFORMATION FOR SHOTLIST?

There are times when you might be missing a crucial piece of information for your shotlist i.e. you may be waiting for a translation of a soundbite, or need to check on the name or position of someone speaking and it’s going to take some time. In this case, do not wait to do the rest of the shotlist, do everything you can and draw attention to the missing information.

Here are two examples:

1. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER, URSULA VON DER LEYEN, SAYING:
...."TRANSLATION TO FOLLOW”

2. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SHOP OWNER, (NAME TO FOLLOW), SAYING:
...."Profits were meagre and there were no demands on this industry."

Our clients are often desperate to get started on their stories, and would prefer to have incomplete information rather than having to wait for a very small part of the shotlist to be finalised.

WHAT IF I'M NOT IN iNEWS?

If you are working in a situation where you are not on iNEWS or if you are a stringer who does not have access to iNEWS, please follow the same procedure as best you can using email. If you are dealing directly with London the email address to send all script information to is tvintake@thomsonreuters.com

Please do NOT send your scripts as attachments, they should be in the body of the email.

Send the template information as soon as you can in the following format, so that producers can prepare the iNEWS template at their end. Remember – they cannot send the video to the clients without this information, and that is why it is needed ASAP.

SLUG: ROMANIA-PROTEST
HEADLINE: Bucharest residents protest against austerity measures
DURATION: 2:35
LOCATIONS: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
DATE SHOT: JUNE 27, 2013
SOUND: NATURAL WITH ROMANIAN AND ENGLISH SPEECH
SOURCE ASPECT: W
SOURCE DEFINITION: S
SOURCE: REUTERS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE'

Your next email should include both the template information, intro and shotlist – as well as a note saying that the story is to follow.

The third email should have the template information, intro, shotlist, and story.

You should ALWAYS send a story unless for some reason it has been agreed with intake that you do not need to send one for that particular edit. If that is the case, please be sure to give an explanation under your shotlist as to why no script is required and who it was agreed with, otherwise producers in the bureau/London will always be expecting one and will be waiting for it.

Powered by MediaWiki
GNU Free Documentation License 1.2