The Complete Reuters Video News Handbook

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Introduction

We can be proud of our coverage of international news. We transmit hundreds of images around the world and around the clock. We should always be mindful of the fact, though, that we are only as good as our last picture or script and that our clients will judge us daily on our visual and written product. This means we have to be constantly vigilant about maintaining the highest possible standards in the way we shoot and write our stories.

Reuters is well known for its professionalism, its journalistic integrity and its accuracy. We need to ensure consistency in the way in which we work so that we never fall short of our clients' expectations and our own high standards. These guidelines should make it easier to attain a uniformity of style which makes us unique.

As well as being scrupulous about standards, positive and informed, we should also be striving to extend ourselves, to be original and distinctive in the way we shoot and write, to capture the moment, to put events into context. We should choose images, sound and words carefully, so that we can tell a story with ease, or with the appearance of ease. Without context, we can't understand a story as it unfolds.

It takes skill and patience to produce articulate images that tell a story, pictures that capture location, atmosphere, mood and personality, but that should be our goal so that those watching our footage and reading our scripts care about what is being told and understand it.

We should always strive to be better than our competitors and, to this end, be aware that we need to continually improve. There is no reason why we as an agency cannot match or even overtake broadcasters in the quality of our output and we should at the very least be able to satisfy their broadcast needs. To achieve this, we need to be familiar with the basics of framing and composition, the most effective camera movements, the implications of angles and shots sizes and an ability to communicate clearly.

We have an impressive pool of talented and professional people at Reuters and we should respect each other’s work and the efforts involved. When our camera operators have taken time and trouble to provide strong images, we should do them justice by editing them with the same measure of skill and application.

Some of the following guidelines are based on sound television practice; others are simply a matter of style. Having a universal set of standards is a sign of professionalism and that is why people should constantly refer to these guidelines to ensure they are following the house-style.

So, however long or short a time you have worked for Reuters or in other areas of television, I hope you will find these guidelines useful and directly applicable to your daily work. Some of the guidelines are new, others are a revision of previous practices, but please read them to ensure you are up-to-date with current thinking.

Any suggestions or comments you may want to make on these guidelines are most welcome. If you want to discuss any issue arising from them, you can contact me on 00 44 207 542 2481, or by email Liz.Havern@reuters.com.


The Reuters Video News Handbook is organised in to the following sections:

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