Who does what in television news?
- 10 February 2012
- From the section Teacher resources
Broadcasting news on television requires a closely co-ordinated team with a variety of important editorial and production roles all combining to create great programmes and reports.
When your reporting team is working on School Report, it's a good idea to think about which members of the team would be suited to different roles.
It's important to remember that all the roles are important! The editor might make a big decision about what stories to cover, but if the reporters don't complete a story or the camera operator can't work the equipment, the whole thing starts to go wrong!
You can also find more in-depth guides and tips in the links alongside the roles.
Key roles in television news
Directors makes sure that the editorial and technical sides of the programme come together on-air.
They tell other members of the crew, like camera operators and presenters, what they need.
They will also take decisions on lighting, camera shots, graphics, and generally controlling the way the show looks and feels.
It is also crucial that programmes run to time, so a director will usually nominate someone to count down when different sections of the programme need to finish by.
The editor oversees the overall process of putting a news programme together.
They choose stories, decide how long to allocate to each item and decide the order in which to run them.
Their decisions will affect the tone of the packages, the weight given to each story and how the news programme looks and feels overall.
Floor managers have overall responsible for the safety of everyone in the studio or wherever filming is taking place.
The floor manager is effectively the "eyes and ears" and "hands and feet" of the director in the studio.
They ensure that producers have the correct scripts, and help guests and interviewees get on and off set.
Producers oversee the creation of material for a programme. Their jobs can vary depending on the nature of the programme, but most news packages require scripting, filming and editing.
This requires an in-depth knowledge of every stage of that process, and an ability to make sound editorial judgement in order to achieve a certain style or message for their piece.
Depending on the story, they will have a hand in finding stories to cover, setting up a shoot, making sure the reporters have the information they need, and putting the material into a package once it has been created.
Presenters host the programme on screen and need to be as professional and polished as possible. They read the headlines and introduce packages from reporters.
They may also conduct live interviews and take part in outside broadcasts.
Camera operators are responsible for filming the pictures needed for the programme.
This can mean going out into the field to film something newsworthy or to be in the studio, filming the presenters as they read the news.
Reporters will be sent out to investigate a story that interests the programme editor. This involves gathering the news by finding out all the relevant information and checking the facts, sometimes working alongside a producer.
This can involve interviewing those involved or affected by the story, or attending news conferences, where organisations such as the police address a number of reporters at the same time to inform them about the story.
The reporter will create a "package" (an edited piece created for the programme beforehand) or conduct a "two-way" (an interview between the presenter in the studio and the reporter on location).
Senior reporters or those who specialise in a particular area are sometimes called correspondents.
Researchers find the people, places and information that bring news to life.
If a news package is being made, they might be asked to find contributors and locations, generate ideas, locate music, stills, and archive footage and organise rights clearances.
Researchers need to be highly organised because they will need to keep track of facts, figures and contact details. They will normally work to an assistant producer or a producer, who will manage and oversee them.
The sound mixer uses the sound mixing desk to select the different sources. These include microphones, video tape and CDs. They use the "faders" on the desk to make sounds louder (fade up) or quieter (fade down).
The vision mixer uses the vision mixing equipment to select pictures from a number of sources. These include cameras, video tapes and graphics.
They use their equipment to cut, mix or wipe between the sources depending on what the director wants.