Overview of our 1-Year Broadcast Journalism Program
NYFA's Broadcast Journalism Program is offered at our New York Campus only.
The New York Film Academy is training the next generation of journalists to be prepared to navigate the evolving landscape of journalism in the 21st Century. Working with top broadcast and investigative journalists, the New York Film Academy created an intensive hands-on curriculum to address the pressing demand for multi-skilled, independent journalists on broadcast television, cable, and the Internet.
Students are introduced to cutting-edge digital technology and methods that are now being used professionally in the field. Today’s journalists are expected to research, write, shoot, produce, edit, and even appear on camera in their own field reports and investigative segments. In small crews or even solo, these intrepid reporters are the fastest growing part of the journalism profession. Our journalism programs will challenge students to practice and develop these skills in preparation to enter this exciting and competitive field.
Through study and hands-on practice, students are trained in the fundamental principles, techniques, and craft of contemporary journalism. This is accomplished through a combination of lecture, demonstration, in-class hands-on production, and the students’ own work. Each student produces a series of prerecorded news projects, shot both single and multi-camera and edited on Avid Media Composer.
Students who complete this program should be able to confidently research, produce, shoot, write, report, narrate, and edit news projects suitable for broadcast and the Internet. The first semester provides a foundation in journalistic skills in this digital age that students apply to more advanced work in the second semester where the focus is on a live weekly newscast. Students learn the process of show production as they rotate positions that include anchor, reporter, writer, producer, cameraperson and director.
Courses & Projects
Semester One Classes
This course is the spine of the program and encompasses the principles and foundation of news-gathering and production. All student projects are introduced in class and it is the venue where they are viewed and critiqued. Topics include: Story ideas and development, research, basic reporting, producing and directing single and multiple camera shoots, live and remote production. Classes are geared towards preparing students for their own productions throughout the year.
Hands-On Camera & Lighting
Functions, operation, and use of the HD digital video camera and associated equipment. Training for shooting in the field and in the studio. Students learn to operate professional cameras and production equipment enabling them to technically execute single and multi-camera productions and understand the necessities of a variety of shooting environments and conditions. Lighting is a key element in this class, and students will learn basic three-point lighting techniques, lighting for various interview situations, and lighting on location.
Students learn to record in a multitude of situations. Students also learn mixing and communications. Training encompasses wireless, interview, and boom microphone techniques.
In these teacher-supervised labs, the process of producing, shooting, interviewing and sound recording for news projects is put into practice. Each workshop is an opportunity for students to implement and examine in a controlled environment the techniques they are learning in class. Prior to the execution of their individual projects, students meet with the Production Workshop instructor for review of their preparation. Required materials may include scripts, location details, and shooting schedule.
Students train on the non-linear editing system, Avid Media Composer. They master fundamental editing tools and techniques using this software. Students edit their own projects, and can supplement classes with individual consultations at the editing station. Students are taught the skills of editing nonfiction material, both practical and aesthetic. Topics include editing terminology/vocabulary, time code, cutting styles, organizational tools and rules for editing, and building the story in post.
This class addresses subjects of specific relevance to outside projects. Topics include story structure; writing commentary; rights, ethics and law; broadcast studies.
Semester One Projects
As producers, students have to identify and make arrangements for their subjects, choose and secure locations, prepare equipment, arrange the preparation and set up of the locations, and make final technical checks. Student journalists are required to edit and deliver their projects for viewing and critiques.
While the subject matter of national network news programs, local TV newscasts, sports, entertainment and lifestyle programs are totally different, they all employ the same journalistic techniques. The ways they use them are radically different.
Students develop projects that fit with their career goals. The types of projects to be completed include:
The News Package
The Interview Profile
The Long-Form Story
The Feature Story
The Special Report
In the VO (voiceover) project students use video and natural sound to help tell a story. Each student chooses a topic, shoots video, writes copy, narrates and edits a 30 second segment.
The News Package
Each student introduces a newsworthy idea, initially as a “story pitch.” Students shoot their own footage, conduct interviews, write, edit and narrate. They also learn how to do “stand-ups.” The stand-up is the on-location appearance of the reporter on-camera. Graphic elements are developed for the story, including (but not limited to) lower-third ID’s and story locators. The News Package runs approximately 2 minutes in length.
The Interview Profile
An in depth interview is an important way to use a character to tell a story. Students learn to identify good interview subjects, appropriate locations and work on the skills and techniques of asking questions that elicit news, a relevant story and/or important information. The “in their own words” piece will run approximately 4 minutes.
The Long-Form Story
“Magazine-style” news programs, such as 60 Minutes and Dateline NBC, feature long-form stories. These reports, running six minutes or longer, are more complex than the standard news package, introducing multiple characters through the use of classic narrative storytelling. While a news package incorporates brief interview excerpts (“sound bites”), the long-form story allows for the inclusion of more thoughtful comments. A major challenge is developing a story that can sustain viewer interest and engage diverse audiences.
The Feature Story
The Feature Story is a mainstay of virtually all nonfiction television genres. Unlike “breaking news” stories, in feature stories there is less emphasis on timeliness. Instead, unique characters and unexpected events often form the basis of the report. They can have strong emotional content, and run the gamut from hilarious to tragic. Sometimes referred to as “back of the book” stories, they are positioned as “evergreens,” much like trees that remain green year-round. A good feature story can run today, tomorrow, next week or next month. The main character in this two-minute story should be empathetic and engaging.
The Special Report
The final assignment of the first semester is also the most ambitious. The Special Report (also called Team Coverage) is a an essential element in broadcast news programs. Working as a group, students tackle different aspects of a major story. When conducting interviews, each student asks questions that elicit information useful in one or more segments. Similarly, when shooting on-location footage, students consider the visual requirements of the entire series, not just their own segment. In this way, students are prepared for second semester coursework, which places a premium on collaboration and cooperation.
Semester Two Classes & Projects
Through the second semester, students gain full understanding of news coverage from inception to broadcast, as they produce their own biweekly newscasts. There is focus on both the practice and theory of studio and location reporting and the combination of these elements from every aspect of production. There is also a strong emphasis on web casting and the use of new and next media in the news industry.
Broadcast Production Workshop
Broadcast Production Workshop comprises the bulk of Second Semester class, production time and projects. Students devote the majority of their week to story research and development, and preparation and production of the biweekly broadcast. The second semester instructor acts as Executive Producer, as students fill the roles of show producers, assignment desk editor, anchors, reporters, writers and field producers.
In these teacher-supervised labs, live and remote production methods are put into practice. The instructor assigns stories to student news reporters and the accompanying crews with real time deadlines for live coverage. This Production Workshop will break down the various elements of news broadcasting operations and build towards combining the elements into a complete show involving the control room and studio, live remotes and the employment of the various associated technologies. At times, students will be reporting live. The program they create, NYFA News, is produced biweekly.
Additional topics include in-studio and in-field communications, and well as live sound mixing, and advanced editing tools and techniques using Avid Media Composer.
Through their work in this Production Workshop, students build a substantial portfolio that adds to the their work from first semester, and can be used to develop a professional reel for presentation to potential employers.
*Please note: Special Topics classes address subjects of specific relevance to support the information being covered in class, and will meet as needed and/or upon availability of the lecturer or guest speaker.