Broadcast Journalism: Consistency & Change in the Industry

May 28, 2014

Author: Bill Einreinhofer, Chair, Broadcast Journalism Department, New York Film Academy

Broadcast Journalism

There was a time, not so long ago, when it was relatively easy to define the term “Broadcast Journalism.” No more…

Cable TV has evolved into what’s been called the “thousand channel universe.” News/Talk programming can be found in a bewildering array of formats, points-of-view and languages.

New, online platforms add to this diversity. Not only do all of the traditional broadcast outlets now have web-based components, but totally new players have emerged as well. One service, called Now This News, caters to people who get their information primarily through smart phones and other mobile devices. Even the venerable New York Times is posting short and long-form video reports on its website.

Yet, despite these fundamental shifts in the media marketplace, some things haven’t changed. That’s because there are a series of core competencies that transcend distribution platforms.

There is a “vocabulary” of forms and techniques that are applicable to virtually every type of broadcast journalism. To be successful in this highly competitive field, these skills are essential. They are at the core of the Broadcast Journalism program at the New York Film Academy.

You must know how to shoot, script and edit Voiceovers. You must be able to research, produce, report, shoot, write, narrate and edit News Packages. You must be able to create in-depth Interview Profiles. You must be able to master the dynamics of the Long-Form Story.

Equally important, you must be able to function in a studio-based environment. On-camera skills are first learned, then developed. No one instinctively knows how to read copy from a teleprompter, or how to introduce or “tag” field reports. Producing a newscast is a complex, collaborative process. Working behind the camera is just as challenging as working in front of it.

These are acquired skills, relevant across all media platforms. They are the foundation of hard news, sports news, fashion news, entertainment news and virtually every other form of broadcast journalism, both on-air and online.

Based in New York City, arguably the media capital of the world, the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program draws upon the city itself as a resource. Our students come from across the United States, and around the world. Some have undergraduate degrees, but lack the hands-on skills necessary to succeed. Some are already practicing journalists, who come to take their skills to the “next level.” Some have no prior experience at all, but are determined to succeed.

Now, more than ever, there is a need for individuals capable of taking complex information and communicating it to diverse, discerning audiences. The NYFA Broadcast Journalism program is preparing journalists to meet today’s challenges, and tomorrows.

Bill Einreinhofer is Chair of the NYFA Broadcast Journalism department. A three-time Emmy Award winner, he has developed and produced programming for PBS, CBS, ABC, Discovery and HBO. His work has been seen on major broadcast and satellite channels in North America, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.