More than just a primer for broadcast journalism students, this book's advice to TV cubs on message development, narrative story-telling, and a story's human elements should be reverse-engineered by PR pros into a tip sheet for strategizing and pitching stories to broadcast media.
Freedman writes very well, even on technical issues like microphone choices and lighting. He obviously cares about quality news and feature writing, and respects his subject and audience. With 44 Emmys, he earns a healthy and amusingly jaundiced look at TV newsrooms, producers, and news consultants.
A born storyteller, Freedman offers many good stories, interspersed with bits from scripts, water-cooler maxims, and lessons learned. PR folks will gain a better understanding of how the TV sausage is made, if not a greater respect for the industry.
We should pray that all broadcast journalism students take this book to heart before the bright lights take effect.
Title It Takes More Than Good Looks To Succeed at Television News Reporting
Author Wayne Freedman
Publisher Bonus Books (2003), 296 pages
Reviewed by Mike Brown, partner, Brown & Raleigh, San Francisco