Five Tips For Creating A Reporter Reel

Your reel can make or break your opportunities. Hiring managers look at hundreds of them, so it’s important to make the right impression. Your weeks of hard work might not make it two minutes. Here are some tips to help beat those odds:

  1. Follow a tried and true format. I generally suggest the following format:

MONTAGE OF YOUR BEST WORK

HARD NEWS STORY

ONE FEATURE/LIGHTER/MORE IN DEPTH STORY

And that’s pretty much it. The montage will allow the viewer to see how you perform in front of the camera. They’ll notice style, inflection and delivery in those first few minutes. The total length should be much shorter than you think–somewhere in the range of 7-10 minutes. A hiring manager won’t look at anything much longer.

     2. Showcase work for the type of role you are pursuing:

If you are pursuing an anchor gig, make sure you highlight your work anchoring front and center. If you are centering your efforts around reporting, use your best reporting work. You should include anchoring or reporting work as your secondary interest, but not as your primary content

     3. Make sure it translates out of market:

If your the viewer needs to understand local nuances or a complicated backstory, it will be tough for news managers to follow along. Not knowing the background of a story can be a distraction. Make sure your work makes sense to someone who has no idea what is happening in your community.

     4. Be yourself, be creative, but don’t be cutesy:

Don’t let your creativity be a distraction. Over the top special effects, cutesy standups or other creative vehicles may not play in larger markets. Nothing beats really solid reporting or anchoring.

     5. Make it easy—simple links are best:

Make it simple for the user to view- and share. Having a colorful, well produced website is a good asset, and allows you to showcase the total package, but also have a quick and easy link you can send. It makes it easy for a busy News Director on the go to view at any time or place—and makes it easy for them to share it with others.

These tips work for reporter/anchor focused reels, more to come on how to build a producer reel. Interested in your comments or questions, drop a line in the form below.

1 thought on “Five Tips For Creating A Reporter Reel”

  1. Hi Rashida,

    My name is Mariam Abdallah. I am a senior Broadcast Journalism student at SUNY Plattsburgh. This post is helpful for me, as I am working out what I would like to do once I graduate. Do you have any tips for a student who does not have any ‘real’ broadcast experience? Here is my reel

    , it is the very first one I’ve put together. Any and all critiques and comments are appreciated. Thanks.

    Best,
    Mariam Abdallah
    mabdallah4477@gmail.com

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