Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Friday, August 24, 2007

Location, location, location

Ahwatukee, Blue Ash, Matlacha. Chances are, unless you've lived near these places like I have, you have no idea where they are. So why as producers and writers do we assume viewers have knowledge they do not have? In writing about the latest flood, triple shooting, etc., we in news have a tendency to just say the place name without giving people a sense of where it is. Here's a conversation I've had plenty of times over the years.

Me: Hey, on that national story you wrote, where is XYZ, anyway?
Writer: Um, New Jersey.
Me: Jersey's a big state. Can you be more specific?

Take the example of Las Cruces, NM. It does not take long to check mapquest and find out Las Cruces is about 3 hours south of Albuquerque. I know. I timed myself. It took two minutes. But adding a little line to your copy that says, "Las Cruces, which is three hours South of Albuquerque," really adds a level of understanding for the viewer. It takes only a little extra copy time. In this case, adding that line takes exactly three seconds. I know. I timed it.

By the way, Ahwatukee, is a neigborhood South of downtown Phoenix. Blue Ash is about 15 minutes North of Cincinnati. And Matlacha is near Ft. Myers in Southwest Florida.

No comments: