For this reflection, I will be reflecting on a sport story I created for MCTV. This story previews the women’s basketball team before the 2013 season. The thesis for this message was to show the readiness of the basketball team and that the team is moving on from last season. The purpose of this message is to inform the audience what the basketball team is doing to be ready for the new season and what to expect from the basketball team. This story was skillfully constructed by using good script writing, video editing and using multiple viewpoints in order to be a good example of oral communication through television.
The audience for this message is MCTV viewers. However, my message was constructed to a more specific segment within that audience. I wanted my message to be geared towards basketball fans, Monmouth athletic supporters and MC students. To do this I changed my message to have two different concepts. First I wanted to explain how the team did the season before in order to create excitement and new expectations for the new season. This creates familiarity with basketball fans and also creates a buzz that this season will be better than last season. Secondly, I added an interview by the players to get an inside look at what the team is like beyond the basketball court. This adds a new element to the story to keep the audience’s attention and is designed to please the average MC student that can easily relate to the players. Also, I included relevant facts in the story to create credibility with the audience.
This message represents good quality through skillful script writing. In a good story the script is fluent from beginning to end while staying with the same message throughout. My message started with the importance of practice which easily transitioned into coach Bittner’s reliance on senior leadership and experience for the season. A good script also uses interviews to elaborate a certain point and transition between different parts of the story. In this case, the interview with coach Bittner elaborated on what the team needs to do while also transitioning into the team’s goals for the season. I used Coach Bittner’s words “the Midwest Conference better watch out” to show the dominance of the two seniors and how this team will be better this season. This created an easy transition into team goals and identity. A good script also incorporates statistics and facts to support arguments and main points. This story cited several team leading statistics last year and stats that give life to the story. For example, at the end of the story I stated a statistic that no Monmouth team has ever made it to the sweet sixteen in NCAA tournament history. This statistic gives the team a goal to work towards and provides the audience with background information that they may not know before. Delivery is a crucial part of the script and the message as a whole. Being enthusiastic and professional in the way the message is delivered is very important. The goal is to keep the audience’s attention through voice fluctuation and exciting phrases. For my story, my delivery was fluent without any distracting mispronunciations, word fumbles or unprofessional language. The fluctuation in my voice reflected the type of words that I was saying. The words “fast, aggressive and athletic” were used a lot in the piece not only to illustrate what the teams focuses were, but also to create more excitement in the message. Also the fluctuation in my voice when I said those three words was more pronounced than any other part of the story. Stories become boring or distracting when the reporter is too monotone or hard to understand. By maintaining a clear and exciting voice, my message had better quality.
Another aspect of this story that was skillfully constructed was the video editing. The script and the video have to go together flawlessly in order for the story to make sense. Video is more than just something for the audience to look at while the audio gives the story. Rather, the video gives meaning and purpose to the audio. One rule of broadcast journalism is if you say it, you should see it. Meaning that if I talk about a certain person or activity in the script, there should be video to show the audience exactly what I mean. My story starts off talking about Glennie gymnasium and the first thing the audience sees is a sign that reads “Glennie Gymnasium.” Then I move on to practice and the video cuts to shots of the team practicing. Also, when coach Bittner was talking about being “fast, aggressive and athletic,” the video showed players jumping, running and doing push-ups. All of those visuals bring life to the story. The gym sign gives a visual location to the audience rather than just hearing where games are. The video shot of the team practicing explains what goes on in practice and what kind of drills the team does. It is one thing to hear that the team is fast and athletic, but the visuals in this message clearly demonstrate what the team does to improve their quickness and athleticism.
There are always multiple sides to every story and different aspects that each story has that can be interesting to the audience. A good story explores several different viewpoints to create a complete and balanced story. My story had three key parts: The team’s identity, team goals and team chemistry. I explored these viewpoints through interviews with coaches and players. Coach Bittner wanted her team to focus on being aggressive and athletic while accomplishing their goals of winning the conference. Player interviews provided a description of what life was like being on the team and how the team works together.
Overall, this message was skillfully constructed and executed through the use of good script writing, good video editing and using multiple viewpoints. Knowing the audience allowed me to change my message to better fit what they found interesting. Also, with good delivery, this message was delivered with professionalism and enthusiasm. Bad delivery is usually a result of being too monotone and using unprofessional language. In my message my delivery was clear and used excitement in my voice when needed. With all of these aspects combined, this sports story is a demonstration of a skillfully constructed message.