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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Tease Without Being a Tease


Here's the thing with news today -- most of the time, people watching the news, already know the news because of the lightning fast Internet. When they tune into the local evening news, they are looking for more than just what is happening, they want to know why news is happening and how other people are reacting.

It is crucial to keep the show visual. That's the advantage TV news has over the Internet.

This week, we made sure to deliver these elements in our newscast. On Thursday, the confidential Boy Scout files were released. We showed our audience how former Boy Scouts were reacting to the files. When Newsweek announced they were moving to an all digital format, we interviewed media experts and news junkies about what this means for the future of journalism. 

As the lead producer this week, it was my job to decide what stories to tease before the show, and how to tease them. It's important not to tease something that the newscast doesn't deliver. It makes the viewer feel ripped off. I teased the Boy Scouts story, The Great Shake Out Drill, and the New York Appeals Court ruling on gay marriage. All of these stories were major news that we covered from all angles in our show.

It is important to make these teases creative. You can't give away the entire story in the tease, but also can't trick the viewer into the thinking the story is something that it's not.

Teasing is an art form, and you can get creative with it, but should never mislead the audience.

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