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Excerpted from a radio news documentary by Martin Hardee, Fall, 1978.  

In-House Reporting Resources...

Reporters: 3 full-time reporters,
2 full-time desk
3 part-time desk
Specific beats: All generalists
Telephone interviews: “Not much – we avoid like the plague”
Beeper system
Do you duplicate coverage of the wires? Depends
Police info: Hotline tips
Check police wire, then call
Bureaus: No
Stringers, freelancers? Rely on suburban stations
Versions of voicers: 2 or 3
Tape library: Yes but “maintained less and less”
Long distance budget: Yes, “limited by memos”
Influenced by competitors? “No”

Outside Sources...

Subscription services: AP: A, C, Br, Sports
UPI: Br, C, NJ, Sports
Police wire
Alternatives: None
Audio services: AP Radio
UPI Radio
Metromedia Line 1000
PR, politicians: No
Daybooks: Yes
Newspapers: Use general stuff without attribution
Traffic/transit: WCBS & WOR
Traffic desk


Open reels: 8 Ampex 300s
Cart machines: 12 or 13
Rapid cue feature
Timers: Circular clock
Phone: To nearby recorders
Cassette portables: Sony TC-110s
Superscope C-104
Cassette decks: No
On-street mikes: EV 635a
EV RE-10 & RE-11
Equalizers: Yes
Broadcast lines to bureaus: n/a
Cart machines at each desk? Yes
Separate news studio? Yes

Writing Style...

Stylebook? No, use memos
Sound bite limits: :20 - :25, up to :50
Story line limits: General
Grammar: No slang
Use of 'straight wire copy': Sometimes

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About this report
This research documentary is Copyright 1979, 2002  Martin Hardee - All Rights Reserved. (read more...) Material may be quoted or excerpted for non-profit research purposes without additional special permission. For additional information email martin @ hardee.net.