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DISCUSSION:Selection of the TopicKnowledge of the Topic, Narrowing down the topic

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Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
LESSON 36
DISCUSSION
Essentials of Producing Discussion
1. Selection of the Topic
The very first step in the planning and production of a discussion is the selection of the topic. The topic
may be assigned by the authorities, may be the demand of the situation, or conceived by the producer.
2. Knowledge of the Topic
Whatever the topic is, the very first thing after the selection of the topic is to get maximum available
knowledge about the subject. Unless a producer has substantial knowledge about all possible aspects of the
topic, he/she will not be able to produce a discussion of standard.
For instance the topic of the discussion is based upon foreign policy of Pakistan with respect to any
particular country or countries. To produce such a discussion the producer first must know about the
foreign policy to the following lines:
What is Foreign Policy?
Determinants of Foreign Policy
·  National Interest
·  Economics
·  Geography
·  Security
·  Pakistan's foreign policy regarding different countries, e.g., India, USU, UK, Iran, China,
Afghanistan
·  Pakistan's stand point on different International Issues such as Kashmir issue, Palestine issue, Iraq-
America war, war on terror
3. Narrowing down the topic
Selection of one topic is not enough to make a discussion program. One topic, as a matter of fact,
represents the whole subject that has many aspects and shades to be discussed. Every shade and every
aspect requires a separate discussion program. Sometimes, to cover the maximum aspects pertaining to one
topic, a series of discussions may also be scheduled.
The process of pin pointing one aspect of a subject is called narrowing down the topic. Following example
will further explain the process of narrowing down a topic:
Women Issues
To talk about women is a topic but some of the issues and problems related to women may be counted as
under:
Women's Education
Women's in Professions
Problems of Working Women
Women's Rights
Let's suppose that a producer decides to pick up Women's rights as a topic of his discussion. This topic may
further be narrowed down. When we talk about women's rights the following aspects come in front of us:
Universal rights
Social rights
Rights given by law
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Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
Rights guaranteed by religion
Women rights are protected or not?
Women's misery --- Myth or Reality
Right to Education
Right to Cast Vote
Right to Work
Right to the Selection of Profession
Right to get share in Inheritance
Right to Marriage after her own choice
4. Selection of Anchorperson
The next step in the production of discussion is the selection of the anchorperson. Here again the producer
has to be very much careful. The anchorpersons are of two kinds:
a) Professional Anchorpersons
These are the ones who have opted for being a compere or an anchorperson as their profession.
b) Experts
These are the ones who are the experts in their respective field or subject and in specialized topics they are
offered to compere the discussion. For instance if the discussion is to evaluate the recently announced
budget, the anchorperson must be an economist.
While selecting this kind of compere following points a producer must keep in his/her mind:
Area of specialization of the compere must be related to the topic.
Must be a good & effective communicator.
Must be spontaneous, witty and sober yet pleasant.
Since while conducting the discussion as a compere he/she is representing radio as well so he/she must
have:
Clear voice
Accurate pronunciation
Besides all the above said features a compere must not get detached from the whole course of the
discussion and must appear involved in the conversation. Another important thing, that he must not be
biased or partial and his tilt of mind must not be noticeable at all.
5. Selection of participants
The number of the participants of a discussion must not be more than 4 and less than 2 depending upon
the duration of the discussion program.
The participants must be:
experts in their field
professionals
good communicators
preferably known to people
well-reputed
representing different schools of thought or opinions
Model Discussion Programs
Topic ---- Government's Policies to improve Agriculture in Pakistan & Benefits to Farmers
Compere
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Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
The compere must know:
Important crops
Sowing season
Harvesting season
Farmers' problems
Irrigation system
Government's different policies
Land reforms if having been introduced
Rates of different crops
Fertilizers
Diseases of the crops
Insects
Pesticides
Participants
In such discussion following participants may be invited:
Minister of Agriculture ­ Federal or Provincial
(If not, any government spokesman)
Representative of farmers
Representative of landlords
Expert of Agricultural Issues
Topic ---- Growing price hike in Pakistan
Compere
An economist
Participants
Market association's representative
Consumers' representative
Price control committee's chairman
An economist
Government's representative
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Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT RADIO IS:HISTORY OF RADIO, MARCONI –THE INVENTOR
  2. HISTORY OF RADIO:B.B.C. – 1922, Radio in Sub-Continent, PBC SERVICES
  3. OBJECTIVES OF BROADCASTING IN PAKISTAN:Information, Islamic ideology
  4. NEWS VALUES I:CONFLICT, PROGRESS, VICTORY AND DEFEAT
  5. NEWS VALUES II:TIMELINESS, PROXIMITY, NOVELTY, HUMAN INTEREST
  6. NEWS VALUES AND ELEMENTS OF NEWS:MISCELLANEOUS NEWS VALUES
  7. MEASURING THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWS:Intensity of an Event, NEWS STORY TYPES
  8. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES II:SIMPLE TYPES, ILLNESS, DEATH
  9. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES III:Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking, Lunar Months
  10. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES IV:COMPLEX NEWS, Forms of Government, Monarchy
  11. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES V:Education, Research, Religion
  12. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES VI:Lifestyles, Receptions, Entertainment
  13. SOURCES OF NEWS I:Network of Reporters, QUALITIES OF A REPORTER
  14. SOURCES OF NEWS II:MONITORING, NEWS/ PRESS RELEASE
  15. SOURCES OF NEWS III:National News Agencies, HARD NEWS, SOFT NEWS
  16. REPORTING:ORDER OF REPORTING, REPORTER’S QUALITIES, Well informed
  17. A SUCCESSFUL RADIO REPORTER:Briefing, Reporter’s Ammunition, Meeting Deadline
  18. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING I:Growth of Interpretative Reporting
  19. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING II:Factual Background, SPEECH STORY
  20. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING III:FIRES & ACCIDENTS, CRIME STORIES
  21. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING I:Thalidomide Scandal, Watergate Scandal
  22. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING II:Identification of the problem, INTERVIEW
  23. TYPES OF INTERVIEW:Hard News Interview, Informational Interview
  24. ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD INTERVIEW I:Comments and Opinion, Topic must be specific
  25. ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD INTERVIEW II:Preparation of the Interview, Language
  26. RADIO NEWS GLOSSARY:Actuality, Cut, Voicer, Wrap, Hourly, Lead
  27. FUNDAMENTALS OF NEWS WRITING:Inverted Pyramided Style, Telling the Story
  28. FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING NEWS FOR RADIO I:Language
  29. FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING NEWS FOR RADIO II:Complex numbers
  30. ESSENTIALS OF A NEWSCASTER:Authority, Credibility, Language, Pronunciation
  31. PRODUCTION AND PLANNING:Principals of Planning a Program
  32. PRODUCER & BUDGETING:Strengths of a Radio Program, Budgeting a Program
  33. JARGONS OF PRODUCTION (Continued):Frequency spectrum, Dead studio
  34. TYPES OF TALK:Qualification of a Talker, Essentials of a talk, Vetting a talk
  35. DISCUSSION:Controlled Discussion, Live Discussion, Current affairs
  36. DISCUSSION:Selection of the TopicKnowledge of the Topic, Narrowing down the topic
  37. RADIO FEATURE:Sound Effects, Narration, Dramatic Feature, Religion, Personalities
  38. RADIO DOCUMENTARY:Commentary, History, Persons, Things, Phenomena
  39. DRAMA:Solo plays, Series, Serial, Soap, Components of Drama
  40. SPECIAL AUDIENCE PROGRAM:Children’s Programs, Women’s programs
  41. SPORTS PROGRAM:Live Programs, Recorded Programs, Preparation of OB
  42. THE MUSIC I:Folk Music, Classical Music, Light Music, Pop Music
  43. THE MUSIC II:Classification of Raga In Terms Of Notes, Aado, Khaado
  44. ETHICS & LIMITATIONS OF MEDIA:Domain of Freedom of Media, Defamation
  45. RECAP:What Radio Is, Timeliness, Elements of news, Types of Reporting, Production