May 17, 2013 | Posted in:Social TV
Last week, the country celebrated the story of three Cleveland women freed after being held captive for 10 years. Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry were kidnapped and held in a house until Berry escaped and ran into the arms of Charles Ramsey, a neighbor who was smart enough to realize the woman were in danger and needed his help. While the news story of the girls’ release was compelling, the world and I became just as captivated with the animated hero neighbor. Ramsey has already appeared on various news shows to tell his story, and his videotaped story recap to a local reporter has gone viral. Lets take a look.
As a reporter/producer, you are always looking for the best visuals or “the money shot” as well as the best soundbite, the main words that tell the story. When your interview subject delivers those words, you’ve struck gold. What makes a good soundbite, you ask? In my opinion, a good soundbite paints a picture, captures the story, creates emotions, and leaves you thinking and talking about it way after you’ve heard it. But most of all, it’s perfect when it’s short and sweet. Charles Ramsey did all of the above in 10 seconds or less.
When Ramsey first came on camera, I looked at his unkempt face and his mention of eating McDonalds and rolled my eyes thinking once again non-colored viewers will be happy to see another uneducated black man spouting off on television. Just so you know, it’s one of my little pet peeves when I watch television and see man-on-the-street (MOS) interviews. I always look at the mix of people who reporters choose to interview, and I find that more times than not, the African-American put in front of the microphone fits a a certain stereotypical image: no teeth, speaking bad English, or uneducated. So when Ramsey blurted out that powerful soundbite in less than 10 seconds and the reporter tried to end the interview but couldn’t, I had to laugh. The soundbite caught me so off guard.
If you were the producer, would you have used Charles Ramsey’s soundbite? If you can think of any priceless soundbites, let me know and I will feature them in an upcoming post.
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