Make a Story Proposal for a TV Program Segment

Edited by Jan Margery Castillo, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 11 others

...More
Doug Collins meme of guy proposing to check out her tv promo.jpg

Working at a TV station seems like an ideal job. You see the wonderful shows and start wondering what it would be like to be part of the mass media staff. Or perhaps you wonder how producers and researchers look for stories and how they get you hooked on certain programs. Working behind the camera is not an easy job, but it has lots of perks. You only need to learn the art and creativity of getting great story ideas, and the diligence to get these ideas into production, sans the burnout. If you are new in the research field, the most difficult challenge you will face is to propose your story idea.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Ad

Components of a Story Proposal

When suggesting a story for a TV program segment, bear in mind that you should be organized and have thorough details on hand. You can't suggest something that's not concrete because there's a big chance the executive producer won't approve it. Suggesting a story proposal is the most difficult part, but it will be easier if you have already researched necessary components, such as the following:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Thesis Statement.
    This should be written at the top of your proposal page. It consists of two to three sentences stating the elements of your story.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Elements.
    These are the main points of your proposal. These elements may be a person, a situation or event, a circumstance or things. Throughout the segment, these elements must be thoroughly discussed to inform and influence the viewers. Layout at least five elements in your story outline.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Case Studies.
    Case studies are individuals that are involved with the elements. Make sure you have already called and pre-interviewed them and that they've already agreed to appear on national TV. Note, however, that you should not make any promises or assurance that their story will be featured on the program, because you are only proposing the story. It may or may not be chosen.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Case studies should be compelling enough to arouse your viewer's interest. If your topic is about people with unusual birthmarks, and you find a woman with a black birthmark covering her entire chin filled, be prepared to be asked to look for someone more compelling - perhaps someone whose entire face, or half their face is covered by a birthmark. Producers want researchers to look for the most compelling and extreme case studies.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The competition in TV programming is pretty tight, which is why producers set high standards for their programs. As a researcher, don't expect mediocre work to get produced, you should be well prepared to offer a compelling and smart proposal. Here are some tips on how you can create a worthy story proposal:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Observation Is The Key

It's important to look at what's happening around you. You cannot get stories by simply diving into your own imagination. You will come up with so many ideas if you just look around and become a keen observer. Remember that you need to come up with a concept that could possibly be filmed in real time. The following are worthy of observation:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    People.
    Observepeople.jpg
    Observe people on your way to and from work, while you are ordering your food at the cafeteria, while you're shopping or taking a walk – basically, everywhere there is an opportunity to study them. Events like weddings and funerals can provide an emotional look at people. Be curious, but be discreet. You don't want people to think you're rude, or that you're giving them the once-over. Simply check what they're up to - the way they dress, talk, eat, walk and so on. There might be a craze where more than two people are wearing the same weird outfit. You might discover that in this certain area, people are obsessed with a trendy thing, or they have some weird practices. Or you might get to encounter a person along the street with a very interesting talent.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Places and Events.
    Peopleonthebeach.jpg
    You do not necessarily need to purposely go to a certain place to get a story idea. You can get inspiration from places you visit regularly or places you simply pass by. Everywhere you go provides an opportunity to look and observe. Whether you are outdoors or in an elevator, always be alert to things that are unusual and interesting. Check the trend on outdoor ads, or see perhaps the new restaurant you just passed has an intriguing theme. You might even see a gathering with free entry where some quirky ritual is going on. And just because you are hurrying to get to your office to research topics, doesn't mean you have to stop observing. Sometimes, the best and most unique story ideas are the ones that are unexpectedly discovered by observation.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Animals.
    One way to catch the attention of viewers is to show some cute stuff. Animals are full of surprises. When there's an opportunity, observe animals, including pets, look for something different or an extremely amazing feature in them.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Food.
    The food industry never ceases to expand. There's always something to try and to crave. When ordering food at a restaurant, or when strolling along a food bazaar, try something you've never eaten before. The key is curiosity. A foodie feature always catches the attention of viewers, whether the food looks appealing or not. Observe too, if you can, the process of preparing the viand or dessert. If it's interesting, unique and visually appealing, then it's worth a feature. From restaurants that serve such fare as sesame coated crickets, to restaurants that serve the entire meal in the dark, people are always intrigued by food.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Read the News

Newspaperandglasses.jpg

There are many story suggestions and ideas that you can form just by reading the news. Check the latest news and events in your area because you will most likely need to shoot somewhere that's nearby. You'll be surprised how many ideas you get by reading between the lines of every newspaper article you read.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Read different publications, including tabloids, small town newspapers, and big city dailies.
    If it's usual for you to read more than two newspapers a day, you'll understand how different they are, and the advantages of reading more than just one. Nevertheless, it's best to check all of them so as not to miss a possible story idea.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Check the Lifestyle Section.
    Look for several interesting events, places, food, drinks, gimmicks, parties, festivities and other potential stories in the lifestyle section. Maybe you'll find out a pageant for pregnant women will be held the following week, just in time prior to your airing.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Run through the hard news.
    See if there's something interesting current circulating. These may be strictly governmental or industrial issues, but you might be inspired by current events.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Read International News.
    Don't stick to local, or ordinary news. There are things going on everywhere!
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See What's Trending

Social media is a very useful tool for getting story ideas. Social networking platforms, for the most part, are user-friendly and easy to navigate. It saves a lot of time when researching for topics and also when reaching out to people.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Facebook.
    Facebook twitter.jpg
    This is the most commonly used social site. You will be updated on the latest social/arts/cultural events almost instantly, and you'll know what's happening in your area. The trends are out like a fire, so take advantage by looking at different possible story proposals. Make a lot of friends, and join groups, and like pages to pertinent organizations that will give you some story ideas, and keep you in touch with what's going on. Once you post a question on your timeline, you'll be surprised at the number of responses you'll get. It's a quick way to get information. Make your profile public so your hashtags will be searchable. If you can't make your profile public, at least be open to messages from non-friends or non-followers so they can suggest story ideas for you, or you can get ideas from them.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Twitter.
    Minute by minute you'll see the Twitter trending page change. Grab every chance you can peek at what's trending at the time being. You can get so many potential stories from the Tweets of random people too. Again, it's better if you follow many users and if you can attract a lot of followers. Most often when you follow someone on Twitter, they will follow you back. What's nice about Twitter is that you can track down the writer of certain hashtags. When you find a good topic to propose, you'll just have to root through those Tweets with a certain hashtag and search for potential elements from there. The response time is also quick because most of the time, those who tweet with trending hashtags are online almost 24/7.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Instagram.
    The popularity of Instagram is increasing. It's a wonderful resource to check trends, news and fads. The nice thing about this photo-sharing site is you can quickly determine if a photo is worth a story or not. There's no need for reading or interpreting. Just one swift look at the series of photos and you know whether there's a potential story proposal for a program segment.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Pinterest.
    This is another photo-sharing site that is more artsy. You can also search in the Popular pins and see what people are interested in at the moment. Many quirky finds from various categories are pinned on this site. It is a place where you'll definitely get interesting story ideas.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Build Your Network

This is a researcher and any media practitioner's must-have. It is not enough that you keep a list of valuable contacts in your phone book; you should also have a written list in a small notebook or organizer for safety reasons. Even smartphones today are not smart enough to save your contacts in case of emergencies, so it's better to have a hard copy. You need to basically develop a network with all types of people.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  1. 1
    Former Colleagues.
    Never lose their contact information, even if they are from a different industry. They can give you information and help you in many ways.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Friends and Neighbors.
    It's easy to get favors from friends and neighbors. You can always turn to them when you need a story idea because they are your audience. They may have a brilliant idea for a story proposal, and they'd be excited to share not only the idea with you, but help you run down facts and introduce you to contacts. They feel the pride of knowing the idea for the approved proposal came from them.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Colleagues From Other Departments.
    If you are working in the entertainment department in your company, you might as well take time to befriend your colleagues from the news department, or those from the corporate communications office. You may need their resources for some project or other, so why not get their contact information and have it on hand. You'll never know who will be there to help when you need them.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Professors.
    Professor.jpg
    Your professors will be proud of you for landing your dream job, and of course and they'll want to take some credit for it. They'll be pleased you keep in touch, and occasionally ask for their advice, perhaps even a few story suggestions from time to time. They have hundreds of students during their teaching years, and their knowledge and experiences are invaluable.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Anyone.
    Any person you meet while researching a story can become a gem. Whether it's someone in business, a psychologist, sociologist, bartender, clown, attorney, engineer, dog walker or gym instructor; there are so many people you will connect with in your job that will be helpful– sooner or later, so never lose their contact information.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Compile the email addresses of all the contacts you've collected, put them in a 'group' in your email's program, and when you're looking for specific information, by sending one email (e-blast), you can reach all your contacts in one go. You'll be surprised at how many positive response you'll get.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Check Previous Topics

If you're running out of story proposals and you have limited time, remember you can always recycle.

  1. 1
    Review past topics and revise them by looking at them from another angle.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    You may also add some elements or twists to the past segments.
    There would likely be some updates to the original story. You could even propose a before and after story idea, or a "where are they now?" segment added to the original story.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Every Season Is A New Opportunity To Be Creative At Ideas

  1. 1
    Summer.
    Make a Story Proposal for a TV Program Segment 54461.jpg
    Check the latest trends on swimsuits, foods, or spas. Check the newly opened beach resort and see what's going on there. Look for the longest zip line in the country or the highest tree drop adventure activity. Scout theme parks and amusement parks and ask if they have a new ride or a new feature.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Christmas.
    If it's the Christmas season, how about the novelty store that sells unique nativity figurines? They might offer to spill their success secret and demonstrate how they manufacture their products. So many people become charitable during this season, you should be able to find a story that celebrates the kindness and compassion of the season.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Valentine's Day.
    Valentineheart.jpg
    Check out the events that are different from other, more traditional events. You just need to be creative find something that intrigues you.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

    Advertisement

When deciding on a story you want to pursue, the more it's something that interests you, that you are passionate about, the easier it will be to research, and in most cases, the better it will be. No matter what you're working on, it's always better to be personally intrigued by the subject.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

There are times when your executive producer will be the one to suggest a proposal for you to work on. When that happens, consider yourself lucky because you only need to start with the elements and case studies. But make sure you handle it professionally. If the producer suggests it, it must be something the producer is interested in, and believes is an important story. It's always a good idea to please the boss.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Questions and Answers

Hi, I want to a do a TV program but I don't know how to start. I know I am supposed to do segments, but I have no idea what to do.

Tell me how to write a TV program or at least a template, please.

First, outline your TV program with the segments you want to cover. If it's going to be a news program, be sure to cover breaking news; local news; big, worldwide stories and local weather. If you're doing some other kind of television program, cater to your show's audience: if your program is about animals, you might want to do a segment on how to take care of your kitten's claws so your belongings -- and your adorable little kitten -- don't get hurt. Keeping these things in mind, you can use the components explained in the great VisiHow article below to create your segment. Additionally, you can use this outline for a weather segment as reference for your own segment:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Good morning! It's time to talk about the weather in Scranton, Pennsylvania today. The morning will be cool, with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the mid-40s. The good thing here is that the sun will be out all day, which should keep you warm through lunchtime. Although the temperature will creep up to the mid-50s by midday, the clouds will start to roll in around 3PM to 4PM, and it'll start to rain.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Your seven-day forecast looks like this -- [here you would show a graphic depicting the week's weather].

So, be sure to bundle up this morning and take a rain jacket or umbrella with you to keep you dry as the day progresses. Have a great day! Back to you, Jane.

When it comes to outlining your segment, the components listed in the article below will help you know what information required to make a compelling story. Make sure to start the segment by explaining the story, and then move on to making your points and backing them up with research, interviews, or other data so your viewers know that what you're telling them is true.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: HOW DO I PITCH THE IDEA OF A NEW NEWS PROGRAM?

I need segment ideas for a high school morning show.

I'm in a broadcasting class in high school. We need some segment ideas for our morning show we broadcast every Friday morning. Could you please help?

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: How to make a morning show segment proposal?

Hi! I just want to know what content I should write in a letter to a network executive to consider my proposal for a reality TV show.

Reality TV show. Hi! I just want to know what content I should write in a letter to a network executive to consider my proposal for a reality TV show?

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

We would like to broadcast news on a TV station.

I need a proposal that would work for that.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Should I include my contact information in my proposal?

Basically, that's what's troubling my mind.

Absolutely include your contact information. Also, it's a good idea to email the proposal to yourself, just so down the road, you can prove it was your idea, and there will be a date on the email.

Hi, I have an art teaching program.

I have a special program to present on Local TV. I would like to get help on the introduction and few segments. Thank you

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How to make a news segment. And please give me some examples of news segments that are suitable for students.

I need to make a news segment for my output, but I don't know what to do. Please give me some examples of segment news that I can make for my output.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How do I write a television proposal about a fashion show host?

I have been asked to write a proposal about a fashion show. I have never written one and I am having a hell time writing it. Please help

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Correct proposal to a TV station to produce my program.

I have a program I intend putting on air, and I need a proposal.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

I want to introduce a new program which I think, in my country, will interest the people, and I wish to write a proposal to the TV station.

How do I write the proposal for that? The program is about health and safety which I want to educate the public about. I have tried: No, please. I think it was caused by: I think people lack knowledge about OHS in general. It's a very broad topic consisting of offices, shops and industries.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

I want to write a script for my segment.

As I have exams tomorrow, so I'm requesting some easy tips to script writing or the formats. I have tried: I have no idea about segments or script writing.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




Janmargery
Premier Author
25 Articles Started
675 Article Edits
24,950 Points
Janmargery is a premier author with VisiHow. Janmargery has achieved the level of "Lieutenant" with 24,950 points. Janmargery has started 25 articles (including this one) and has also made 675 article edits. 387,000 people have read Janmargery's article contributions.
Janmargery's Message Board
Janmargery: Hi, my name is Janmargery.
Janmargery: Can I help you with your problem about "Make a Story Proposal for a TV Program Segment"?
 

Article Info

Categories : Entertainment

Recent edits by: Nuance, iannathanael, Coldhearted_Tea

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 6,126 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No