TVR 13100: Media Writing

About this Guide

The guide is a pathfinder to:
  • primary and secondary media resources (ads, scripts, and transcripts)
  • databases used for researching information (background information such as data)
  • sites for media anaylsis (reviews and academic journal articles)

Documentary Scripts

Handbooks
  • Bernard, Sheila Curran. Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen. 3rd ed. Burlington, MA: Focal Press, 2011. Print. Introduction -- Understanding story. Story basics ; Finding the story ; Story structure ; Time on screen ; Creative approach ; Case studies -- Working with story. Research ; Planning ; Selling ; Shooting ; Editing ; Narration and voice-over ; Storytelling : a checklist -- Talking about story. Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan ; Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes ; Ric Burns ; Brett Culp ; Nick Fraser ; Alex Gibney ; Susan Kim ; James Marsh ; Sam Pollard ; Deborah Scranton -- Additional material.
  • Eckhardt, Ned. Documentary Filmmakers Handbook. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012. Print. The documentary tradition and getting started -- The 12 basic elements of a documentary -- Design and aesthetics -- Researching and writing adocumentary proposal -- Production equipment and decisions -- Your storytellers : interviews and conversations -- Shooting creative and effective b-roll -- Editing and postproduction -- Ethics, fair use, and the law -- Funding your documentary and connecting to your community -- Why we do it.
  • Rosenthal, Alan. Succeeding as a Documentary Filmmaker a Guide to the Professional World. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011. Print. Overview: the route to success -- Making the most of film school -- First steps in the real world -- Vital survival knowledge -- Working for others : finding a job -- Becoming an independent filmmaker -- Writing your winning proposal -- More on proposals : treatments and problems -- Budgeting for survival and profit -- Financing your film -- Production contracts and other agreements -- Making money -- Notes from the front.
Researching a subject or beat: Background (hot topics)
  • CQ Researcher
    Comprehensive reporting and analysis on current issues in the news. Each report includes an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change. This database helps students research, analyze, and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations and more.
Newspaper Coverage
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Full-text access to continuously updated news, law, and business information. Highlights: News: newswires, transcripts, regional, national/international news, & Gallup Polls; Legal: law review articles, federal case law, and federal/state codes; Business: company profiles, country profiles, and SEC filings; People: directories from the entertainment industry, elected officials, executives, politicians, and obituaries.  Also has a section that includes full-text of several health newsletters and abstracts of articles in major medical journals.
  • Gannett Newsstand Complete
    Contains over 85 Gannett newspapers, 6 of which are New York newspapers. These include the Ithaca Journal (Full-text for 2002 - present), Poughkeepsie Journal, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Journal News (White Plains), Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton) and Star-Gazette (Elmira).
Scholarship: Finding Experts Associations and Organizations
  • Advocacy groups will typically be mentioned in journalistic treatments such as news articles and the CQ Researcher, above.
  • Business:  Business Insights Essentials  ex.  Search: Apple.  Under Industries, click "Electronic Computer Manufacturing"; from the left menu, click "Associations"
  • PolicyArchive
    Digital library of public policy research with more than 12,000 policy documents from about 220 think tanks and research groups.
Government
  • FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System)
    The Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies. Search or browse  for documents and publications.  Use the Advance Search form to search by date or specific publication title (Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Bills, Hearings, the United States Code, etc.). Fulltext primary source documents are available in both PDF (downloadable) and XML formats.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
    This website offers research and policy information on multi-state legislation. Particularly helpful is the Issues & Research tab.
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    The GAO investigates and reports on the use of government funds for Congress. Full text copies of the reports are available by searching the site.
  • Open CRS: Congressional Research Report for the People
    Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides background reports to Congress yet they were not distributed to government document collections. Citizens had to write their Congressional representatives to obtain copies. The Open CRS site has indexed and posted copies of these valuable documents.
​Related Guides:

Advertisements

Primary: find existing ads (current ads can be found on YouTube or Google: video)
  • Ad*Access   Historic collection from Duke U.
  • All-American Ads NC988.5 .A1
    Book series that compiles ads across decades.
  • Clio Awards Ads that won a Clio Award.
  • American Memory: Advertising Historic collection from the Library of Congress
  • Prelinger Archives
    Over 48,000 films, over 90 old time radio audio clips, 2,000 game videos, 250 independent news clips and much more (including educational films, advertisements and industry films) Historic ads
Secondary: databases Ad placement directories and research
  • Simmons OneView
    Simmons OneView(formerly Simmons Choices3) provides access to U.S. adult (18+) consumer data on product and brand usage, spending behavior, media usage/habits, and more. It can be used to create custom reports which analyze demographic and/or psychographic characteristics of product users and their media behavior.  It allows cross tabulation of hundreds of consumer product categories and usage data for over 8,000 brands, inclusive consumer media habits, diverse demographic categories and psychographic (attitudinal and lifestyle) profiles.  It consists of three parts: National Consumer Study (NCS), National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) and New Media. Most recent data available is at least two years old. Our license allows for five simultaneous users.
  • SRDS Media Solutions
Ad data:
  • Alexa: the web information company
    Alexa provides data such as rankings on websites.  Users can insert a URL and click "Lookup Sites" to view data.  The "Top Sites" tab has three viewing tabs: Global, By Country, and By Category.
  • Alliance for Audited Media
    Organization that audits circulation statistics and generates reports to assist advertisers and publishers with media sales. Formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.  Some free reports are available.
  • Nielsen TV Ratings from Zap2IT
    Ratings for various cable, syndicated, and sports programs on television. Data can be viewed weekly or by season and sorted by total households or total viewers.
  • New Strategist publications  (book series)
  • SBRnet (Sports Business Research Network)
    Full text of current market research and industry news covering all facets of the sports industry: sports equipment sales, sports participation, sports broadcasting, sports sponsorship, sports market information, and sports sponsorship. SBRnet also has buyTRACK, by Harris Interactive, a tracking study of sporting goods purchasing habits on the Internet.
  • Technorati
    Leading search engine for blogs and social media content.  Publishes the State of the Blogosphere report that analyzes trends in blogging.
  • Trendwatching.com
    TRENDWATCHING.COM and its 3,000+ trendspotters scan the US, Canada, European Union, Japan, South Korea, India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and 50 other nations & regions for hot, emerging consumer trends and related new business ideas. Free monthly bulletin briefings are archived back to first issue (November 2002). 
  • TV Dimensions REF HE 8700.8 .T917
    Covers a wide variety of topics having to do with television viewership and programming including advertising, revenue, trends in viewing, etc. Published annually. Library retains 3 years in Reference.
  • Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB)
    Non-for-profit organization that promotes local television stations to advertisers.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Social, demographic and economic information. Includes the American FactFinder resource. USA Counties is a subdvision that contains over 6,500 data items.

Broadcast Journalism

Primary: transcripts from library databases
  • LexisNexis Academic Select:  Search by Content Type > Broadcast Transcripts
  • General OneFile
    Current journal and news information in humanities, education, business, science, art, politics, economics, social sciences, law, health care, computers, technology and environmental issues.
  • Newspaper Source
    Provides access to both national and international newspapers, and contains abstracts and indexing from the following papers (cover to cover): the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today. Abstracting and indexing for all titles and full text for the Christian Science Monitor begins 1/1/95. Coverage includes everything except obituaries (exclusive of famous people), sports tables, ads/classifieds, stock prices, and weather. Additional data provided by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News: full text articles from 105 contributor newspapers. Additional data also provided by Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service: full text articles from 40 contributor newspapers. Total coverage includes over 500,000 articles.
  • if you're looking for a particular station, from the library's homepage go to the Articles tab. From the "Search for Journals" box, search a particular station.  Watch this brief video.

Primary: selected transcripts from websites:
  • C-SPAN
    Non-profit corporation funded by cable and satellite affiliates that provides public access to daily political events such as congressional debates.  See also: C-SPAN's Video Library (programs from 1987+)
  • National Public Radio (NPR)
    A privately funded non-for-profit member organization, NPR.org produces news, talk, and entertainment programs.  Member stations offer national and local programming.
  • Open Vault (WGBH)
    Free online streaming video of historically significant videos produced by WGBH. Includes transcripts. On a separate site is the WGBH American Experience television series; many of the the episodes can be viewed online.
Secondary: Articles about Broadcast Journalism: Secondary: Websites - Media Analysis:

Screenplays

Primary: screenplays Secondary: articles about screenplays: Reviews

Press Releases

Primary: Press Releases group file through the library
  • LexisNexis Academic   You can access wires under "News" >> "Newspapers and Wires".  You can search for a particular wire under the "Sources tab".   Here is a short video to show you how.
Primary: access directly
Go to a company site and check for news
  • Look for the News information on a company's site for PR releases.  Here is a short video to show you how.

Contact Us

Picture: Cathy Michael
Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

Selected Short Films

The library purchases Short films (fiction and nonfiction & animated):

Cite it with Noodlebib

Noodlebib guides you through the required data entry for citation in the MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles. It takes care of punctuation, alphabetization and formatting, producing a polished source list for import into Word.

Writing Help

Writers Guild of America

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