I have been observing a lot of News productions lately and I have begun to find some similarities in the two. Now before I get into it, production is all what you put into it and comes in may different ways. I am not saying if you do one you can automatically do the other. I merely have just realized some similarities that I found interesting.
Gear: The first part is pretty simple. We use similar gear. Cameras, switchers, graphics, routers, video servers, decks, ect.
Graphic heavy: News stations use a lot of graphics these days to help make the news more interesting. Churches use graphics to help produce a feel during a song and to present scripture verses and other sermon information.
Graphic packages: News stations have branding, they have a specific look that they hope the viewer becomes accustom to. Churches have a branding some do it by series, and some do it by default.
Frequency: News stations have anywhere from 1-5 shows a day. They are always rushing to get content to air and pushing deadlines. But viewers can count on that every night they will be able to watch the News and get the information they need. In churches we all have at least 1 show every week, sometimes that show is repeated and sometimes we have multiple services during the week, but they come every week. How many times are we adding content at the last minute. How many times have you just barely got a video to air. But at the end of the week there is always a service that people can count on to hear what they need to hear.
Stress: A newsroom is stress full, most tech guys don’t work 40 hour weeks, and that is all I am going to say about that!
Understaffed: New stations are cutting staff and can always use more people, churches are the same way.
Scripting/ Format: News is scripted so are churches. Some churches are highly scripted some aren’t. But isn’t it true that our format stays the same from week to week. Or if it does change it is very minor. You don’t have to be involved to know exactly when the offering is going to be taken, just like you know exactly what time the weather portion of the news comes on.
Stories: Newscasts are filled with stories, so are our services. From the pastor on stage to the first timer, our churches are made up of stories. Sometimes they are even packaged and edited for others to see.
Markets: Stations are separated out by markets and affiliates. Churches are separated out by denominations and size.
Weather: We watch the news so we know how to handle the days to come. In life we go to church in order to handle the storms to come.
These are just a few similarities between church production and news production. I think we as churches can learn a lot from the news community in how to tell a story, how to script, how to manage our workflow, how to brand, and what gear to buy. They are not the only type of productions that we are similar to but I think they are the one we can learn the most from. But know, no 2 newscasts look exactly the same, they are all made up of different people, there is always tension and headaches and things could always be improved. But at the end of the day there will always be a show where someone’s story is told.
Can you tell I have been watching way too much TV lately?