A good reporter demo reel is an accurate representation of a journalist’s work. It can be used to get constructive feedback and to apply for newsroom jobs.
Anzio Williams, senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for NBCUniversal-owned television stations and a former news director, shares what he likes to see in demo reels. Watch the video above or read some of Williams’ advice below.
What should be included in a TV reporter’s demo reel?
- 7-10 minutes total.
- Start with a slate including your name, email address, cellphone number and social media handles.
- 1 minute of standups, demonstrating your comfort and charisma on camera.
- 5-7 minutes of packages, showing your best writing and storytelling. Each package should be around 1 minute and 30 seconds long.
- 2-3 minutes of your most impactful journalism work.
How up to date should a resume reel be?
I would like reels to be as current as possible, within the last two to three months. Anything older than six to eight months is too old. You can update every couple of months, adding stories or taking stories out.
Should demo reels include stories that aired on TV?
I prefer stories that have aired, versus something you may have done in your spare time, or a story that you did for broadcast and then edited. I want to see the broadcast version, the live supers [graphics], the time and temperature.
Does someone who is only interested in reporting need to include anchor work on their reel?
If you want to be a reporter, lead with your reporting. If you have some good anchor work, it should be very short, maybe at the end. But what you have at the front of your reel usually tells a news director what you want to do. No news director wants to hire someone for a position if that person really wants to do something else.
Should a reel be shared while networking?
Sending out a reel and resume is a way of networking. Network as much as you can, before you really need something. By the time you need a job, if you’ve networked on the front end, you have the ability to work your network on the back end.