What is the role of Bulletin Editor?

Role of Bulletin Editors.

A bulletin editor preparing the 15-minute main English news bulletin for the evening may have 45 to 50 items to consider from the day and evening shifts. It will cover home and foreign news, Parliament news if Parliament is in session and sports news. The news items vary in length, say from 50 to 150 words. Some may be of 200 words or more. A 15-minute bulletin can carry only 1,500 to 1,600 words.

The pace of reading also varies among newsreaders. This means that you will have to leave out less important items of the ‘day pool’ which will have gone in the day bulletins and further reduce the evening items. A bulletin editor will select 15 or 18 items for the bulletin.

So, how does the bulletin editor decide the order of items in the bulletin? For this, there is no hard and fast rule. The editor decides on what will be the lead of the bulletin. Home stories are generally given preference. If there is some big foreign news such as a major terrorist attack or a bomb blast with a large number of deaths, a natural calamity, the death of a foreign VIP, etc. will naturally become the lead.

If there is any major news that day, they can go in the first bunch. Less important news will go in the second and the third bunch or “breaks” as they are called in the news room. A “break” in a bulletin comes after about five minutes and is meant to give a little pause, which gives welcome rest to the newsreader as well as prepares the listener for more news to follow. Generally, the bulletin ends with sports news or with a human interest story.

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