Focus and focus statement

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Whether they call it a purpose, a goal, or an hypothesis, producers agree that before you record, you'll want to make sure you have a clear reason for doing this piece. A focus will tell you what you need to get in the field or when speaking with people in the studio. You'll know who you're going to talk with, and why. So, you'll want to make sure that every member of your production team has the same purpose, or focus, in mind.

A focus statement is a great tool to prevent your story from becoming like an out-of-focus picture – fuzzy and unrecognizable. A focus statement describes somebody doing something for a reason. A good focus statement includes who, what, and why. Some producers might have their focus in their head but writing it down keeps you on track.

As part of your search for focus, come up with one possible story to pursue. The focus statement will help you go after just one story that has action and motivation and a character. A good story is about people doing something for a reason. A good story touches us because it expresses universal values: love, hate, fear, pride, bravery – these are values and attributes we all share.

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Example of Purpose: This radio piece will explore families' decisions to use mosquito nets and how the decision affects them.

Focus statement: A farming family uses a mosquito net for their child after another child has died of malaria.