Film: 9428

Media | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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This film deals with the way news is gathered, what makes news, and how it is investigated 1960's

Aimed at young people, it focuses on a smallpox scare in Washington. Mike Allen on paper round in tree-lined street. Mike and a friend writing a letter about some new-born kittens. Mike's parents, reading his letter. Mike on the paper round throwing papers at houses. A man coming out of his house to pick up his paper. The voice- over says that while the kittens are news to Mike and his family, they are not to anyone else.

The front page of the Washington Post May 23, 1967. 'Cabbie sought as disease carrier.' The voice-over says, this would be of interest to everyone in the city. Newsroom of a newspaper. People working in an office environment. An editor, smoking a pipe, works on the day's city desk assignment. The voice-over points out that many events, which will become news are known about in advance, e.g. elections, sports fixtures.

A journalist approaches the editor and is given an assignment. A group of empty desks with typewriters and scattered papers: Their occupants are out looking for news. City Hall. Courthouse. Schoolchildren playing in playground. A police car. Police reporter looks through police records. He talks to a policeman. A policeman talks to the reporter and points at a map. The reporter has got several stories.

Press room at police headquarters. Crime reporter on telephone. Teletypers. Radio receiver. The voice-over explains how the reporter decides which stories to phone in to the newspaper. Suddenly, he hears the radio talking about the cab driver who took an ill man to hospital. The reporter gets on the phone to get more information, and then phones his editor. The editor, smoking a pipe, gives the story to a rewrite man, who will put the story in the first edition, although at the moment only a short mention will go in. A longer article will be written when more details are known. The voice-over mentions that reporters do not always write their own stories- rewrite men work with the facts they are provided with to produce an interesting story.

The editor sends the science and medical journalist to follow up the story. The reporter phones his contacts and is soon in possession of the facts. Reporting back to the editor. It turns out, the ill cab driver has smallpox. A command centre is set up at the Department of Health. There are many women on the phone. There is a list of hundreds of names of people who may have come into contact with the disease. These are shown to the science reporter. They all need to be found and vaccinated.

Nurses visiting the home of someone who may be at risk. Police questioning a taxi driver in an attempt to find the missing man. At least one of the people suspected of having come into contact with the disease is known to be in another state. The aircraft the missionary travelled in contained people from throughout the United States of America. Thus, this is no longer a local story. Department of Health official showing the medical reporter a document. Medical reporter typing. A telex machine. A tele- typer. A teletyper producing a photograph. Long lists of articles being hung up. A newsroom with a man in the foreground typing. A man writing. A radio. A possible suspect for the diseased cab driver is announced over the radio.

The office of the Director of Public Health, Murray Grant. A journalist has an interview with Dr.Grant. Dr. Grant discusses smallpox. A reel-to-reel tape recorder. An old mixing desk. A radio studio. A news report. Radio news broadcasts are made often throughout the day. A news sheet. A teletyper. A man tears a sheet from it. Radio studio. He announces the latest news about the possible smallpox epidemic. The police have caught up with the discussed cab driver and taken him to hospital. There are, though, a lot of people still to be traced, who have come into contact with him. Television newsroom. Television news editor is handed a teletyper printout. The TV news-editor has the additional problem of deciding what should be filmed. A Television car-top news. OB or Outside broadcast. The man in the car picks up a phone. The car turns right.

A line of schoolchildren being vaccinated. They are being filmed by a camera man. A reporter is interviewing a blonde girl. A doctor vaccinating children, being filmed by the cameraman. TV control room. A bank of televisions. A TV news man, being filmed by a camera man. Pictures of school children being vaccinated.

Mike and his parents watch television. A man in a phone box. A woman on the phone. The medical reporter talks to the man in charge of the command centre. A woman hands the man a document. The medical reporter makes a phone call. A man typing from dictation. A radio news broadcast. 1014 people vaccinated out of 1015 sought. TV news broadcast. Newspapers being printed. The Washington Post. The cab driver had chicken pox, not small pox. Mike's parents. President Lyndon Baines Johnson leaves a building with his family. He is followed by herd of photographers.. A crowd of people watching Mike on his paper round.

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