In television news
, a package is the full treatment of a story
, generally a minute or two in length, and featuring multiple sound bite
s and the reporter's commentary. Generally, a photographer accompanies the reporter on the story, shooting video
of the event or interviews. Afterwards, the reporter edits the video and lays down a voice track to describe what's going on, interspersing sound bites from interview subjects. Generally, when you hear the reporter's voice or see him or her on video (as opposed to the anchor
doing all the talking), it's a package you're watching.
Frequently, packages are introduced by the anchor, and may include a live shot of the reporter. ("We now have confirmed reports that the two separate incidents of family pet abuse are indeed linked. Live from the scene, here's KBBL cub reporter Humbabba Jurgowaasix with our top story." "Thanks Phil. Police say these incidents are the work of a desperate mutant on the loose.") After the live intro, the taped package is run, featuring all the details the reporter can cram into a minute twenty and whatever video is most likely to tell the tale, peppered with sound bites from city officials, victim's family, or what have you. Often after the package, they cut back to a live shot of the reporter summing up and bantering with the anchor. ("Just awful down here, Phil. Police are clueless and neighbors are totally freaked out." "Thanks, Humbabba. Keep us posted.")
The package is the staple of TV news, the big treatment given to the big stories. In most markets, reporters are responsible for at least one package a show in addition to various VOs and VO-SOTs.
See also VO and VO-SOT.