British Comedy Guide

Newsjack Series 21 - September 2019 Page 11

Newsjack. Copyright: BBC.

Newsjack

Topical satirical sketch show on Radio 4 Extra. The programme has an 'open door' policy allowing anyone to submit material

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Costello

  • Friday 27th September 2019, 7:12pm
  • England
  • 7 posts

May I ask the experienced contributors a stupid question? When submitting, do you always provide the same .RTF file format back. Is it bad form to use a Word Doc (.docx) or any other format?
Appreciate the submission guide asks not to receive PDFs, but just wanted to check the norm.
Know it's a basic one, but any help appreciated.

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BTF

  • Friday 27th September 2019, 7:59pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: Costello @ 27th September 2019, 7:12 PM

May I ask the experienced contributors a stupid question? When submitting, do you always provide the same .RTF file format back. Is it bad form to use a Word Doc (.docx) or any other format?
Appreciate the submission guide asks not to receive PDFs, but just wanted to check the norm.
Know it's a basic one, but any help appreciated.

Sorry I didn't reply before cos don't know. I just use their format template
Sometimes I type into a word doc direct and use that and don't use the template if in a hurry

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Costello

  • Friday 27th September 2019, 8:21pm
  • England
  • 7 posts
Quote: BTF @ 27th September 2019, 7:59 PM

Sorry I didn't reply before cos don't know. I just use their format template
Sometimes I type into a word doc direct and use that and don't use the template if in a hurry

Not a prob BTF. Previously, I did just chuck it in with my rejections. Thanks you for coming back. Will continue to just try using templates and returning in same format.

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GoWithIt

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:12am
  • United Kingdom
  • 154 posts

I always send in word documents ( they must be right because I've had something on at least once for the past five series )

J x

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John Borison

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 10:52am
  • United Kingdom
  • 3 posts

Question: do you folks adapt your style of writing to fit "Newsjack humour", for a lack of better word?

I mean, a lot of the material they air I don't find overly funny and I think it's down to that it's really not a perfect fit with what is my kind of humour.
When I submit my material I write the stuff that makes me laugh, rather than optimizing for what perhaps they might find funny.

I guess being able to adapt writing to different styles of shows would be a key skill, although I've no idea how to go about that.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 11:09am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: BTF @ 28th September 2019, 10:23 AM

Just listened. In fairness there were several BNs I thought Ok. I thought some were just very vaguely amusing statements rather than jokes though. I thought some that were jokes were not well chosen. We know from the handful on here they get some good jokes and clever jokes. I feel some BNs on the show were very obvious.
I thought some sketches were ok. Several very weak punchlines. Well, they were not punchlines.
The KitKat thing was a gag and a sketch which is not ideal. At least I think it was. The audience seemed to laugh at nothing. I see that they were having fun but it somehow made the tumbleweeds that were in the show worse.
The audience even howled at the first strains of Blue Peter at the start of the sketch. It had set up that it was about children's programmes so it was not a surprise laugh. Some of the gags on the show - it would not occur to me to submit as a joke as so weak. Whatever.

One of the great truths that every comedy writer must learn is that there is no celestial "God of comedy" overseeing those Earthly people whose job it is to decide which material shall be broadcast on radio and TV and which material shall be cast into the fiery furnace of rejection.

On Earth, the comedy industry is run by mortals all of whom are necessarily fallible and some of whom couldn't recognise a good joke if it ran up behind them and kicked them up the arse as hard as it could.

And, as if that were not bad enough, there are many people involved in running the comedy industry who do have talent but who, from time to time, are simply too jaded or too bone idle to employ that talent when selecting material to broadcast.

Every week on Newsjack, they reject jokes that are far superior to some of the ones they broadcast.

This is real life folks and, in real life, there ain't no justice! :(

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 11:47am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: John Borison @ 28th September 2019, 10:52 AM

Question: do you folks adapt your style of writing to fit "Newsjack humour",?

Adapting one's style to fit NewsJack humour is typical of the underhanded tricks employed by the bastards who are getting their jokes broadcast! Angy

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BTF

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:04pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: John Borison @ 28th September 2019, 10:52 AM

Question: do you folks adapt your style of writing to fit "Newsjack humour", for a lack of better word?

I mean, a lot of the material they air I don't find overly funny and I think it's down to that it's really not a perfect fit with what is my kind of humour.
When I submit my material I write the stuff that makes me laugh, rather than optimizing for what perhaps they might find funny.

I guess being able to adapt writing to different styles of shows would be a key skill, although I've no idea how to go about that.

I think some people are starting to try to adapt. I have not tried it yet...

Quote: Rood Eye @ 28th September 2019, 11:09 AM

One of the great truths that every comedy writer must learn is that there is no celestial "God of comedy" overseeing those Earthly people whose job it is to decide which material shall be broadcast on radio and TV and which material shall be cast into the fiery furnace of rejection.

On Earth, the comedy industry is run by mortals all of whom are necessarily fallible and some of whom couldn't recognise a good joke if it ran up behind them and kicked them up the arse as hard as it could.

And, as if that were not bad enough, there are many people involved in running the comedy industry who do have talent but who, from time to time, are simply too jaded or too bone idle to employ that talent when selecting material to broadcast.

Every week on Newsjack, they reject jokes that are far superior to some of the ones they broadcast.

This is real life folks and, in real life, there ain't no justice! :(

True.

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TheTrashBat

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:23pm
  • Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 76 posts
Quote: John Borison @ 28th September 2019, 10:52 AM

Question: do you folks adapt your style of writing to fit "Newsjack humour", for a lack of better word?

I mean, a lot of the material they air I don't find overly funny and I think it's down to that it's really not a perfect fit with what is my kind of humour.
When I submit my material I write the stuff that makes me laugh, rather than optimizing for what perhaps they might find funny.

I guess being able to adapt writing to different styles of shows would be a key skill, although I've no idea how to go about that.

When coming up with stuff for Newsjack, if I find something amusing, I ditch it as 'inappropriate'. I 100% submit things which I think they might like, as opposed to things which I find funny.

Quote: Costello @ 27th September 2019, 7:12 PM

May I ask the experienced contributors a stupid question? When submitting, do you always provide the same .RTF file format back. Is it bad form to use a Word Doc (.docx) or any other format?
Appreciate the submission guide asks not to receive PDFs, but just wanted to check the norm.
Know it's a basic one, but any help appreciated.

I DO use their RTF template. However it always looks a complete mess. An odd situation where the template we're asked to use makes the content look a million times worse than if we just did what we wanted.

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BTF

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:29pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts

TrashBat, you got something on methinks?

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TheTrashBat

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:48pm
  • Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 76 posts
Quote: BTF @ 28th September 2019, 12:29 PM

TrashBat, you got something on methinks?

Yes indeedy. Apologies for being AWOL the past few days, I have just dumped my full set over in Rejects :D

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BTF

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 12:51pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: TheTrashBat @ 28th September 2019, 12:48 PM

Yes indeedy. Apologies for being AWOL the past few days, I have just dumped my full set over in Rejects :D

Laughing out loud

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Bonzo

  • Saturday 28th September 2019, 2:56pm
  • London, England
  • 828 posts

we use the template and send as an RTF

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Wishus

  • Monday 30th September 2019, 4:22pm
  • Northampton, England
  • 133 posts

I try to write to their style, and I think that helps. Admittedly, sometimes I just can't and I submit knowing I've missed the mark, like a good week bad week last week I thought, oh God, that's more Private Eye.

Occasionally they'll pick a well-executed gem of a good joke, but they seem a bit fond of basic.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 30th September 2019, 4:47pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

There are basically two kinds of writer: the type that adapts to the marketplace and the type who expects the marketplace to adapt to him.

Most of the writers you meet are of the first type.

If you know one of the second type, you'll notice he looks thinner every time you see him.

Then you'll never see him again.

("Him" includes "her" of course).