Newsjack 2020 Page 2

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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Wishus

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 9:55am
  • Northampton, England
  • 133 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 12th February 2020, 1:57 AM

What?

It has to be said we do have a fairly good hit rate on this thread, and we're becoming more aware of the sort of choices the time-pressured script editors are making. There are lots of threads from previous series where we go through our rejections, and also where we have weighed up the probability of getting on the show from the sheer numbers.

What we have gleaned is that the audience is middle aged to elderly, in general, so they might have heard of Stormzy but probably not Wiley, and your joke level should probably be not the first pun you think of as everyone will send that in, but the second stands a chance. Politically, veer leftish, but Corbyn is fair game.

We have also surmised that if you send in 2 jokes on the same topic, and they like one they may accidentally broadcast the other.

My tips (and I have failed to follow them this week).
- Make sure you don't target protected groups.
- Brevity is key. It's more important than logical sense.
- In sketches, make them fun to perform. No interviews or plain conversations between two people. I've only ever had oneliners on, so I'm not the best to advise on sketches.
- Persist. We worked out that there are only about 11 minutes of the show that are written by public submissions, and hundreds of entries, so your comedy gold may well get left on the table. Sometimes when we listen to the show, we're like whaaaat?
- Find out from Twitter who is working on the show. They occasionally extend the deadline if they've had a fallow week, but if you've already submitted, never mind.

And weak puns and virtue signalling.

Hope that helps!

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BTF

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 10:13am [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: itDefinitely Tarby @ 12th February 2020, 1:57 AM

What?

A number of people on this thread feel that some of the stuff that gets on the show can be, shall I say, predictable and not funny. As rejected submitters to the show, we are a critical audience. Humour is individual and, in fairness, a lot of people must think the show is good and there must be many people on this thread who think highly of the show's level/type of humour. I have noticed that, last series, some people are now getting more critical of things they don't think are funny on the show (I am one) though I think people usually try not to be personal and I think that people on here try to respect that someone who wrote the gag/sketch may be reading this thread.

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Danno

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 11:08am
  • Azerbaijan
  • 307 posts

all of the above.

when I first started submitting I was very much sweetness and light about Newsjack but soon realised they have a scatter gun approach and they ignore a lot of their own 'dos and don'ts' mainly because they're under a lot of pressure to get a show broadcast. it's easy to get fixated on what NJ want, and that in turn makes for some very samey, starchy humour because we're all trying to do the same thing.

if you do get lucky, expect your weakest joke to get picked

expect not to laugh at most of the sketches and be left stone cold by at least a couple of the oneliners??

expect the same themes to be used twice *baffling*

expect credits to go to people already on a purple patch (even if you've submitted the same/very similar joke)

expect a lot of stuff about 'we couldn't do it without you' blah blah

expect to be disappointed, miffed and a tad resentful (but not in an evil way)

despite all this, I'm fond of the show and hope it survives, gets funnier, pushes some boundaries and continues to provide a springboard for some hard-working folk who do stick with it. it does sometimes make me laugh despite having turned me into a mardy old curmudgeon and generally annoying cod piece.

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TheTrashBat

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 11:12am
  • Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 75 posts

G'day groovers

Totes excited about the new series. Nobody enjoys the game of trying to gauge what level of shit a joke has to be to make it onto the show more than me ;) I submitted a suitable handful of stinkers on Tuesday. Only managed 5 though. Irritatingly, I could only think of genuinely funny things, and we know there's no point in sending those in.
I have high hopes for one of my Breaking News gags. It has that clunky, doesn't quite make sense but somehow feels/sounds as though it does vibe that seems to do well on NJ.

Good luck all!

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BTF

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 11:36am [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: TheTrashBat @ 12th February 2020, 11:12 AM

G'day groovers

Totes excited about the new series. Nobody enjoys the game of trying to gauge what level of shit a joke has to be to make it onto the show more than me ;) I submitted a suitable handful of stinkers on Tuesday. Only managed 5 though. Irritatingly, I could only think of genuinely funny things, and we know there's no point in sending those in.
I have high hopes for one of my Breaking News gags. It has that clunky, doesn't quite make sense but somehow feels/sounds as though it does vibe that seems to do well on NJ.

Good luck all!

Agreed Danno.
TrashBat you make me laugh. In a great way.

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Danno

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 11:46am
  • Azerbaijan
  • 307 posts

"It has that clunky, doesn't quite make sense but somehow feels/sounds as though it does vibe that seems to do well on NJ"

Nailed it

Laughing out loud

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Wishus

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 12:12pm
  • Northampton, England
  • 133 posts

This is why I love it here! Viva la Newsjack et son thread!

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johnfromsoho

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:18pm
  • Soho, England
  • 43 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 12th February 2020, 1:57 AM

What?

Write what makes you laugh. After few weeks of rejections write what you hate then after a few weeks of rejections try to copy what makes it to air then the series is over.

Repeat to fade

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TheTrashBat

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:23pm
  • Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 75 posts

My NJ process is something like this.

Scan news stories.
Find one that looks like it has a joke in it.

Open Google Docs and make a note of some sort of feed line.

Start looking at other news stories for gag 2.
A hint at a punchline occurs to me for gag 1.

Go to Google Docs, make note of punchline idea.

Rinse and repeat until I have all 6 slots filled.

Take a good look at my doc and start editing the notes into feedline/punchline gags.
Notice that they're all shit and don't make sense.
Pat myself on the back.

Remember the NJ tip to make as concise as possible so remove as many words as I can, making sure the 'joke' still reads ok.

Revisit the doc Tuesday morning.
Remember the concise thing again and remove a load more words.
Re-read and notice that what I have is a bunch of half headlines followed by seemingly unrelated nonsense words.
Pat myself on the back.
Send email.

Come here and bang on about how brillopads Nj is.

eg.
Possible joke number 1:
Something to do with one person knocking on a door and another person answering the door.

A punchline about Europe and/or poo.

Turn above notes into joke:

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Europe.

Europe who?

No, YOU'RE A POO!

Edit the above gag a couple of times until it is concise and worthy of making the cut on NJ:

Knock who? Europe. Poo!

Pat myself on back.

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Danno

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:40pm
  • Azerbaijan
  • 307 posts

FFS...can't believe you pinched my poo joke!! absolute fecking liberty. I suppose I can make it cross the road or something??

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Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:42pm
  • England
  • 3,563 posts

When it comes to contributions from the great unwashed, the philosophy of the NewsJack bods whose job, in theory, it is to sort the wheat from the chaff is undoubtedly "F**k it. That'll do".

You know I'm right. Laughing out loud

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TheTrashBat

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1:47pm
  • Dorset, United Kingdom
  • 75 posts

I've just remembered, as discussed last series, they don't like poo jokes.
AND their in-house writers pretty much cover everything Europe.

So my final joke should probably be:
Knock? Who.

I will submit it next week. Keep an ear out for it.

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Stobbart42

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 2:53pm
  • Japan
  • 163 posts

I'll be posting my rejects to Twitter hashtag #NewsjackRejects again this series You should too.

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Firkin

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 4:57pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 778 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 12th February 2020, 1:57 AM

What?

If you read past posts on here and twitter there's a lot of advice, including from the NewsJack team. Main rules are no
profanities or blue jokes, keep it PC. Don't send in PDFs use their .rtf templates here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1hDdvFLfWClPHW7zT3sq01S/submit-a-sketch

Also check others haven't come up with the same joke by checking twitter (in which case it was too obvious) ... and if NJ don't like it, Rood Eye might buy some rejects. Good luck.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Wednesday 12th February 2020, 10:21pm
  • England
  • 1,950 posts

Thanks everyone and appreciate all the tips and links which is more than enough info for me to work on submitting something next week so I better get pen chewing. I read a story about a badger falling though the ceiling of a Superdrug store in full view of staff and then hiding on a shelf. A specialist team caught it and after being checked over by a vet and deemed in good health with no injuries from the fall it was released back in to the wild. A random story with a happy ending and I've been trying to think of a good week/bad week idea for it but when I start trying to think of something funny my mind goes blank so the best ideas will probably come when I'm working on something else. I better start carrying a notepad.