Basic guidelines for writing a Broadcast Engineering Field Report article
The Field Report is a feature written exclusively for Broadcast Engineering magazine. Each article is prepared by the staff of a production facility, consulting firm or a broadcast station. The intent is to have the equipment tested on-site. The author is at liberty to discuss the product with industry leaders and to visit with other users and/or the manufacturer to track down pertinent facts.
In order to treat all products covered in Field Reports equally, a common format will be used. Describe what the product is, how it is used, the basics of how it works, good features, problem areas and serviceability.
Field Report requirements:
The Field Report is designed to assess the applicability of the product, including personal opinions of the reviewer on good features and limitations — if any. In essence, Field Reports are prepared by and for the industry. Manufacturers’ support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if support is requested in some area.
All Field Reports must be written by the user or engineer responsible for installation or maintenance of the device or system. The Field Report cannot be written for the user by a manufacturer or public relations company and must carry the byline of the user. The user, in conjunction with the magazine's editor, will have final say on the information contained in the article. Manufacturers or their public relations firms cannot be given advance copies of Field Reports before they are published.
When preparing a Field Report manuscript, include a discussion of the following:
- equipment design
Outline the product’s good points and bad points (if any). Because serviceability is an important consideration for any piece of equipment, discuss the construction of the unit and the maintenance documentation that is provided by the manufacturer.
Keep mention of the company name to a minimum. Once introduced as Company A’s product, there is seldom any need to bring up the company’s name again.
Prepare a “Product Highlight” list that outlines the major features and/or performance specifications of the unit.
Include a high-quality color photo of the unit by itself (a product shot) or in use at the facility. A photo of the product in use at a facility is preferred.
Field Report checklist:
- Written by a user
- Submit manuscript of 6-8 pages, typed, double-spaced (1000-1200 words)
- Outline the need for and application of the product (if necessary)
- Describe how the product works (include a basic block diagram)
- Discuss installation (if appropriate)
- Discuss operation
- Discuss performance
- Examine maintainability
- Report on documentation provided for the product
- Measure performance and report the results
- Discuss unique attributes of the product
- Discuss problems or limitations
- Include a color photo of the product by itself or in use
- Include documentation of test results
- Include a five-point “Product Highlight” summary
- Keep the company and product name mentions to a minimum
- Be objective. Write the manuscript with a “just-the-facts” approach
Broadcast Engineering will reject Field Report manuscripts that do not meet the above guidelines. The goal of these rules is to ensure that Field Report articles are complete, objective and thorough.
Questions? Contact Brad Dick, editorial director, at 913-967-1737 or e-mail him at email@example.com.