Memo To All News Staff – Coverage Of Exam Results In August 2008

Dear All

As you probably know, the annual coverage of A-Level results will soon be upon us (14th August, I think), and unfortunately it coincides with a number of staff members being on holiday, so we’re going to be hard-pressed to get everything written and broadcast in time without taking a few pre-emptive measures.

So, with an eye to being helpful, I’ve had some of the junior staff build up a template for coverage of the exam results, meaning that you should be able to get the stuff out there pretty much straight away, without needing fiddle around with scripts or decide on camera angles or anything like that.

The key element in all of this – and I can’t stress this highly enough – is to pick pretty girls, ideally in tight t-shirts. Nobody’s interested in teenage boys, they’re grotty urchins (I should know, I used to be one), and frankly their acne-riddled faces just ugly up the screen. Just look for the girls, okay? They’re opening their A-Level results, so they’re over the age of consent. It’s all perfectly legal, and as long as you keep to the following you’ll be maintaining the standards of journalism for which we’re so respected.

Any questions about this, do drop me a line or pop into my office.


Head of News Presentation

Open: a school building.

V/O: The school holidays. Midsummer, and the sun is shining.

Close in on the school entrance, with various students milling about (crop as necessary to keep the boys out of shot)

V/O: But it’s not all fun and games. For many of these students, today is a day which could shape their lives for the rest of their days.

Cut to attractive girls looking at pieces of paper in the school car park.

V/O: For some…

The attractive girls smile, and jump out and down screaming with delight. They hug, pressing their young bodies against each other unselfconsciously.

V/O: … the news is good.

Cut to pretty girl talking on her mobile phone, an exam result paper in her other hand.

GIRL: Mum? I passed. I PASSED!

Cut to girl looking forlorn as she reads her results. If you can arrange it, have her cry a bit, but not so it looks snotty or red-faced. Even better, get a prettier friend of hers to stand next to her, looking vaguely guilty because she’s got better results. Perhaps she could put her arm round her.

V/O: But for others, the news is … not so good.

Cut to long shot of teenage boys with exam results. Make sure they’re far enough away to be out of focus.

V/O: This is the [n]th year in a row that girls have outperformed boys in A-Levels, with the average girl’s result being 3 As and a B [check this] as opposed to the average boys’ marks being 2 Es and 2 Ns [check this].

Cut to group of teenage girls in t-shirts (and shorts if possible) looking happy and smiling, their hair catching the sun.

V/O: But there have also been criticisms that these higher grades come at the expense of standards.

Cut to man, standing in front of school gates. Get someone to do with school committees or something like that and put an appropriate caption, but try to light him to make him look somehow shabby and disreputable to undermine his comments.

ANGRY MAN: Well, A-Levels don’t mean anything any more. In the past, it was all about ability, but now… well, it’s all done by computers, and everyone can get an A grade without any problem.

Cut back to another group of girls, looking pleased and excited. Perhaps running through the sprinklers on the school field, or if it’s a really posh school, frolicking in the fountain and flicking water at each other so that the wet fabric of their clothes clings to the moist skin of their young bodies.

V/O: Such comments, though, can’t dampen the spirits of these teenagers, celebrating a day they’ll remember for ever in their lives, until the end of their days.

Cut back to studio, where anchor can read out the number for the helpline we’ll inevitably get set up for people who need help with ‘clearing’ [NB don’t give out phone number of local Scientology office, like we did last year]. Then anchor can read it out again slowly to help fill time.

[Please make sure you also use this template for the GCSE results on 21 August – use the intervening week to make the appropriate tweaks. And keep this template on file for future years.]