Voice over. In television news
, a VO is a short story
written by a reporter
for the anchor
to read (voice) over video or a graphic. Generally 20 or 30 seconds long, a VO is the bare minimum for a news story, and generally includes just generic
info ("a man" instead of the suspect
's name, for instance). Video may be shot by a photographer unaccompanied by a reporter, who then gives the reporter the details of the story to write without having witnessed the actual event. (Sometimes photographer
s write stories too, but generally the video's the photog's job and writing's the reporter's.)
Sometimes these are culled from press releases. Sometimes the reporter/producer simply does not have a lot of info but finds the story newsworthy.
VOs often tease forward to more complete stories, as in "we'll have more on that story tonight at 11." They are also used for scaled-down versions of older stories, as in "yesterday we told you about the brutal beating of a family pet on the city's east side...today, police are still looking for a suspect."
See also VO-SOT and package.