Friday, November 2, 2012

Notes from the 10th class

·         In press releases with headlines, don’t treat the lead like the second sentence of a story
o   Include all of the important and necessary information in the lead, even if it was already stated in the headline
·         Advertising vs. Press releases
Press Releases
Picked up by media
Don’t have to tell the whole truth
Should cover issues with more depth
Tailored for TV or radio (or other media outlets)
Written the same way for any media outlet

·         “Mad Men” scene
o   Don Draper used very few words, lots of emotion, and perfect imagery
·         Writing for print vs. broadcast

Writing for print
Writing for broadcast
Written for the eye
Written for the ear
Past-tense verbs
Present-tense verbs (when accurate)
Attribution can go before or after quote
Attribution must go before quote
Titles can go before or after someone’s name
Titles must go before people’s names
Inverted pyramid style
Oval format (beginning, middle and end)

·         Tips for broadcast
o   Still should be concise
o   More freedom to be creative or funny
o   Lead doesn’t have to contain all 5 Ws
o   Should be easily spoken
o   Don’t confuse leads with headlines or tenses
§  Correct: “A Bethesda fire captain has landed in hot water after using a city fire truck to water his own lawn.”
§  Incorrect: “Bethesda fire captain lands in hot water.” (VIDEO AT 11!)
o   Paraphrase direct quotes, or use “…he said – quote – I’m not responding to that garbage – unquote.”
o   Use short, simple sentences
o   Use active, not passive voice
o   Avoid numbers whenever possible, and round off when you can
o   Don’t use abbreviations
§  Spell our state names
§  “N-double A-C-P” not “N-A-A-C-P”
o   Audience is in a hurry, get to the point quickly
o   Active and present tense verbs get and maintain audience attention
o   Avoid jargon
o   Must be easily understood
·         Handouts: “Honorary Degrees” press release
·         Homework for 11/8
o   Read Ch. 9 (on broadcast journalism)
o   Pick two stories from this semester and rewrite the leads as broadcast leads. Bring in hard copy.
o   Google Angie Goff; watch at least two of her news videos. Bring in hard copy of two questions related to her work being a broadcaster. Try to think of questions she won’t naturally cover when she speaks to class.

For fun, the video we watched in class:

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