Friday, October 2, 2015

Judy and Greg Romano: Intro to Broadcasting

Yesterday we were introduced to and taught by guest professors Judy and Greg Romano. Below I include a recap of the events of that night. At the bottom of this post you can find the homework assignments which will be due next class. Below each topic or conversation I included comments and takeaways that Judy and Greg shared with us to help improve our writing for Broadcast Journalism. I sectioned each part of my blog post into activities which are marked by a time stamp.

8:12 Introduction
  • “You’re not late until the on-air light is on” - Judy
  • Judy's introduction: started as a military broadcast, freelance, AP for 7 years and now communication for the government (GSA)
  • Greg's introduction: GSA, left a year ago, director of communications for the National Weather Service
  • Together they started the GSA video department
  • Introductions of students

8:24 Discussion of Reading
  • Hash marks: only used when learning how to become a broadcaster so that one can train themselves to know when to breathe
  • Terminology: different depends on where you work
  • Voicer: voicer, readers, broadcast stories (different wherever but always a 30-second story)
  • "Conversationality": concise approach to it
  • A-wire copy: longest version of a print story > turn it into 30 seconds, what are the relevant facts, pull out enough excitement to draw someone in and keep them for 30 seconds
  • Write for a basic, general audience (on radio)

8:30 Take away from the reading:
Lex: Formatting portion: tools to make it different from what we’ve been working on
Miah: Make sure it is clear at that moment because the audience cannot go back and reread it
Karli: Conversational tone of it
  • Stop looking at the words, what did you just see? (suggestion: write, then flip the paper over and say what you just wrote)
  • Challenge yourself to speak using full sentence
  • Professional jobs require different voices, depending on the time of day, the subject
  • Contractions: we speak with contractions in normal conversation, but in print you never do this
  • When you are quoting someone, it is because of who they are, not their name
  •             Who they are: their title, such as President, the mother. Who is the person is in the relation of the story?
  • Find that sometimes you don’t use AP style
  • In broadcast you write out everything:
  •             Ex: $5,000,000,000 > Five Billion Dollars
  • Approx. 120-130 words/30 seconds
  • Simple sentences and active voice
  • If you can’t figure out what word to use, rewrite the sentence

8:45 Active voice
  • print journalism is a passive voice
  • broadcast is always active voice
  • first sentence: short, punch-y and active

8:50 Homework

1. Karli reads her homework
      Comments: The first sentence was too print in design
2. Lillian read her homework
      Comments: Started out past tense
3. Ellie read her homework
      Comments: Don’t use the number of the street

Additional Comments on this particular assignment:
  • Know the audience: if it is local, use the name of the street. If not local, use the location in the town/city
  • Dates: you can say “written a month after the battle” instead of using the date “August 1863”

o   Given a set of facts, but in order to make the story more interesting you can describe the facts in a different way
o   Unless it is a significant date (i.e. Christmas Day), not that important

Comments/Suggestions on Broadcast Writing in general:
  •      Active voice is a challenge
  •      Broadcast there is no headline so jump right into the story
  •      First liner: “You never know what hidden treasures could be hidden in your attic”
  •     Don’t asks questions because the answer is usually obvious
  •     Say you were writing for TV:
    •        If you could use a photo of the letter show physical/visual document
    •     Explain the visual of the situation
    •     Write to what you’re seeing

  •     Say the audience is for the University’s radio station examples:
    •     “Women gives university new historical documents”
    •     “History department investigates civil war claims”
    •     Where is Donald Avenue? Location can change the view of the audience
    •     North versus South (audience’s reactions to Lee would change)
    •      *shape the story based on the audience

9:03 Examples of video stories and take away comments below 
  • write to the video
  • make it compelling enough so people care and want to listen
  • give visual cues, references that people can understand when trying to describe something
  • make it personal
2. Tour in Afghanistan by GSA

3. Bringing Electric cars to the government
  • general: uses “millions of dollars” instead of exact number
  • visual: video of her handing the keys
  • 3 key speakers
  • usually pick the one best sound bite/quote

9:33 Break Time!

9:45-10:15 Write News Stories in Groups from page 244 in textbook

10:20: Read stories out loud to the class
  • Include transitions
  • The summaries buried the lead in the book, so make sure to find the lead to start with in the broadcast
  • Unless you have a physical clip of someone saying anything, don’t quote someone, just paraphrase
  • Make sure to use active voice
  • the most important part should come in the first sentence
  • Edit, keep trying to cut out non-essential information
  • Order of stories is key

Homework for next class (10/8):
  • Print the news stories we worked on in class to give to the Professor
  • Read Chapter 14, 16
  • Read the Journalist’s Code of Ethics for Second quiz
  • Bring in a front-page story or a feature story of your choice
Posted by Alexandra Marcus
Please feel free to comment, and enjoy the meme Greg shared with us (you can find it below)!

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