Friday, November 20, 2015

Writing for Communication 11/19/15

Happy Friday!

Writing For Broadcast Powerpoint: Writing for the Ear, Not the Eye

  • Use present tense as much as possible
  • Broadcast vs. print lead examples 
    • If a broadcast lead feels right, give it a shot, there's more room to play around
  • Don't confuse leads with headlines or teases
    • Lead: A Bethesda fire captain has landed in hot water after using a city fire truck to water his own lawn.
    • Teaser: Bethesda fire captain lands in hot water
  • Put attribution before quotes, not after
    • Correct: GOP leaders say the tea party scandal could cost republicans the senate.
    • Incorrect: The Tea Party scandal could cost republicans the senate, GOP leaders said. 
  • From now on, if given quotes in a broadcast story, paraphrase instead of using quote/unquote format or direct quotes
  • Use Short, Simple Sentences:
    • No broadcast story paragraph can be longer than two sentences 
  • Use Active, Not Passive Voice
  • Numbers
    • Avoid them whenever possible (too many confuse the listener/viewer)
      • 275 thousand dollars (easiest way to read)
    • Round off when you can 
    • Don't use the phrase "an estimated"
  • Abbreviations:
    • Don't use them.
    • Spell out the words (Maryland not MD.)
  • Things to Remember:
    • Audience is in a hurry so writing should be brief. Get to the point.
    • Writing should be full of active verbs that grab listener/viewers attention and keeps them listening or watching
    • Viewers/listeners interesting in what's happening now, use the present tense
    • Audience is hearing, not reading. Be conversational and avoid jargon.
    • Broadcast writing must be easily understood.
    • "Audience has their finger poised on the clicker. You only get one chances to get your point across." Keep their attention.
  • You can use the oval format for broadcast:
    • Interesting beginning, middle of the story, comes full circle at the end

Clip from Broadcast News 

Development in the Stefanie Story (Cruise Ship Threats)
  • Creating a broadcast and print lead based on new information
    • Stefanie has skipped town. No one knows where she is. 
    • "My advice to her is, get back home. Now!" said Police spokesman Danny Arndt.
  • Final Broadcast Story due by end of class
Enjoy Thanksgiving Break! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writing for Communication 11/12/15

Good morning class!

We began class last night with a current events and grammar quiz.

We then shared some of our broadcast and print leads from the homework for the class and discussed how we could improve and edit aspects of each of them.

Important aspects we covered include
  • structural problems with sentences
  • present tense for broadcast leads and past for print
  • attention grabbing leads
Next we watched a short video about the aspects of the job of the broadcast reporter. You can watch it again here.

We then worked on a full story for a broadcast piece, which will be due Monday at noon.
You must be able to justify anything you leave out and anything you put in. Paraphrasing quotes is alright. You should remember to be fair in your writing as well. 

Our guest speakers for the night were Kelly Costello and Jordan Haverly, former students of Professor Piacente. Kelly works in public relations and Jordan works for an Illinois congressman.

Kelly recommends to help students with finding jobs, as well as networking at AU and in DC. She recommends asking professors in your career field of interest for networking help, and to not be afraid to reach out to people at firms. Kelly also recommends asking for informational interviews to get to know the firms you are applying to. You should often bring prepared questions to an informational interview. In what she wishes she learned while at AU, she says she wishes she would have learned more media skills, ie how to deal with reporters. Kelly says preparation is key, especially for pitching and targeting journalists. She says not to send out mass press releases, as reporters will blacklist you. 

Jordan talked about his role as a legislative correspondent for a congressman. He recommends the position because of the broad workload and experiences. Jordan says something he wished he learned in school is "saying something is not always necessary." He recommends sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something inappropriate. 

Kelly says the two most important things for a Linkdin profile are to have a goof professional photo and for all your information to be grammatically correct. She suggests to use it as your resume. 

Have a great week! Remember your article is due by Monday at noon!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Writing for Communications 11/5/15

Good morning and happy Friday!

Broadcast vs Print
First we discussed the contrast between the broadcast and print. Everyone had fascinating stories. Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News…
  • Focus
    • Broadcast- Draws viewers in with action(s), compelling
    •  Print- boring, gives facts, informative
  • Language/Tone
    • Broadcast- Live, now, immediate, present tense, dramatic
    • Print- More bland, has more information, formal, detailed, past tense
  • Shock Value
    • Broadcast- Wants viewers to care about issues and uses images/language
    • Print- Does not use the shock value as much because it is in the print
  • Images
    • Broadcast- Images through photographs and film
    • Print- Show, don’t tell through words, describe what happens, one picture/map
  • Headline
    • Broadcast- Captivating, attention grabbing
    •  Print- more detailed, creates a bigger image,

Rules for Broadcast
  • Write in present tense
  • Attribution can be in 2nd or 3rd graf
  •  Freedom of creativity in lead
  • Quotes- attribution comes FIRST

Worksheet/Broadcast Activity- Leads
  • Adam Neuman story
  • Joy Baker story
  • Firefighter story

Full Broadcast Story
  • Student at Georgetown University
  •  Critical condition
  • Hate crime?
  • Clear on five Ws and no opinions

  • Assignment (starred)- broadcast/print leads- hard copy!
  • 3rd and FINAL quiz- read the Post and Skimm and review grammar- past/present
  •  Guest Speaker- two former students- things they wished they learned at AU
    • Think about internships/work experience issues and questions

Have a great week!
Nina Kaplan