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! 

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