Writing For Broadcast Powerpoint: Writing for the Ear, Not the Eye
- Use present tense as much as possible
- Present tense review: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/01
- 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
- 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"
- 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!