Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Class 4/25

Opening Exercise 
We each wrote one broadcast lead on the board.  The could be from the colon cleanse, Hassell DaJudg, or tornado stories. This activity acted as a "writing bootcamp" before the final which includes a broadcast story.  When writing leads, remember to...

  • Write the lead in present tense
  • Include the gist of the story, or "nugget" of most important information
  • Prioritize the most important news at the beginning of the lead
    • ex) Results of the colon cleanse, not that a study was conducted 
  • No not use quotation marks or parenthesis for phrases
  • Exclude unneeded  information so as not to dilute the strength of the message
    • ex) Damage to three houses is not as vital as the death of nine-year-old

Discussion on "Study: Poor Writing Skills Are Costing Businesses Billions"  
This article spoke to the importance of being a good writer.  Over $3.1 billion is spent annually on remedial training for adults even after their college educations.  The report showed that employers  noticed a lack in writing skills among college graduates, and during hiring they now assess resumes and cover letters for accuracy.  There is immense value in being a good writer, and it is a skill any business needs.  

Videos on Importance of Being Prepared 
We watched two short interviews that showed what happens when a reporter is prepared, and what happens when he/she is not.  

The first scenario showed a woman interviewing John Cusack and talking about his performance in American Beauty, a movie he is not in. She was caught off-guard and thoroughly embarrassed because she did not do her research.  

The second showed a high school reporter interviewing a government official on the issue of funding towards education.  After the official boasted his support to the program, the student was able to pull out records of when the official voted against it. The ordeal caused the official to be so flustered that he walked out of the interview, and it was a clear win for the student. These examples being prepared and informed is essential in communications.  

Writing Exercise on Pictionary  
We wrote broadcast stories about fight in Brasco State Psychiatric Hospital leading to a prison stabbing.  New developments were released two separate times prior to the piece being published, when the inmate was stabbed and when he died.  Our stories needed to change and be updated three times within a half hour, which worked on our versatility and ability to adapt.  This lesson reinforced the need for a lead to state the newest, most important information  These stories were printed or saved for us to reference when studying. 

Final Exam Next Week
The final will take place next week, Monday, May 2 at our regular time, 5:30 pm.  We will be given two fact sheets and must write one press release and one broadcast story.  The AP Style Manual may be used during the test. Professor Piacente gave last-minute tips to ensure success... 

  • Read past posts from the blog, important chapters from the textbook, and feedback from old work.
  • The press release will be held to a higher AP style standard because it would be sent to media outlets. 
  • Formatting, including the headline and one-sentence-leads, are essential points that should not be missed. 
  • Remember that when writing a press release you are an advocate not journalist, and you are the organization.  
  • The broadcast story MUST be in present tense.  
  • Be sure to make multiple rounds of revisions, each time for a different type of mistake.  Check for...
    • Grammar
    • Flow
    • Word Choice
    • Punctuation/ AP Style
Good Luck! 

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