Writing for Media Session #5, Part #2 “Writing for Broadcast Journalism” UCSD Extension Spring 2012
Broadcasting• Most popular medium of mass communication• Delivers immediacy and impact• Avg. American home has over 50 channels• 6,000+ radio/TV station in US • 1,700 daily newspapers in US
Section of News• Audio or visual impact (show me!) • actual event more dramatic than reporter talking about it• Timeliness • breaking news• Information, not explanation • simple and straightforward news
Characteristics -- 5 Cs1. Correctness (accuracy)2. Clarity (no ambiguity, clear and precise)3. Concise (efﬁcient, saves time)4. Color (paint a picture)5. Conversational (style, write like you talk)
Story Structure• Dramatic unity (package) • climax -- what happened? • cause -- why it happened? • effect -- what it means?
Story Structure (cont.)• Completed circles• Complete package (intro, middle, close)• Measured in time (not words)• Written to ﬁt time format of newscast • 2-minute story (no longer, no less)
Newscast• Tight deadlines (hourly sometimes)• Timeliness of news stories (news value)• Prominence of sources (news value)• Availability of video, audio, slides, ﬁlm, etc.
Radio Formats• Written copy/voicers (w/o soundbites)• Sound bites (w/ source soundbites)• Wrap-around (intro, conclusion)• Mini-documentary (several soundbites, b- roll, music, more than a couple minutes)
TV Formats• Reader copy (anchor/reporter reads news)• Voice-overs (b-roll w/ reporter’s voice)• Voice-over to soundbite (reporter to source)• Package stories (intro, stand-up, soundbites, etc.)• Live shots (reporter on the scene)
Extended Story (web)• Must tell a story• Have central theme• Have central character• Beginning, middle, end (wrap it up)• Interview itself (source can exhibit personality)
Extended Story (web)• Research• Preparation (know topic, send questions)• Interview situation (comfortable location)• Positioning (don’t look into the camera)• Questions (ease into the interview)• Extended interview