Broadcast Newswriting mechanics

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Broadcast Newswriting mechanics

  1. 1. Ruby Angela Peña
  2. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Slugs The Split Page Avoiding Split Words and Sentences Punctuation Rewriting Wire Copy Conversational Style Reading your copy aloud Avoiding information overload Looking Ahead Timing stories
  3. 3.    The way of writing broadcast news story is different from that of other writing formats. In a broadcast news story BREVITY is CHERISHED, holding the audience’s attention is vital, and ACCURACY is DOMINANT. Stories last no more than 30sec, while some bumps and teasers are a quick five seconds.
  4. 4.   Even more intimidating for broadcasters is that they have but one opportunity to unveil the story; unlike print media, the consumer cannot go back and reread the story. The broadcast industry’s style of news writing deals with how to attribute quotes, round off numbers, avoid clichés, and a number of other techniques.
  5. 5.     The identification of every page of the news script. Slugs are placed in the upper left-hand corner of the page. It includes a one or two-word description of the story. It also includes the date, the time of the newscast, and the writer’s initials.
  6. 6.  Slugs are important because they allow the writer, producers, anchors, directors, and a variety of people involved in putting newscast together to locate a particular story in the script quickly.
  7. 7. Kids’ Band 4/25/2012 6pm FB
  8. 8.   A TV script is divided into two vertical stations and is known as split page. All technical instructions and identification of video and graphics appear in the left potion of the split page, while the script to be read by the anchor or reporter appears in the right column along with sound byte out cues and times.
  9. 9. If there is not enough room on a line of copy to complete a word, the entire word must be carried over to the next line.  Words should not be hyphenated.  Part of a sentence should not be carried over from one page to another. 
  10. 10.   Forcing anchors to jump from the bottom of one page to the top of the next invites trouble. It cannot be stressed too often that writers must avoid anything that increases the chance that anchors will stumble over copy.
  11. 11.   If a sentence cannot be completed on a page, it should begin on the top of the next page. Type the word MORE at the bottom of the page so the anchors know that there is more to the story on the next page.
  12. 12.    The punctuations in broadcast journalism and the punctuations in taught in an English class may not be the same. Commas in BR indicates a pause, and not exactly for grammatical purposes. Some writers use a dash to indicate a pause, but dashes should be used sparingly, usually to indicate longer pause.
  13. 13.     Do not use an ellipsis to indicate a pause or as a signal that you have eliminated part of a quotation. Never use semicolon. Capitalize words that anchors should emphasize. E.g. NOT. Some news rooms prefer the copy to be written in ALL CAPS.
  14. 14.   The essence of rewriting news stories from wire services is in relaying the relevant information as concisely as possible. The prime source for information in the newsroom is the wire service. The stories offered may be far too long for programs, thus prompting a quick rewrite.
  15. 15.   One strategy is to read the story from the wire copy, digest it, and then discard the copy. Then rewrite the story based on what you remember. You may find it difficult to surrender the wire copy and rely on memory only but that is the only way to be certain that you rewrite newspaper-style into conversational broadcast copy.
  16. 16.     It means writing for the ear. Broadcast copy must be written clearly and simply. Thoughts must be expressed quickly with brief, crisp, declarative sentences. The copy must be aimed at ordinary people, therefore using words that are easy to understand.
  17. 17.   Determines when words should be contracted, which words should be emphasized, how clear the sentences are, and how well the copy flows from sentence to sentence. The ear, not the eye, is the best judge of wellwritten broadcast copy.
  18. 18.  There may also be a case of poor sentence structure or phrasing or you may encounter a situation like this: The school superintendent says the best that can be offered in the veteran teachers finally mail this week, almost half of the new teachers’ contracts are this tight budget year. When received the paperwork in the them promptly resigned.
  19. 19.   Often, copy that is difficult to understand contains too much information in any one sentence. For broadcast, we must create sentences that can be easily understood by the listener.
  20. 20. FOR NEWSPAPER The Energy Department proposes to spend $2.4 billion next year and up to $3.7 billion in each of the following four years to bring the nation’s paralyzed nuclear weapon production plants into compliance with environmental and safety laws, according to Energy Secretary Walter Gregg. FOR BROADCAST The Energy Department wants to spend almost two and one-half billion dollars next year to improve the nation’s nuclear production plants. The funds would be used to bring the paralyzed plants into compliance with environmental and safety laws. Energy Secretary Walter Gregg says the government is willing to spend almost 15 billion dollars over the next four years to continue the cleanup and safety checks at the nuclear weapon production plants.
  21. 21.   Newscasts alert the audience to events that are expected to happen in the future. The information should be as specific as possible.
  22. 22.  The President is expected to leave the White House in the next 15 minutes or so for Andrews Air Force Base, where he’ll board All Force One for his trip to London.  At any moment now, members of the United Nations Security Council will consider new proposals on the crisis in the Middle East. We were told a few minutes ago that members were already beginning to arrive at the Security Council chamber.
  23. 23.  Whenever you use a specific time reference, such as tonight or a few minutes ago, place the reference as close as possible to the verb whose action it describes.
  24. 24.    It is essential to know how to time copy. If you are writing for yourself, use a stopwatch as you read each page of copy aloud and then write the time on the page. If you are writing for somebody else, it is more difficult to estimate time because everyone reads copy at a different pace.
  25. 25.   On average, newscasters read at a speed about 15 or 16 standard lines of copy per minute. For TV, because of the split page and the potential use of bold type for teleprompter, most newscasters take about one second to read each line of copy.

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