Writing for Visual Media
“Good writing is the foundation
of all successful journalism.”
News Writing
•

If you want to be a successful journalist, you have
to write well.

•

Good broadcast writers must engage ...
Print v.s. Broadcast Writing
•

Print writes for the eye

•

Broadcast writes for the ear

•

Newspaper writing still evol...
Merry Christmas Fatso
VS
Novelist

Anchor Woman

The Way We Write
Merry Christmas Fatso
Merry Christmas Fatso
Broadcast Writing Tips
•

Treating Numbers

•

Spell out numbers one to eleven

•

Use numerals for numbers 12-999

•

Use...
Accuracy
•

Missed facts, mispronunciations, distortions of
emphasis - all damage your credibility.

•

Accurate reporting...
Attribution
•

Attribution in broadcast precedes insertion in
broadcast writing.

•

We need to know who they are before w...
Attribution

•

Newspaper style attribution: The Fort Worth area
can expect an unusually chilly month, according
to the Na...
Attribution
•

Newspaper style attribution: The Fort Worth area
can expect an unusually chilly month, according
to the Nat...
Writing in the Active Voice
•

Making it easier for the listener to understand
Why Active Voice
•

A passive sentence presents the receiver of the
action before presenting the action itself,out of
chro...
Why Active Voice
•

One or two passive sentences can make a story
sound dull. A lot of passive writing will suffocate
the s...
Why Active Voice
•

Strong-flavored, action verbs give writing bounce
and holds the listener’s attention.

•

Passive voice...
Why Active Voice
•

“Never use the passive when
you can use the active.”
- George Orwell -
How to Identify
Passive Voice
•

When the subject of a sentence acts upon an
object.

•

Use of any form of the “to be” ve...
How to Convert Passive Voice
into Active Voice
•

Relocate the actor
–
–

•

The avalanche was caused by an explosion.
An ...
How to Convert Passive Voice
into Active Voice
•

Eliminate the passive voice verb
–
–

•

The car was filled with water
Th...
Verb Tense
•

Newspaper: (Past Tense) Said, reported, occurred,
burned, announced.

•

Broadcast: (Present Tense) Say, rep...
Time References
•

Good

•
•
•

“The day after tomorrow.”
“One week from today.”

Bad

•

Last night

•

Yesterday
Broadcast Writing Terms
•

VO - Voice over video

•

SOT - Sound on tape (Interview-sound bite)

•

Package - News report ...
Script Formats

Teleprompter

(Reader)

((ANCHOR))
TOO MANY CARS AND
NOT ENOUGH SPACES ON
CAMPUS TO PARK THEM.
THE CAMPUS ...
Script Format

(((ANCHOR)))
             A UTAH BOY SCOUT STARTED COLLECTING USED BASEBALL 
GEAR FOR LITTLE LEGUE KIDS IN ...
Broadcast Writing Terms
•

Reader : Just the anchor’s face and an over the
shoulder slide. (OTS)

:15 to :30
No Video
Reader
Reader
VO - (Voice over Video)
VO/SOT/VO
News Open & Tease
BLOOPERS!
Wow Me! Lab Assignment
(Extra Credit)

•

Interview 3 people you don’t
know between now and 10 p.m.
tonight

•
•

Must be ...
Wow Me!
•

Write 3 anchor leads using
the information

•

Print them out and bring
them to your lab this week.

•

Partici...
Wow Me Contest Winners
•

Lab members will vote on
top 10, then top 3 and
then the winner.

•

First place - 20 points of
...
Writing the Anchor Lead

You can not get them back if you don’t capture their
attention in the first twenty seconds
Writing the Anchor Lead
• Two sentences
• 1 - Summarize the story in a way that will draw
interest
• 2 - Introduce the rep...
Types of Anchor Leads
• Hard News Lead (Summary
Lead)
– Breaking News
– Updates on major new
– Hits at the heart of the
st...
Types of Anchor Leads
• Soft News Lead
– Feature stories
Types of Anchor Leads

• Suspended Lead - Delays the climax until the end.
– Folks in Wisconsin say Perky is a luck duck f...
Types of Anchor Leads
• Question Lead - (Use it sparingly - Journalists answer
questions.)
– Do you know how many young gi...
Types of Anchor Leads
• The well-known expression lead
– A grandmother in West Valley City proves that
“you can’t take it ...
Types of Anchor Leads
• The metaphor lead
– Despite the cold Provo Mayor Lewis Billings said his city is full of hot
air…w...
Types of Anchor Leads
• The freak event lead - Emphasize
the unusual nature of the story
– Springville water officials are
...
Types of Anchor Leads
• The staccato lead - One-two-three
punch
– Cold...fog...and bad air...that’s how the day
began in P...
Writing the Anchor Lead
• Two sentences
• 1 - Summarize the story in a way that will draw
interest
• 2 - Introduce the rep...
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Writing for a visual media lecture 2

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Writing for a visual media lecture 2

  1. 1. Writing for Visual Media “Good writing is the foundation of all successful journalism.”
  2. 2. News Writing • If you want to be a successful journalist, you have to write well. • Good broadcast writers must engage the attention of a half-interested person and motivate them to become vitally interested in the news.
  3. 3. Print v.s. Broadcast Writing • Print writes for the eye • Broadcast writes for the ear • Newspaper writing still evolving after 250 years • Broadcast writers have to hit a moving target
  4. 4. Merry Christmas Fatso VS Novelist Anchor Woman The Way We Write
  5. 5. Merry Christmas Fatso
  6. 6. Merry Christmas Fatso
  7. 7. Broadcast Writing Tips • Treating Numbers • Spell out numbers one to eleven • Use numerals for numbers 12-999 • Use words for thousands, millions, billions and trillions. • Round off numbers without distorting the meaning • Spell out things like “dollars,” “cents,” and “percent.”
  8. 8. Accuracy • Missed facts, mispronunciations, distortions of emphasis - all damage your credibility. • Accurate reporting demands that you show people as they are, whether good or bad, and “let the chips fall where they may.” • Your role as journalist is not to tell people what they would like to hear. Your job is to tell the story as accurately as you can, even when the facts are unpleasant.
  9. 9. Attribution • Attribution in broadcast precedes insertion in broadcast writing. • We need to know who they are before we care what they say. • You only have one chance for the viewer to get it. • Confusion means you lost your audience.
  10. 10. Attribution • Newspaper style attribution: The Fort Worth area can expect an unusually chilly month, according to the National Weather Service.
  11. 11. Attribution • Newspaper style attribution: The Fort Worth area can expect an unusually chilly month, according to the National Weather Service. • Radio or television attribution: The National Weather Service predicts an unusually chilly month in the Forth Worth area.
  12. 12. Writing in the Active Voice • Making it easier for the listener to understand
  13. 13. Why Active Voice • A passive sentence presents the receiver of the action before presenting the action itself,out of chronological order, in violation of the principles of narrative storytelling.
  14. 14. Why Active Voice • One or two passive sentences can make a story sound dull. A lot of passive writing will suffocate the story by making the action difficult or impossible to follow.
  15. 15. Why Active Voice • Strong-flavored, action verbs give writing bounce and holds the listener’s attention. • Passive voice writing often fails to give the important attribution necessary for the listener to understand the meaning of the story.
  16. 16. Why Active Voice • “Never use the passive when you can use the active.” - George Orwell -
  17. 17. How to Identify Passive Voice • When the subject of a sentence acts upon an object. • Use of any form of the “to be” verb. (is,am,are,was,were,be,being,been)
  18. 18. How to Convert Passive Voice into Active Voice • Relocate the actor – – • The avalanche was caused by an explosion. An explosion triggered an avalanche. Insert the missing actor – The suspect was booked into the jail. – Police booked the suspect into the jail.
  19. 19. How to Convert Passive Voice into Active Voice • Eliminate the passive voice verb – – • The car was filled with water The car filled with water Substitute the offensive verb for a better active voice verb – – The future of the Daily Universe is a matter of concern today. The future of the Daily Universe became a matter of concern today.
  20. 20. Verb Tense • Newspaper: (Past Tense) Said, reported, occurred, burned, announced. • Broadcast: (Present Tense) Say, report, occur, burns. (What is happening right now.) • False Present Tense: “A fire burns seven people at a Provo gas station.” “Police raid a Salt Lake grocery store.” (Not conversational)
  21. 21. Time References • Good • • • “The day after tomorrow.” “One week from today.” Bad • Last night • Yesterday
  22. 22. Broadcast Writing Terms • VO - Voice over video • SOT - Sound on tape (Interview-sound bite) • Package - News report with reporters voice • Live Remote - Reporter live from some location • On-Set - Reporter live on the set • Tease - Attempt to keep viewer during the commercials
  23. 23. Script Formats Teleprompter (Reader) ((ANCHOR)) TOO MANY CARS AND NOT ENOUGH SPACES ON CAMPUS TO PARK THEM. THE CAMPUS PARKING PATROL CHECKS THE LOTS EVERY FEW MINUTES LOOKING FOR CARS WITHOUT THE PROPER PARKING PERMITS. STUDENTS CAN’T BUY A STICKER IN THE “A”LOT, CLOSEST TO CAMPUS... AND DON’T WANT TO SHELL OUT 60BUCKS FOR A “Y” STICKER. BUT THEY SAY THEY STILL WANT TO DRIVE TO SCHOOL.
  24. 24. Script Format (((ANCHOR)))              A UTAH BOY SCOUT STARTED COLLECTING USED BASEBALL  GEAR FOR LITTLE LEGUE KIDS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC… WHERE THEY OFTEN PLAY WITH CARD BOARD MITS …ORANGES  AND STICKS INSTEAD OF BATS.  ((VO)))         IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IN SOME PARTS OF THE WORLD  KIDS CANT AFFORD A BASEBALL GLOVE OR A PAIR OF CLETES.             BUT CHARLIE ROBINSON LOVES BASEBALL…HE STARTED  PLAYING WHEN HE WAS JUST FIVE YEARS OLD.  ONE DAY CHARLIE SAW A TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY  ABOUT BASEBALL PLAYERS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…WHO  ALSO LOVE BASEBALL…BUT DON’T ENJOY THE EQUIPMENT AND  FACILITIES CHARLIE HAS. (((SOT))) 4:24   “A lot of kids don’t have money to buy new gloves for kids.  When I started playing I used my friends glove. They need equipment  over there.” (((VO)))                        WITH THE HELP OF HIS FRIENDS...CHARLIE AND HIS  FATHER CAMPED OUT AT LITTLE LEAGUE...HIGH SCHOOL...COLLEGE  AND SIMI PRO GAMES FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON…ASKING FANS TO  DROP OFF THEIR OLD STUFF. (((ANCHOR))) CHARLIE HOPES TO COLLECT MORE GEAR…BUT MOST OF  ALL HE NEEDS A WAY TO SHIP THE EQUIPMENT TO THE KIDS WHO  WANT IT …KIDS WHO LOVE BASEBALL AS MUCH AS HE DOES. (VO/SOT/VO)
  25. 25. Broadcast Writing Terms • Reader : Just the anchor’s face and an over the shoulder slide. (OTS) :15 to :30 No Video
  26. 26. Reader
  27. 27. Reader
  28. 28. VO - (Voice over Video)
  29. 29. VO/SOT/VO
  30. 30. News Open & Tease
  31. 31. BLOOPERS!
  32. 32. Wow Me! Lab Assignment (Extra Credit) • Interview 3 people you don’t know between now and 10 p.m. tonight • • Must be on BYU campus Email names and contact to lab instructor before 10 p.m. tonight
  33. 33. Wow Me! • Write 3 anchor leads using the information • Print them out and bring them to your lab this week. • Participate in the Wow Me Contest
  34. 34. Wow Me Contest Winners • Lab members will vote on top 10, then top 3 and then the winner. • First place - 20 points of extra credit • Second place - 15 points • • Third place - 10 points Everyone who participates 5 points
  35. 35. Writing the Anchor Lead You can not get them back if you don’t capture their attention in the first twenty seconds
  36. 36. Writing the Anchor Lead • Two sentences • 1 - Summarize the story in a way that will draw interest • 2 - Introduce the reporter and promise the viewer something new.
  37. 37. Types of Anchor Leads • Hard News Lead (Summary Lead) – Breaking News – Updates on major new – Hits at the heart of the story –
  38. 38. Types of Anchor Leads • Soft News Lead – Feature stories
  39. 39. Types of Anchor Leads • Suspended Lead - Delays the climax until the end. – Folks in Wisconsin say Perky is a luck duck for a lot or reasons. –
  40. 40. Types of Anchor Leads • Question Lead - (Use it sparingly - Journalists answer questions.) – Do you know how many young girls suffer from anorexia?
  41. 41. Types of Anchor Leads • The well-known expression lead – A grandmother in West Valley City proves that “you can’t take it with you,” today when 30thousand dollars in gold coins spilled out of her coffin.
  42. 42. Types of Anchor Leads • The metaphor lead – Despite the cold Provo Mayor Lewis Billings said his city is full of hot air…with more than 300 politicians gathered here for the national mayor’s conference.
  43. 43. Types of Anchor Leads • The freak event lead - Emphasize the unusual nature of the story – Springville water officials are sorry, but thousands of fish are dead
  44. 44. Types of Anchor Leads • The staccato lead - One-two-three punch – Cold...fog...and bad air...that’s how the day began in Provo. –
  45. 45. Writing the Anchor Lead • Two sentences • 1 - Summarize the story in a way that will draw interest • 2 - Introduce the reporter and promise the viewer something new.

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