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  1. 1. Chapter 4: NewsWriting for Electronic Media Robert M. Musberger: Notes for class
  2. 2. News• The distribution of information affecting people or information of interest to the largest audience.
  3. 3. The Fourth Estate• Many of the traditions and highest standards of news reporting were established by the print industry.
  4. 4. The Fourth Estate is a Watchdog• The aristocracy• The church• The common people
  5. 5. The other Estates• The aristocracy• The church• The common people
  6. 6. Confrontational position• Report corruption, misuse of power, and the mistreatment of the less powerful and the poor, which places them in direct opposition to those in power and those wanting to gain power by illegal or unethical means.
  7. 7. • Investigate• Research• Gather information
  8. 8. Beats: specialized areas assigned to reporters
  9. 9. Work is supervised by editors who developed a set of proofreading symbols
  10. 10. Dramatic Unity• Climax: the point of the story in the same way that a headline introduces a story.• Cause: tell why an event happened and the circumstances surrounding it• Effect: give the context of the story and possibly some insight into what the story means
  11. 11. Opening Lines• AP — ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Townspeople cowered indoors Wednesday as deputies with high-powered rifles hunted down and killed lions, tigers and dozens of other exotic beasts that escaped from a wild-animal park after the owner threw their cages open and committed suicide.
  12. 12. As the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters are hittingthe streets worldwide, another movement is quietlyunfolding online: OccupyTheBoardroom.​org (OTB).The new coali-tion surfaced on Saturday with theintention of delivering the messages of those who werehurt by the recession to the CEOs of top financialinstitutions such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley andWells Fargo. There are currently over 200 CEOs listed onthe website, including Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive ofGoldman Sachs, Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, andMukesh Ambani, a Bank of America board member.
  13. 13. • ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens and clashed with riot police during a massive anti-government rally against painful new austerity measures that won initial parliamentary approval in a vote Wednesday night.
  14. 14. Answer the 5 Ws• Who• What• When• Where• Why• And maybe How
  15. 15. Must find the opposing forces to create drama.• EDMONTON - Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason is demanding Premier Alison Redford intervene with the federal government in a dispute over temporary foreign workers in the oilsands.• Mason says 200 unionized insulators recently lost work on a project after the employer decided to look overseas.
  16. 16. Don’t bury important information deep into the story.
  17. 17. Accuracy is paramount!
  18. 18. Use titles of all subjects• As a kid living at 24 Sussex Drive, the Montreal Liberal MP and son of Pierre Trudeau says his was not a normal upbringing. He often “fantasized” about living in Riverdale with ginger-haired Archie Andrews and Betty and Veronica.
  19. 19. Be aware of trademarks and copyrights
  20. 20. Sins of Poor Writing• Avoid passive writing• Write in the present or future tense• Sentences need subjects• Avoid run-on sentences
  21. 21. • “A service station was robbed last night.”• Is not news—it’s history• Write instead:• “The service station bandit now rests in jail following his midnight holdup on Main Street.”
  22. 22. How to Avoid Bad Writing• Write short, direct-to-the-point sentences• Don’t back into a sentences• Avoid the use of indefinite pronouns• Avoid splitting infinitives, separating adverbs from modifying verbs• Avoid ending a sentence in a preposiition• Never use slang• Learn the differences in the uses of that, which, and who• Learn proper usage of words• Spell check, spell check, spell check
  23. 23. How to avoid bad writing cont.• Hyphenate letters ahat are pronounced individually: N-B-A• Spell out numbers except…two numbers occur together• Use figures for years• Use figures for phone numbers, hyphenate between numbers 5-1-4-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5• Round large numbers to easily understood numbers• Never write a million because it sounds like “8” million• In script copy, do not use quotations marks, bold type, italics, or all uppercase font unless the stylebook or format instruction call for such modifications• Brevity marks the best quotations
  24. 24. Writing Radio News Copy• Uses only one of the five senses to comprehend the material• Use of sounds other than words may ehlp develop the imagination of the audience• Short sentences with words with no more than three syllables• Use of actualites (i.ed., sounds bites) is important for the listener to actually hear the person in the story speak.
  25. 25. Sources• 43/#/photos/jmv/2477060343/lightbox/