Print news stories have the 5 Ws, but broadcast news stories have the 4 Cs (correctness, clarity, color and conversational style). These four Cs still serve as the basis for broadcast writing and form a good framework for talking about broadcast writing styles. Here are the rules for writing broadcast copy:
Use titles before names.
Avoid Abbreviations, even on second reference.
Avoid direct quotations if possible.
Attribution should come before a quotation, not after it.
Use as little punctuation as possible.
Numbers and statistics should be rounded off.
Personalize the news when possible and appropriate.
Avoid extended description.
Avoid using symbols when you write.
Use visual cues in your writing.
Use phonetic spelling for unfamiliar and hard-to-pronounce names and words.
Avoid third-person pronouns.
Write in the present context when it is appropriate.
Avoid dependent clauses at the beginning of sentences.
The most common structure for broadcast news is called dramatic unity. This structure has three parts: climax, cause, and effect.
The climax of the story gives the listener the point of the story is about the same way the lead of a print news story does; it tells the listener what happened.
The cause portion of the story tells why it happenedâ€”the circumstances surrounding the event.
The effect portion gives the listener the context of the story and possibly some insight into what the story means.
Assignment: Produce a script for a newscast.
Take Assignment #2: On the Spot News Story and turn it into a segment for a newscast.
Report the story as if it just happened.
While still following AP Style, write a script for one anchor.
You are writing in a conversational tone as outlined in your textbook.
You are the anchor of this ONE anchor news cast.
Think about what the focus of your story is before you write it!
Do additional research if needed.
Use quotes if needed to add to the story.
Time limit: 1:30 minutes.
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