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Introduction to Media Writing.

This course is about writing -- first and foremost, how to write well in a professional environment. Secondly, it’s about how learning how to write in the major forms of writing for various mass media. This course is important -- possibly one of the most important that you will take. Why?
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Writing is central to all media industries. Writing is the mark of a well educated person. Writing is a powerful activity. The ability to control and articulate ideas and information gives you power over what other people know and think about.

What’s different? "But I’ve had English 101 and 102. Why do I need this course?" This course is different from all other writing course that you have had in two important ways:

First, we emphasize information. The major purpose of writing for the mass media is to present information.

Second, one of the purposes of this course is to teach you how to write in a professional environment. That is, we want you to understand what the demands of professionalism are and what you will need to meet those demands. Third, writing in a media environment usually means writing for a mass audience. Chances are, a lot of people are going to read or hear or see what you write (not just your English professor). Understanding that audience is a











Finally, there is the concept of modesty. By that we mean that good writing for the mass media puts the writer in the background and emphasizes instead the content of the writing. An audience doesn’t care what you think or how you feel about what you are writing. The audience wants information, and it wants that information presented accurately, completely, efficiently and precisely. Four characterictics of media writing And those are the four characteristics of media writing
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accuracy completeness efficiency precision

Accuracy is the chief requirment of a writer for the mass media. This is not just a journalist’s requirement. All writers are expected to present informaiton accurately and to take some pains in doing so. Many of the procedures for writing for the mass media are set up to ensure accuracy.

Completeness means that you should present your information in a context so that it can be easily understood by a mass audience. It should be clear and coherent. Your writing should answer all of the questions that could be expected by the audience. (Not all of the questions that could be asked, but all those that it takes to understand the information.)

Efficiency is one of the most prized writing characteristics. Efficiency means

using the fewest words to present you information accurately and clearly. Efficiency is difficult to achieve because
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most of us write inefficiently, especially on first draft most of use do not do a good job in editing our writing the world is filled with inefficient writing, and we often fall victim to it.

Precision means that as a writer, you take special care with the language. You know good grammar and practice it. You use words for precisely what they mean. You develop a love for the language. As a developing professional, you should strive to make your writing
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satisfactory, to your audience and to you as a writer engaging, so that the audience will stop, attend powerful, so you can make a difference in the lives of your readers and listeners

The defining moment in the history of radio was at 12.30pm on 12 December 1901 when the three dots of the Morse letter "S", transmitted from Poldhu in Cornwall, were received in St John's Newfoundland. The technology involved was evolutionary - similar to that beginning to be used over modest distances already, albeit much more powerful. What was revolutionary, however, was the belief that radio would follow the curve of the earth over such great distances, and that it was worth spending considerable time, effort and money to demonstrate it. Guglielmo Marconi proved the doubters wrong. Born and educated in Italy, Guglielmo Marconi spent most of his working life in Britain. He was attracted here because he found the British open to new ideas and able to provide the high quality of scientific and engineering support he

It was Guglielmo Marconi who proved that radio was the international communications medium. Radio is a fascinating medium. we are proud to be its custodians. businessman. and demonstrates that radio could be used for signalling . 100 years later. the Agency and similar bodies around the world have taken up his challenge to make international communications early inward investor to the UK and an early international. Whatever the use of radio. as opposed to colonial. The amateur community keeps alive Guglielmo Marconi's experimental tradition and business sees radio as the life blood of enterprise and economic development. In that respect he was a social pioneer too . from satellite communications to very short range devices. predicted by Maxwell 1894 Sir Oliver Lodge unveils a "coherer" to detect radio waves. Our job is to ensure that the potential of the spectrum is fully realised and that all the different radio services can co-exist in an orderly way.THE MILESTONES 1873 James Clerk Maxwell identifies electromagnetic waves with light as their visible manifestation 1887 Heinrich Hertz demonstrates the existence of radio waves. both in the UK and overseas. The regulation in the UK of Guglielmo Marconi's legacy rests with the Radiocommunications Agency.almost unimaginable amounts of traffic flow through every part of the radio spectrum. the Radiocommunications Agency is working to ensure that Guglielmo Marconi's legacy is exploited for the benefit of all. the growth of radio has been dramatic . History RADIO .needed.

from the East Goodwin lightship 1901 FIRST TRANSATLANTIC COMMUNICATION. MR MARCONI" SAID LORD SAMUEL."THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH ONE MAN. including a June recital by Dame Nellie Melba 1.700 people rescued from the SS Republic: the Marconi radio WIFE-KILLER DR CRIPPEN ARRESTED WHILE FLEEING TO operator sent 200 signals to guide rescuers Marconi demonstrates his system in Britain.1895 GUGLIELMO MARCONI DEVELOPS A MORE PRACTICAL MEANS OF SENDING AND RECEIVING RADIO SIGNALS. between England and France 1899 First distress call. and files his first . improving the performance of radio receivers 1904 1906 Government introduces radio licence fees on the basis of Lee de Forest adds an extra element to Fleming's diodes. BUT THE ITALIAN AUTHORITIES ARE UNIMPRESSED 1896 patent 1898 First use of radio in naval manoeuvres 1899 First international radio communication. BETWEEN CORNWALL AND NEWFOUNDLAND 1904 Ambrose Fleming invents the thermionic valve. adjusted by the "cat's whisker" (fine wire) became a low-cost way of receiving early broadcasts 1909 1910 CANADA 1912 700 RESCUED FROM THE TITANIC . POSTMASTER GENERAL 1918 Wireless Telegraphy Board created to co-ordinate moves to avoid radio interference 1920 First advertised broadcasts in Britain. his recovering administrative costs triodes improve reception and allow amplification 1906 Crystals identified as a good detector of radio signals. In the early 1920s the crystal set.

Brazil. the USA and Canada becomes Cable and Wireless Ltd 1932 BRITISH EMPIRE SERVICE .2LO .1922 Marconi Company sets up London broadcasting station .BROADCASTS FROM DAVENTRY 1932 Marconi installs first microwave telephone link between the Vatican and the Pope's official residence 1932 International 1936 1937 Telegraph Union (ITU) becomes International Telecommunication Union reflecting its role in radio communications BBC Television Service begins (but is suspended during the war) Guglielmo Marconi dies in Italy: wireless stations observe twoC Clarke proposes geostationery satellites for global minutes radio silence 1945 Arthur communications 1947 ITU becomes a specialised agency of the United Nations.FORERUNNER OF THE BBC WORLD SERVICE .that was subsequently taken over by the British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) 1925 Westinghouse Company in Pittsburgh starts international broadcasting 1925 John Logie Baird demonstrates television at Selfridges 1929 Marconi's network linking Britain with Argentina. creates the International Frequency Registration Board 1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act gives management of the radio spectrum to the General Post Office 1952 Start of ITU technical co-operation activities 1952 Single television standard of 625 lines at 50 frames/second proposed for Europe 1953 Radio Amateurs Emergency Network (RAYNET) formed by the Radio Society of Great Britain following extensive flooding 1955 ITV begins broadcasting .

SPUTNIK 1 .GOES INTO ORBIT BBC2 BEGINS BROADCASTING 1962 Telstar satellite allows live transatlantic television transmissions 1966 Live pictures broadcast from the moon 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act makes it illegal to advertise on pirate stations like Radio London and Radio Caroline 1967 Radio 1 begins broadcasting 1967 BBC2 introduces colour 1969 BBC1 and ITV introduce colour 1969 Post Office Act moves radio spectrum management to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications 1971 First World Telecommunication Exhibition and Forum in Geneva 1973 Independent radio begins in the UK 1974 Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications dissolved .1957 1964 FIRST SATELLITE .radio spectrum management moves to the Radio Regulatory Division of the Home Office 1982 CHANNEL 4 BEGINS BROADCASTING 1983 World Communications Year 1983 Radio Regulatory Division moves from Home Office to Department of Trade and Industry 1984 Telecommunications Bill splits GPO and creates British Telecom and Oftel 1985 Cellnet and Vodafone offer cellular phones 1986 DTI's Radio Regulatory Division becomes Division 1989 Sky satellite television begins 1990 RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AGENCY FORMED UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S NEXT STEPS PROGRAMME 1992 Independent national radio begins with Classic FM 1992 Rabbit telepoint service begins in May 1993 First World Radiocommunication Conference and Assembly in Geneva 1993 Rabbit telepoint service ends in December Radiocommunications .

SPONSORS ARE THE NATIONAL TRUST. .1993 Private Business Radio licensing moves from London to the regions the start of devolved licensing 1994 Orange launches PCN services 1994 CELLNET LAUNCHES DIGITAL (GSM) SERVICE 1996 White Paper on Spectrum Management into the 21st Century proposes that licences should reflect the economic value of the spectrum (see 1904) 1997 Channel 5 begins broadcasting 1997 Digital standards agreed 1998 Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 introduces spectrum pricing based on economic value not administrative cost 1998 Digital broadcasting begins 2000 UK Third generation mobile phone auction 2000 . I have said it earlier too. PART VISITOR CENTRE. MARCONI PLC AND POLDHU AMATEUR RADIO CLUB.OFCOM 2001 THE MARCONI CENTRE OPENS AT POLDHU ON 12 DECEMBER. RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AGENCY DONATES EQUIPMENT PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR AN OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS ROLE AND REACH The recent ILT survey has proved that radio listenership is growing exponentially and its reach is awesome. and I will repeat – while there is a lot of excitement about the fact that radio delivers a greater reach than English dailies – which incidentally garner the largest portion of ad spends – it only spells and corroborates the obvious – there are more radio listeners because one doesn’t have to be educated to listen to the radio. THE CENTRE IS PART CLUBHOUSE.

However. Listeners of FM radio in Mumbai have spent considerable time listening to a plethora of radio stations and have formed their choices over a longer period of time. The recent ILT survey has declared Radio City as the number one channel in Mumbai and number two in Delhi. In this process. all FM operators need to focus on growing the market and that is enough to keep all the radio broadcasters busy focussing on growing their respective businesses. Over the top advertising and biased articles in home publications have helped competition stay ahead of the awareness game in the early days in Delhi. At present. . in itself. this is a short-lived phenomenon. However. as seen and experienced in Mumbai – where competition.Corroboration of that fact by the ILT research study is a wake up call for advertisers and media planners/buyers. as they are two different things entirely. in spite of having a vice-like grip from a home publication point of view. These entities ought to tune in to the new trends and take advantage of it. brands that are more visible from an 'opportunity to be seen' parameter are the ones that get picked up and normally get quoted. This. The ILT survey is based on recall methodology. and in spite of over the top usage of its home publication is unable to mould public opinion and force listeners to choose their brand as the automatic choice. is enough to vindicate radio’s position with regard to its 'reach' in the media. What made you a leader in Mumbai and how come that strategy hasn't paid off in Delhi? FM radio in Mumbai has been around for more than two years now. while Delhi has seen private FM radio channels only for a year. the 'opportunity to be seen' should not be mistaken with the 'opportunity of being heard'.

in light of the fact that the reach of radio has grown by more than four times in Mumbai and has doubled in Delhi. the advertiser is far more certain of reaching his target consumer with radio as compared to advertising on most of the niche publications and television channels. Today. We also know that listening to Radio is a habit and as with any habit it’s got to be formed over a period of time. “"Relationships formed over a longer period of time with higher usage of the product leads to an enduring relationship that Radio City has been able to form with Mumbaikars. the focus for all stations is on creating the market. where advertisers who join the bandwagon early are likely to gain much more than those who come on post research. the biggest competitor to radio is print media. the share of advertising revenue should automatically grow for FM radio. and not television."” Worldwide. radio in . since there are still so few radio stations and so many other publications and television channels to consider. could very well change by the next month. as there’s hardly one around.Relationships formed over a longer period of time with higher usage of the product leads to an enduring relationship that Radio City has been able to form with Mumbaikars. As the recent research study indicates. Also. as airtime post research will be more expensive. It is a fact that the lion’s share of the radio universe is serviced by Radio City and Radio Mirchi in Mumbai and Delhi. And by sheer dint of delivering local audiences. In fact. Getting excited about monthly tracks doesn’t really concern us since radio is a highly dynamic landscape and what holds good for this month. It’s the 'early bird catches the worm' syndrome. FM radio is the ideal vehicle for localised advertising. That is the strength on which Radio City bases its belief.

it has also continued growing. overall In most places in the world. people can listen to radio while they're driving and also while reading newspapers and magazines or surfing the Internet. In spite of all these threats. For instance. which garner among the largest portion of ad spends. you may well find some special-interest appealing programming nestled within a station's more broadly format. across the day.India delivers a greater reach than the English dailies. All of this works wonderfully well for . radio has not only revived itself. As FM radio and its listenership evolves in people can continue to do their work and also hear the advertisers' commercials between the programming. It is radio’s unique ability to be in the background and yet draw your attention. time spent listening to the radio far exceeds any other media. Similarly. This is primarily due to the fact that radio listening isn't a time consuming activity. television was going to kill it off and Internet is also the most recent new "threat" to radio. it is an advertisers' creative ability to use this phenomenon to his advantage that can help him reap benefits of the most cost effective and personal medium like radio. Good. radio as a medium has been pronounced dead many times. unique and distinctive programming is another prerequisite to grow the advertising pie. who can continue with his work while tuned in to radio. The talking motion picture was expected to make radio irrelevant. This would however need advertisers to wake up to the listenership trends on FM radio and start sampling the medium on a large scale. which makes it a perfect companion. It's a companion activity – as I have just explained . Since its inception. The basic strength of radio is that it provides an effective service to the listener.

obviously. which has further been broadly corroborated by TRAI and now awaits a ministerial clearance. “"Advertisers who join the bandwagon early are likely to gain much more than those who come on post research. the financial loss alone is around Rs 330 crore and the figure is still growing. as airtime post research will be more expensive. The sector was expected to be a high energy and high growth environment in the initial years. as radio listeners are also not prone to surfing.6 in Mumbai) due to the burden of high licence fees. shares a major part of this burden along with Radio Mirchi. These stations would not have built their businesses for a two-year stint only to shut down. all other stations would be forced to follow the same path. Radio City being one of the two big broadcasters. The solution has already been provided in the form of the Amit Mitra Task force committee report. It would be fair to state that like stations that have been forced to shut down ( WIN 94. The minister has assured the private FM radio group that the matter will be looked into on a top priority basis. if we do not have a solution soon. This has . That's radio's greatest strength! The FM radio group has recently met with the I&B minister in order to share the excruciating financial burden that is being faced by the private FM radio broadcasters for the last three years. We also have a situation where a station has already shut down in Mumbai." The loss has been colossal – in real finance terms. However. in manpower deployment and mostly affected the spirit with which all the broadcasters entered the FM radio business.the advertiser. and another one is expected to down its shutters after two years of operations – solely due to the unbearable licence fees.

We will be able to show when a consumer watches your advertisement. no other single media product is geared towards providing absolutely local information.the common language of television. Without it. So on a reservation basis.happened solely due to the high licence fee scenario and inaction from the government. Radio being a free-to-access medium makes it an automatic choice of the masses. The government should enable the private radio operators with the same freedom to operate news and current affairs as freely and independently. Soon. Besides. as is given to All India Radio and television channels. which makes it the ideal local medium. we will be able to provide delivery on paid impression. despite repeated requests made by the FM radio industry. we can understand the demographics of the people. “"Since there are still so few radio stations and so many other publications and television channels to consider."” . We can also provide estimated time spent calculated through total number of impressions. Local news is one of the USPs of a radio station. a station is denied its true role as an active community participant. the advertiser is far more certain of reaching his target consumer with radio. It is imperative to be able to provide the masses with news and not keep them away from it. owned and earned impressions. We provide YouTube analytic and also in the Adwords for Videos interface and through other reservation booking systems we are able to provide many of the same metrics that people get in the television industry. The masses have a right to access information and news. which advertisers want to reach and then we can translate the numbers into GRPs . It is radio’s ability to address the local environment. do they also watch any other video of your brand or share the video with a friend or want to watch it again.

“"Since its inception. With today's modern techniques of audience research. that is slowly being replaced by the more accurate measure of ‘cash register ring’. in both programming content and technology. television was going to kill it off and Internet is also the most recent new "threat" to radio.1 choice. radio stations know more about the wants of their target listeners than ever before. We have used this insight to launch various kinds of programmes apart from our bread and butter offering of Hit Hindi music. we will constantly seek to introduce new programming formats in the music and non-music space. and my response has always been – 'One man's meat is another man's poison'. auto lubricants and media. . This has been more than demonstrated by television over the last ten years."” Foreign investment in the electronic media has led to improvement of standards. and they can deliver just that. a retail advertiser would earlier make its decisions based on gut feel. Programming that one person thinks is not good enough may be just what another person seeks and prefers. financial services. Similarly. In fact. radio as a medium has been pronounced dead many times. it is one of the key reasons as to why Radio City is the people’s No. The main categories of advertisers that we see on Radio City are from FMCG.I’ve been asked this question many times before. The talking motion picture was expected to make radio irrelevant. While Radio City enjoys the patronage of these advertisers. Going forward. We would definitely like this to change. there are a large number of companies that are still not using radio as an advertising medium. Now. International linkages generally bring positive influences.

But it’s a point to be noted that the telecom equipment manufactures have spotted the trend of radio being an integral medium and therefore. as stated in the governments up-linking policy. There aren't too many mobile phones around which play FM radio. In addition to the inevitable centrality of thinking which affects story choice and story length. The eighth story waits on the first seven. Radio. that is. and Television News6/23/2003 because the radio listener. RADIO STYLE Radio Style The radio newscast must be consumed sequentially. the ear can go only forward with the voice of the newscaster. .The guidelines for foreign direct investment in private FM radio should be consistent with other media like print and TV. The eye can go back. which maintains that interest. which means in practice that all seven are chosen to be interesting to a significant number of listeners and are presented at a length. Radio on the web is still not available for Indian stations as there is a cost implication with regards to music royalties and no broadcaster is willing to add on to their costs and bear that cost as yet. The numbers currently are too small. the listener does not hear the second story in the newscast without hearing the first story. integrated the FM radio service availability into their handsets. a pressing concern exists for clarity in both sentence length and word choice Writing Style Differences in Newspaper. norms for FDI investment could be similar to those that provide news content (FDI portion capped at 26 per cent) & those that don’t (FDI can touch 100 per cent). is unable to stop to review and reconsider the meaning of a sentence. However. unlike the newspaper reader.

a natural thing to do because the radio talked to them.During the “golden age of radio. and consequently is paying less than full attention. the radio listener is often driving. but perhaps they apply with a little more force to the writing of radio news summaries. Writing news of the economy requires a balance between precision and understanding. Radio news is hard enough for anyone to follow but the confusion is greater for people who are not on top of events. The newscaster jumps from topic to topic. An additional difficulty in absorbing the information in a summary newscast is its demand on the listener’s ability to keep up not only with a rapid delivery but also with the variety of news. Unlike the attentive newspaper reader. there should be no need to do so. The radio broadcast news writer learns to beware of innocent little words like “it. which run at comfortable lengths in a style known as “conversational. Today. where news items average two or three sentences and then the topic shifts.” These conditions influence television news as well. as if the listener would have no difficulty in going from a flood in Bangladesh to a political crisis in Romania to a train accident north of town.” 1930-1950. it seems. 5 Irving Fang . the family gathering around the parlor radio console in the evening sat facing it. (1) Because listeners lack opportunity to go back to reconsider a bit of information.” One textbook guideline suggests writing as if telling a story to a friend who is trying to catch a bus that is ready to pull away. geographic location to location. because pronouns have antecedents. This limitation affects the structure of phrases of attribution and the use of pronouns. Particularly important is the care needed in the presentation of the numbers sprinkled throughout economic news. working. no one looks at radios. As a result radio news stories are written to be told in familiar words combined into sentences. They speak to us from under the steering wheel or over our shoulder. before television sets appeared in every home. or engaged in some task other than absorbing the latest news.

unbelievable situations. UNIT II The first thing to get used to in writing effective radio. the visual medium with newly developing computer graphics. Purists may howl. The Spoken Word. such as verbless sentences. Radio is an ‘out loud’ medium. and no restrictions on the places the listener can be transported to.The thoughtful newscaster takes these topical twists and turns into consideration in both writing and delivery. and nowhere that is out of bounds. Radio has always been able to create the fantastic worlds. the newspaper editor need not give the matter a moment’s thought. A well used and often overused phrase within the radio industry is that ‘Radio is the Theatre of the Mind. declarative sentences.’ This phrase is an attempt to demonstrate the power of the medium in that radio uses chiefly the listener’s imagination to create the pictures. is that there are no rules. characters and backdrop for the all the writer’s intent. The only barriers are the restrictions in the writer’s imagination. has only recently been able to achieve. Attribution precedes statements as it does in normal conversation. and outlandish characters. but the reality is that understanding is more important than grammar to a radio news writer. The radio news writing style that has developed includes the choice of simple words and short. There are those who insist therefore that the ‘pictures’ on radio are better and more effective because they are individual and unique to that listener. The Theatre of the Mind. and any writer who wants to make the most of the mediums potential and use it effectively has to become familiar with . Sentence structure is incomplete at times.

to read any writing out loud. than any modern medium. This applies to any radio writing from radio drama. Working in the Studio. together with a skilled final production. Music and Silence. and the dramatic and useful pause. Radio. Voices. to commercials. The script together with the right sound effects can provide all the listener needs to be transported to another world. to create any situation the writer imagines. some suggest has more in common with the ancient art of oral storytelling. news broadcasts to simple stories. can produce a powerful piece of radio. The wise scriptwriter will listen to any advice and input from both. is not surprisingly. and all can be found. Radio uses a few essential tools. A well written script bearing all this in mind. It’s a good starting point for any investigation into the creative possibilities of an audio only method of communication. usually without leaving the radio studio. The type of voices used and the experience and talent of any voice-overs. or voice talent. Music is also a powerful scene setter. try different suggestions to improve the written word as it becomes the spoken word and eventually the final piece of audio. A good script should however be judged finally in the recording process and the help of a good sound engineer and acting talent can make a good radio script a great piece of radio. Sound Effects. and the best way to learn to write for the spoken word. can dramatically alter the finished production. Finding and mixing together the right sound effects to create the intended situation are again a learned and practised skill.writing for the spoken word as opposed to the written word. The Radio Advertising Bureau in the . understands and utilises the significant effect of silence. and finally every good radio writer. The two are completely different skills.

Orson Welles’ 1938 production of "War of the Worlds" by the Mercury Theatre Company is often quoted as an example of the power of the media. Reports from the time suggest it caused panic in at least some of the population in the United States at the time. ”you can close your eyes.” Listening is a difficult experience not to do. So why was it so powerful? It started with a good script and the following elements: • • • • • • • an original and inventive story by HG Wells a thoughtful and considered adaptation by a skilled writer a simple format of using radio reporting "actualite" to progress the story good voice acting expert and skilled production using radio’s strengths to create strong emotions in the listener’s mind a broadcast at the right time (just as hostilities seemed imminent) to create maximum impact . have also coined the phrase. In this theatre there are only a few props available: • • • • • voice sound effects music background atmospheres silence Silence is often overlooked by many producers and proponents of radio but yet it is one of the most powerful weapons available to the radio writer and producer. Writing a Creatively Powerful Radio Script Starting the process of making good audio starts with writing a good script. but you can’t close your ears.UK.

. A good radio program needs the following: • • • • • • • a good script – imaginative and well written a script written as audio a cast with the right voices a sympathetic sound engineer with good ears sound effects that build the story a production that uses the power and emotion of music the use of silence The story of radio historically is relatively short. Creative Strengths of Radio Great radio programmes like "War of the Worlds" and many others in the catalogue of good radio over the years. were not just in the listener’s mind. could do a lot worse than spending some time in the radio vaults listening to radio dramas from years gone by. on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond can still offer today’s writers and producers pointers to the creative possibilities of their medium. Orson Wells It’s also worth remembering that at the time of broadcast. radio was the mass medium most accessible by the general population and television had yet to achieve the impact in households in the US it enjoys today. Some suggest it’s unlikely because of these circumstances that any such radio broadcast will ever achieve the creative impact that "War of the Worlds" had in the late 1930s.• the presence of one of radio’s best known and most talented stars. creatively. The audio scholar starting any exploration of how to use the medium to its full potential. when radio theatres like Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre. but were actual living breathing and often real live events.

or paragraphs and chapters across the page and . Why. And how to achieve the client’s advertising aims and objectives. An industry.) • • Once the creative brief is agreed the process of writing radio scripts can begin. Setting down audio creative ideas on paper is not as difficult as it first might appear. (the audience reward. • This for most practitioners in the creative part of industry is the “Who. interest) What is this audience being asked to do (advertiser contact: call. As well as providing an agreed focus for the campaign. examining the best ways to make radio a more effective advertising medium. or increased brand awareness.Much has been written through the various radio industry bodies. Unlike the written word which convention dictates should fall normally into sentences and headings. the brief is also the starting point for the creative use of radio.” template. like the UK’s and the USA’s Radio Advertising Bureau(s) and Canada’s Radio Marketing Bureau. demographic profile. Any creative work can be developed from this and put simply. most in the industry will recognise The Creative Brief Template as: • Who is the audience being addressed or talked to (age.) Why should this audience do it. Creatively this often takes the form of discussions on: • • • How to take a workable creative brief from a client. store or web visit. sex. How to deliver that brief back to the client for agreement and approval. an area also much in on-going discussion and debate within the industry.wide recognised template helps not only the writer but also in the presentation of those ideas both to the industry and to the client. How best to write and record effective radio commercials from that brief. What.

Male voice over Fvo . descriptions. Any copyright information. script title and duration. A template such as this can oviously be . Details of music.Female voice over Cvo . Split the page 25% / 75%.I/c (In-cue first audio in) & O/c (Out-cue or last audio out. and instructions to anyone reading the page. such as : • • • • • • • Vo .Sound effect description Inserts . as well as more detailed description of the various other non-speech audio inserts. client name. music. company contact and references. Mvo . Right Hand 75%: contains the body of the script. sound effects. approval signature(s) and the date is normally included at the bottom of the page. So in theory most radio scripts contain the following: • Centred Title header: with presentation logo.) Mix or Music .Child voice over) Sfx .Details of music including style. and the right hand 75% the script itself with script wording and more details of the various audio inserts. and audio inserts. performer or label ref. • • The script layout will also contain some common abbreviations. writer. The left hand 25% of the page will be mostly short cues. composer.remains the written word. directions.Voice Over or Talent (including description/style where appropriate). the spoken word and indeed the spoken and visual medium works on a split page. Left Hand 25%: Cues for voice talent. with lines for each voice following the direction on the left side. sound effects. directions and brief placing instructions for in-cues and out-cues of audio inserts.

if appropriate. left justified or centred.” of the radio commercial script should give the reader all the necessary admin information and outline what’s contained in the script. The duration intended of the finished commercial. The name of the writer(s). and A logo. The product being advertised. as may any planned activity on radio stations. normally 10.50 or 60 seconds. The title of the script. The agency name (if appropriate) and contact name. It is generally laid out as a list. How to Write a Commercial Script for Radio – The Footer It’s also wise. • • • This information is contained in the heading of the script page and usually only on the first page. Any reference details and (often) the intended radio stations. It should give the following information: • • • • • The client’s name. but a radio script presented as above will be well understood within the industry.30.40. The duration may change in the recording process. and even sometimes split left and right into two columns. but perhaps not so common. to add a footer to the script template to cover copyright and contact details. Commercial Radio Script Components – The Header The “Header.altered to suit the production. This can be: More on this topic • How Long is a Radio Ad . 20.

not only demonstrable control of the copyright of the work. The instructions will include some common abbreviations: • • • • • • Mvo – male voice over. . Brief contact details. Other instructions can be given on the script itself. and/or sound effects. either an email address or a telephone number. but signed approval of agreement from the client. or in the left hand margin. Atmos/Nats – atmosphere or natural sound Mx – mix with details of mixing music tracks. Sfx – sound effects. Fvo – female voice over. directions to the voice overs and both the types of voices and the style of delivery. Usually. or Space for a signature of approval for recording and the date of that approval. The Commercial Script Format for Radio Between the header and the footer. • • This footer gives the writer and the production house or the agency. casting and inserts on one-third of the page on the left-hand side of the page and the script wording on the remaining two-thirds on the right hand side.• • • Inspiration for Writing a Radio Ad How to Write a Radio Advertising Campaign A simple statement to outline who owns the copyright and any conditions of the written work. the script itself normally has instructions. Cvo – children’s voices.

to be translated by the sound engineer. written and imagined by the writer or writers. music and other inserts will also be instructed by the following: • • • • • • Fade In. Continue Under. Fade Out. The script with all the relevant instructions and inserts should enable the piece. The previous lesson helped you to understand how a radio station works. and sometimes also in capitals.Layout of the Commercial Radio Script As everyone has their own preferred type-face so different writers. Out / End . Sound effects.where the insert has definite start. and as well as generally using the more standard type faces. Mix Up. There will be an attractive cover. advertisements of different products.where the insert has a definite end. When you read a popular magazine. broadcast and media organisations prefer to standardise their company's output. interviews and other features. into audio as the creator intended even without the writer being present. Similarly. ART OF WRITING DIFFERENT RADIO FORMATS FORMATS OF RADIO PROGRAMMES You are by now familiar with a radio station. In / Start . stories or articles on issues ranging from politics to sports and cinema. a radio station also broadcasts programmes of different . together with a producer and all the voice actors and any other participants. you will come across various things. production companies. radio scripts will often be double spaced to make it easier for actors / voices to read out loud.

types. Think of the different types of programmes you have heard on radio. You would probably remember film songs, phone in programmes, talks, discussions, news, cricket commentaries etc. These different types of programmes are called formats. OBJECTIVES After studying this lesson, you will be able to do the following: list the factors to be taken into account for making a radio programme;  describe the different formats of radio programmes;  explain the ingredients of a radio programme;  identify the technology based formats.  11.1 FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT FOR MAKING A RADIO PROGRAMME Think of the village or town in which you live. You find people belonging to all communities men and women, rich and poor. Radio plays a very important role in the lives of the people of India. Though there are plenty of rich people and highly developed cities, a majority of our people are poor and a large number of them cannot read or write. So the only medium that can really reach them to inform, educate and entertain is the radio. Radio stations especially those run by the government perform a public service duty. Formats of Radio Programmes The requirements of listeners of radio stations are not the same. To serve them, we need to know many facts about them. Let us make a list of what we should know about the audience: (a) Number of people — i.e. the total population of the area. (b) Number of men and women — Sex ratio (c) Literate people/Illiterate people (d) The languages spoken in the area. (e) Schools/Colleges (f) Children going to school (g) Health facilities — availability of doctors, primary health centre, clinics, hospitals.

(h) Any major diseases (i) Religions in the area-population wise (j) Power supply (k) Nearest radio stations/Television stations (l) Climate of the place (m) Main occupation of the people (n) Income per head/people below poverty line (o) Roads/transport facilities (p) Irrigation facilities (q) Number of people engaged in agriculture/other occupations. (r) Types of crops. You can add many more issues to this list. We need to know these facts to decide the language, the type of broadcast, timing of programmes etc. Radio formats therefore are decided on the basis of the needs of the audience. TYPES OF RADIO FORMATS Do you remember the programmes you have heard on radio. Try and recall some of them. You may have heard the names of radio stations, from where the programmes are broadcast. Many of you would remember Vividh Bharati, AIR FM Gold or some private commercial station.You may also remember the time being mentioned and what programme you are going to listen to. These are called announcements. Announcements have been traditionally made by people who are known as announcers. The commercial radio channels may call them Radio Jockeys (RJs) or anchor persons. Before you learn about the different radio formats, you must know the ingredients of a radio format. As you know most of what is spoken on radio is written down. As you have already learnt that what is written for radio is heard and is referred to as ‘spoken word’ as against the ‘written word’. But the spoken words on radio is written down or what is generally called ‘scripted’. A Radio format can be split into three parts: They are:(a) Spoken Word or Human Voice

(b) Music (c) Sound Effects All radio formats have the above three ingredients. So let us first classify the spoken word format. SPOKEN WORD  1. Announcements : These are specifically written clear messages to inform. They can be of different types. For example station/programme identification. These mention the station you are tuned into, the frequency, the time and the programme/song you are going to listen to. As mentioned already you find in today’s commercial radio channels, these announcements have become informal and resemble ordinary conversation. There can be more than one presenter in some programmes like magazines. 2. Radio talk : The radio talk probably is the oldest format on radio. There has been a tradition in India and Britain to invite experts or prominent persons to speak for 10 or 15 minutes on a specific topic. These talks have to go through a process of being changed into radio’s spoken word style. Over the years, these long radio talks have become unpopular. Instead, today, shorter duration talks are broadcast. Of course, you can listen to these talks only on public service broadcasting stations. 3. Radio interviews: Have you ever interviewed anyone? Probably yes. In the media, be it the newspaper, magazine, radio or television, journalists use this technique of asking questions to get information. There can be different types of interviews in terms of their duration, content and purpose. Firstly, there are full fledged interview programmes. The duration of these may vary from 10 minutes to 30 minutes or even 60 minutes depending up on the topic, and the person being interviewed. Most of such interviews are personality based. You might have heard of long interviews with well known people in the field of public life, literature, science, sports, films etc. Secondly, there are interviews which are used in various radio programmes like documentaries.

For example when the general budget or the railway budget is presented in the parliament. You have to be very inquisitive and hard working to be a radio interviewer with good general awareness and communication skills. The moderator conducts the discussion. But there are also .When you have a problem in your family or with your friends. There is another type of interview based programme. The purpose is to get a very brief. So when different experts meet and discuss such issues. Their names and identity may not be asked. In radio. Radio discussions are produced when there are social or economic issues which may be controversial. Radio documentaries/features: If you see a film in a movie hall. 5. Generally. these discussions on radio are of longer duration-say 15 to 30 minutes. 4. people understand various points of view. to the point answer. questions specific and not many. people representing radio go out and ask the general public about their opinion. you might have heard live interviews with listeners. which is story based and not real. These interviews have been made interactive. Two or three people who are known for their views and a well informed senior person or journalist who acts as a moderator take part and discuss a particular topic for about 30 minutes. Thirdly there are a lot of interviews or interview based programmes in news and current affairs programmes. In any discussion there are more than 2 or 3 people and then ideas can be pooled to come to some conclusion. Through a discussion we can find out a solution to problems.Here the interviews are short. it is generally a feature film. Here generally just one or two questions are put across to ordinary people or people with knowledge on some current topic to measure public opinion. Have you heard such interviews on radio? With phone-in-programmes becoming popular. Radio discussions :. don’t you say “let us discuss?” Yes we do. introduces the topic and the participants and ensures that every one gets enough time to speak and all issues are discussed. this technique is used to let people have different points of view on matters of public concern. Such programmes are called ‘vox pop’ which is a Latin phrase meaning‘ voice of people’.

the score. The producer Radio of a documentaries radio’s creative format. a good voice and knowledge about what is going on. music and sound effects can create any situation in a radio play. music and sound effects very effectively. you get a feeling of being in the stadium and watching the match. then you may listen to radio for a running commentary of the match. sets. So by listening to the running commentary. Running commentaries : If you can’t go to see a football or cricket match in a stadium. if you want to have a scene in a radio play of a north Indian marriage. They are the human voice. radio documentaries have only sound – i. 7. For example. Radio of course uses its greatest strength for producing radio plays and that is the power of imagination and suggestivity.e. Radio drama: A Radio drama or a radio play is like any other play staged in a theatre or a hall. A commentator would give you all the details of the match such as the number of players. A lot of programmes you see on television are educational and public service documentaries. The commentator needs good communication skills. a radio play has only 3 components. Radio documentaries are based on facts presented are in an attractive own manner or dramatically. music and sound effects. script. documentary needs to be very creative to use human voice. Running commentaries on . But if you are travelling or outside. Radio documentaries are also called radio features. music and sound effects. But for that you have to be at home or at some place where there is a television. curtains. stage. The voice of the actors. Radio also has this format. So a radio documentary is a programmme based on real sounds and real people and their views and experiences. position of the players in the field etc. the human voice.documentary films which are based on real people and issues. properties movement and live action. The only difference is that while a stage play has actors. All that you have to do is to use a bright tune on the shehnai and excited voices of people to create in a listeners’ imagination. you don’t have all physical arrangements made. 6. a wedding scene. you may watch it on television. Unlike documentary films.

you will find articles. 9. NEWS: Among all the spoken word formats on radio. sports. Magazine programmes are generally broadcast for a special or specific audience. As the name suggests. News bulletins and news programmes are broadcast every hour by radio stations. In India. These may be talks. In the beginning. Another characteristic of a radio magazine is that it has a signature tune. photo features etc. melas. There are general magazines and magazines for specific readers. If you open any one of these magazines. These magazines could be for children. only All India Radio is allowed to broadcast news. discussions. It can be like the masthead (title) of a magazine. Today radio running commentaries especially of cricket and other sports can be heard on your mobile phones. A signature tune is an attractive piece of music which is specific to a programme. interviews. fortnightly or monthly. Radio also has magazine programmes like those in the print media. music etc. features. A radio magazine is broadcast at a particular time on a particular day of a week or a month. 8. Some or many formats of radio are included in a radio magazine. science or music. A magazine programme also has a name and one or two presenters or anchor persons who link the whole programme. the titles of the day’s programme will be given by the presenters after the signature tune. a specific audience refers to listeners with specific needs as mentioned in the beginning. They are published weekly. the duration of each programme or item in a magazine programme also vary. Magazine programmes : You are familiar with magazines which are a form of print media. bi-weekly. news is the most popular. last journey (funeral procession) of national leaders etc. Likewise. youth or on health. swearing in ceremony of ministers. women. reviews. . They also give continuity and link the whole magazine. reviews. rath yatras. Similarly it has plenty of variety in contents. That means it has can be on various sports events or on ceremonial occasions like the Republic Day Parade or events like festivals.

There are programmes of music and music is also used in different programmes. music used as effects in radio plays and features.You might have heard such music on radio. On most radio stations.  . There are also light classical music forms like. Let us understand the different types of music. Hindi films songs are heard every where. So music is the main stay in radio. They are:Hindustani classical  Carnatic classical  Western classical  There are also vocal and instrumental music forms. Light western and pop music are also popular among some groups of listeners and there is a large section of young people listening to western pop music. These include signature tunes. Classical Music There are 3 types of classical music in India. Thumri and Dadra. Sound can play a major role in evoking interest. Which are broadcast on radio. Insturmental music forms include string (sitar. There is no radio without music. SOUND EFFECTS  Let us see how sound can be used in radio formats. reviews and comments from experts. Music is used in different ways on radio. But which is the most popular form of music? You would most probably say ‘film music.  Sound can be used for comic effects to evoke laughter  Sound can be used to create certain moods or enhance them.Duration of news bulletins vary from 5 minute to 30 minutes. sarod etc. shehnai) and percussion (drum) instruments. MUSIC : When we say radio.) wind (like flutes. You may know of a large variety of devotional and folk music in your area and across the country. the one with a national appeal and popularity is Hindi film songs.’ While there are film songs in different languages. features. be it public service or commercial. India has a great heritage of music and radio in India reflects that. the first thing that comes to our mind is  music. The longer news bulletins have interviews.

4. iv) There can be different types of radio interviews in terms of ________. _____. Match the following : i) announcements a) republic day parade ii) commentary b) oldest radio format iii) interviews c) inform listeners iv) discussion d) asking questions v) radio talk e) moderator INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BASED FORMATS India has taken giant leaps in the field of information technology and radio as a medium.2 1. They dial up the announced telephone number at a stipulated time and get their problems discussed with experts in the studio. ii) Whatever is written for radio is also known as ____. Let us discuss some of these formats: Phone in programme – In this age of technological development. phone-in is the most important format. Other listeners also listen to him. Their talk goes on air instantly. Such presentations need advance publicity so that the listeners get ready to air their grievances/queries or requests. Fill in the blanks with appropriate word/s: i) Announcers are also known as ____.INTEXT QUESTIONS 11. Initially this format was introduced for playing the listeners’ request based film songs. has taken a lead in applying information technology in its broadcasts. 3. List the ingredients of a radio format. Differentiate between a radio discussion and a radio drama. ________ and ________ of broadcast. iii) Announcements mention the ________ you are tuned into. This is called interactive programming where the listener and the presenter talk to each other. 2. The listener has the satisfaction that his voice is being listened to and replied immediately. v) A film based on real people and issues is called a ________. ________ and purpose. Now .

for example. iv) Radio bridge means _________ different radio stations. 3. INTEXT QUESTIONS 11. Mention any three areas where phone-in programmes are used. It is now possible to listen to the programmes from a radio station while working on the computer. Name the radio format which is available through a computer. radio ii) is being used for health related programmes. it was possible to extend the coverage of programmes to all parts of the world including USA and Canada. It has certain advantages as well as disadvantages. With this. i) educate. magazines . ii) AIR started its internet services on _________. Voice of America. an expert sitting at Chennai can interact with the common man in the studio in Delhi.6 ANSWERS TO INTEXT QUESTIONS 11. Radio bridge : Radio bridge means connecting different stations throughout the length and breadth of the country. iii) Phone-in programmes need advance _________. This format was first used by All India Radio during elections. Fill in the blanks with appropriate word/s: i) A phone-in programme is also called _________ programming.1 2. refer to Section 11. complaints against the government/ administrative machinery etc. music programmes 3. It is altogether a new format that removes the restrictions of frequency or license. 2. 3. It is relatively cheap to set up. Pl.3 1. and All India Radio are available on internet.1 1. Radio on internet : Radio on internet is a growing phenomenon with thousands of radio stations operating through computer modems. List any three IT based radio formats. rural broadcasts. In this technique. Now all the national and international radio stations like BBC. 2. 4. commentaries. examples: news. All India Radio started its services on internet on 1st May 1998. 11.

Pl.2 1. refer to Section 11. Students should learn that our first drafts are not always .3 3. More importantly.iii) communities. poor iv) language. refer to Section 11. i) Radio jockeys/anchor persons ii) spoken word iii) station.2 4. 1998 iii) publicity iv) connecting 2. rich . Editing — Writing is a process. time. It’s also a lonely business. and physical resources. type v) needs of the audience 11. a person must have the willingness to try to write. A person does not have to be greatly talented or inherently gifted to write well. time iv) duration. A person must be willing to “sit down and write” (thus. Pl. The two keys to good writing are: Practice — Writing is hard work. frequency. i) c) ii) a) iii) d) iv) e) v) b) 11. the name of this chapter). sound effects 3. Writing is a process that draws on a person’s mental. But the only way that any of us can improve our writing is to do it and do it consistently. This book attempts to give students and instructors many opportunities to practice writing. music.3 1. spoken word. emotional. and a key part of that process is editing. content v) documentary 2. None of us — particularly students who are learning the process — should fall in love with what we write. refer to Section 11. Once this willingness is there. i) interactive ii) May 01. Radio on internet This chapter attempts to demystify the subject of writing for the student. the writer can use a number of techniques to improve the writing.3 4. Pl.

Students should also understand that writing for the mass media often involves writing under deadline pressure. Key terms and concepts . “If I were telling my best friend this information. the chapter discusses the emergence of new media. and they should expect to edit and change their work as a part of the writing process.” The thing a writer for the mass media often does not have is time. Writers must also develop a sense of graphics and when they should be used effectively in presenting that information.our best attempts. would this be the way I would say it?” The second part of the chapter discusses briefly some of the rules and circumstances that are imposed on a writer when he or she is writing for the mass media. Many students in writing classes will say. I could complete this assignment and do a much better job on it. with a confidence that they can become good writers. “If I just had more time. They should always ask questions about what they have written. such as. “Have I said this the best way I could?”. “Are my sentences too long?”. and some of the skills necessary in writing for it. and most of the rest of this book is devoted to examining and teaching the proper forms of writing for the mass media. and with the knowledge that this book will give them plenty of opportunities to improve their writing. Students should leave this chapter with an understanding of writing as a process. however. particularly the World Wide Web. Writers for the mass media must learn the appropriate forms in which their writing must appear. “Have I used too many words?”. Writers must present information efficiently and must organize it in a way that will be suitable for the readers. Finally. Students need to learn that writing under pressure is part of the process of writing for the mass media. “Does this make sense?”.

Unity — A piece of writing should “hang together. students should first pay attention to the verbs that they have used. Students should be encouraged to add to these descriptions of their own ideas about what good writing is and how it is achieved. and abstract constructions (“there is. Catching mistakes is not the only purpose of editing. Another is through the use of transitions. In editing and rewriting. Hypertext — Text designed so that a read may move to different points at his or her own discretion.” It shouldn’t be a series of short bursts of ideas or information aimed at the reader. Too many linking verbs. passive verbs. They are also the best descriptors in the language. rewriting or editing is one of the key techniques in improving writing.The following are key terms or concepts that the student should understand. One of the chief ways of achieving unity is by having a clear idea of what the piece of writing is about and to whom it is directed. which will be discussed in later chapters. Verbs as engines of the language — Verbs are the strongest words in the language. real editing should be a conscious attempt to improve the copy. . This means using simple words and avoiding long complicated sentences. Simplicity — The best technique for clarity in writing is to try to write as simply as possible. Rewriting — As we have already mentioned. A good first step for the student to try is to limit a sentence to one major idea. A well-selected verb can do more to enliven and enhance writing than any other part of speech. The instructor should present a number of examples of his or her favorite writing to demonstrate some of the concepts in this chapter. Good writing — Good writing is defined with a number of descriptions at the beginning of the chapter.” “it is”) will deaden a piece of writing.

Suggestions for lecture and discussion I often begin a discussion of good writing with an overhead that has the following quotation: At this point in time. the current levels of societal tension are enough to create a high degree of anxiety among citizens of every persuasion and every economic and cultural class. This technique of putting famous quotes into modern-day jargon and bureaucratese can be used with other writing that most of your students will instantly recognize. I cover up the overhead and ask them to repeat it. I then ask the students to tell me what this says. They are the first words of An American Crisis. Then I show them the original quotation. a pamphlet that so impressed George Washington that he had it read out loud to his discouraged troops at Valley Forge. Finally. You may want to try it with your favorite historical quotation. Thomas Paine wrote those words in 1776 when he was trying to keep a revolution going. The power of Paine’s language comes not only with his ideas but with the simplicity he used to express them — expressions so simple that we remember them more than 200 years later.Linking — Linking is a technical term in which a reader can move to different points on the World Wide Web to obtain information. . I give them a hint by saying it’s a famous quotation — one that they have all heard — and that it’s written in modern language. These are the times that try men’s souls.

propelled by a motor. Whenever we finished a beer we had a contest to see who could throw it the farthest over the side of the hill. They can be photocopied or put on transparencies for class discussion. she was playing with four two week old. from shore. It really is a small world. bounded over wakes.Examples of student writing for analysis in class or lab The examples below come from assignments that students have written. . on the cushion-less seats.97 with the new federal tax. he didn’t really need anymore. and to be honest. The gates would all be locked rather tightly. There were no fights and only one complaint on the amount of beer. much larger than was necessary. hundreds of yards. Siamese kittens under a large bush which was next to the dog on a leach. toward the swaying wood platform. It was par for the course. hot June day. We decided to buy two kegs for the very simple reason it cost $95. On the scorching. The two passengers bounced. She rode that Big Wheel down Montgomery Lane as fast as her little legs would carry her. The wooden boat. created by passing boats. There were many days spent sitting on the white sandy beach in which we took toll of our lives.

There is no such things as Knight’s-in-shining-armor.) Pledging allowed her to meet and get to know girls she otherwise never would have even said hello to. 2: Basic tools of writing This chapter attempts to make the point that a good writer knows the tools with which he or she has to work. but it was nothing she couldn’t handle. who has a hammer and a saw. and specialy at our school! I have always considered myself one of risk and I take my risk when it comes to skiing because. The writer is the same way. her mouth dropped and was filled with the spirit as she charged through the crowds searching for a force that was unmistakably pulling her into the ring of spenders. Becoming an active brought some added responsibility to her life. The writer may have some great ideas. It is the excitement and exhileration that pushes me beyond my limits. The carpenter must know what tasks he or she can accomplish with a hammer and what he or she must use the saw to do. but unless he or she knows the difference between a hammer and a saw.The choices I have are numerous to an extent. there are meetings that she as to attend once a week. but . This came as shocking news to the family who had led relatively normal lives up until this point. (Author’s note: This student was attempting to describe a trip to a shopping mall. A carpenter may have a great idea for something to build. A mogel is a term used to describe or experience an eight foot boulder that is covered with snow. The basic analogy in the text is with the carpenter. Upon entering the cathedral ceilinged work of art. it is unlikely to get built. For example.

Another is to point out some of the most common grammar and punctuation mistakes that students make. prepositions. This is an area in which I have found consistently that students have difficulty. adjectives. and compoundcomplex. verbs. conjunctions. compound. You may feel that grammar and punctuation are not subjects on which you wish to spend time in your course. imperative. Sentence types — Declarative. Knowing when to use a word for its precise and generally accepted meaning is particularly important in writing for the mass media. complex. The exercises at the end of the chapter and the grammar exam and diagnostic exam in the appendices of the textbook could help you in making this assessment. interrogative. and exclamatory. and adverbs.those ideas won’t come into being unless the writer knows the tools with which he or she has to work. pronouns. Parts of speech — Nouns. . Instructors should use this chapter to their best advantage by deciding what emphasis needs to be placed on these subjects. I would strongly recommend that you have your students read those sections and that you spend some time on the word usage section. Students should leave this chapter with an understanding of the following: Sentence structures — Simple. This chapter is a brief review of some of the basic tools with which a writer must work. interjections. If that is the case. Key terms and concepts One of the purposes of this chapter is to give students a brief review of types and structures of sentences.

even at this stage of a student’s development. Grammar terms and rules.Use of the comma — Overuse and underuse of the comma are both problems that students have. spelling. That includes knowing the terms of grammar (verbal. Commas should be used for clarity. It is only rarely used to create a plural.) as well as the rules. they require a comma and a coordinating conjunction or simply a semicolon. antecedent. Just as any competent artisan knows the tools of his or her trade. that is. the professional writer should know the basics of the English language. Comma splices and run-on sentences — The joining of two independent clauses with only a comma is another common problem among student writers. Students should learn that for two independent clauses to be joined. Agreement — Getting verbs and subjects to agree in number. Spelling — The rules of spelling are important to learn. A set of multiple-choice tests based on this glossary is available for the author to teachers. The apostrophe is most often used to indicate possession. are among the most common problems that students have with their writing. How is the writer to avoid a run-on sentence if he or she doesn't know what it is? To learn these things. Apostrophe — Proper use of the apostrophe is the mark of an intelligent and well-educated writer. (To obtain that.) The site also has an extensive primer on grammar. STYLE . and especially getting pronouns to agree with their antecedents. This site contains a thorough (but not overly long) list of terms and rules for using the language that the professional writer should know. . email Jim Stovall at jstovall at jprof. to separate items that would be confusing if they were not separated. punctuation and diction in the editing section. students must do the ditch digging of the intellectual process: repeated study and memorization.

One of the most basic expectations concerns style. and many of the styles and conventions of journalism that have been developed over the years have been to promote this goal. .Adherence to journalistic style — both the rules of writing and usage and the customs of journalism — is a mark of a professional writer. The same can be said of these style rules and conventions as they apply to clarity and brevity. they will have to meet certain expectations about their work." Discuss with your students what they believe that means. In discussing them. you might want to use the diagram Key terms and concepts Students should have a good understanding of all of the concepts set forth in the diagram. Instructors should help the students see the relationship between all of these concepts as they go through this chapter. Consistency — One of the underlying concepts of adherence to style is consistency. What methods does a writer for the mass media use in obtaining and presenting accurate information? below. How do you go about "getting it right?" Differing points of view about a situation should be brought into this discussion. Knowledge and consistent use of style can boost the confidence of the writer. It also helps to make a writer more efficient. This chapter should help students understand that when they enter the world of the mass media. The chief goal of the journalist is accuracy. Consistency in writing helps the reader in establishing what he or she expects from a writer. Especially important among these are: Accuracy — The short definition in journalism for accuracy is "getting it right. This chapter gives the student an idea about the importance of knowing and using a particular style of writing and of understanding the customs and conventions of journalism.

the author. By . I'm told. Every page or so. Unfortunately. a sequel on the way. Russell Baker. you'll probably want to buy another for a friend of like mind. but it was already fading when Liebling died in 1963.) More than the rules. Liebling: Rereading A. start flipping through the pages and then find you have spent a hour or so in Greenman's world of words. Style is more than learning the AP style rules (although that is most important). The book is only available through Levenger's. Those of us who do love the language need to feed our habits occasionally. Liebling carries me happily back to an age when all good journalists knew they had plenty to be modest about. It's a good journey. and were. has collected words that are rich in meaning and passages from the New York Times that demonstrate their use. the retired New York Times columnist. The concept of style includes the approach the journalist takes toward the job. Once you get your copy. That is why the chapter includes short discussions of balance and fairness. Robert Greenman. articulates this at the beginning of his review of a set of books about the journalist and critic A. This is a fascinating book about words. where people are taught to reveal everything about themselves and to be proud of their deficiencies. From the 1920s through the Eisenhower years modesty was a clearly defined style in the American press. You will open this book. Loving the language is no sin. the inverted pyramid and the impersonality of reporting. J. (There is.J. Greenman chimes in with his own commentary about the origins and usage of a particular word. particularly in these days of language abuse. and Words That Make a Difference will certainly do that. we are living in an immodest age.Words That Make a Difference. A good journalist must take on the mean of the “humble servant” and must be modest both in writing and in demeanor.

Baker’s entire review can be found here. Instead. In doing this. They should also understand some of the conditions under which media writers work and the demands that are made on them. whether in tsars of all the Russias or Washington correspondents. (http://www. 4: Writing in the Media Environment The news story is one of the basic forms of writing for the mass media.then what had once been "the press" had turned into "the media" and contracted the imperial state of mind. Key terms and concepts .nybooks. however. Take a look at the section on language sensitivity in this chapter. it seeks to give students information about writing for the mass media and an opportunity to practice writing in the various forms that the mass media require. This chapter introduces the student to the basic content of the news story. students should have some understanding about what kind of information is appropriate for publication in a news story and where that information can be obtained. They should try to articulate their feelings about the topic. Writing for the Mass Media is not meant to be a reporting Language sensitivity. Are the concerns expressed in this section valid? Are there concerns about this issue that the author does not address? Students should be allowed to have a wide-ranging discussion about this issue. which is never conducive to modesty. of course – to the opinions of others. The next chapter will introduce the student to the basic form of the news story. and they should be able to react – civilly.

News values — News values are the concepts used in making judgments about what events are news and what events are not news.The following are some key terms and concepts that the student should understand. editors and news directors must decide whether or not enough news values are present in an event — and if they are present with enough impact — to make that event a news event. The best news stories are written by reporters who have used all three types of information. but they are unlikely to contain all of the news values listed in the chapter. This emphasis on accuracy should be pointed out to the students. (You might ask your class members to try to think of some events that would contain all of the news values listed in the book. It is inherent in most news stories. Very few news stories do that. observational (events that a reporter witnesses).) Consequently. An event simply is not news unless it has occurred fairly recently. and stored (any documents or records that a reporter can look up). We have discussed accuracy at length in previous chapters and will do so again in the next chapter. News sources — Information in news stories comes from three sources: personal (people whom a reporter talks with). Timeliness is the most common news value. News events will probably have the element of timeliness. You will notice that it isn’t the first time that this subject has been introduced. Accuracy — The importance of presenting accurate information is also discussed in this chapter. and that’s why the topic reappears so much in this book. The need for accuracy is a pervasive one. Those who would work in the mass media must develop good habits for obtaining . The values listed in the chapters are generally accepted by professional journalists and are those that determine what will be included in a newspaper or news broadcast.

The problem with a substitute is that they are laden with added meanings that the writer may not want to include. They must make special efforts to see that the details and the larger ideas are correct. Still. The verb "said. For instance." Claimed implies doubt -." It's simple and straightforward. but we're not sure. (There's more on JPROF. the writer must learn to adjust to the deadlines of the organization. and you won't have to carry any extra baggage by adding to its meaning.) .com about verbs of attribution. they must also make sure they understand the significance and meaning of the information they have. Often these deadlines are too short for the writer to feel that he or she has done the best job. You might suggest (or require) that your students review the sections of the previous chapters that discuss the importance of accuracy. Deadlines — Every person who writes for the mass media writes under deadlines." Still. A short essay or outline putting all of these ideas about accuracy together might be helpful to them in understanding the importance of accuracy and the methods for achieving it. They might also look at the next chapter’s discussion of accuracy. a writer might try to use "claimed" instead of " if to say. beginning students are sometimes self-conscious about using "said" so much in their writing. the students must be careful in presenting their information. Stick with the verb "said. and they try to find substitutes. They should pay attention to the details of the information they obtain. there is no good substitute for the verb "said. Be care about using verbs of attribution. they may say more than you want to say. Even in the writing assignments that are included in this book. he "claimed" he did it." In journalistic writing.accurate information.

You can probably add to it yourself. Math. For more information about interviewing. Interviewing.and it should be avoided like the plague (!! CLICHE ALERT!!). Many journalists say (sometimes jokingly. One of the skills a reporter must develop is the art of interviewing. sometimes not) that they got into the profession because they would not have to deal with a lot of math. start with this article. but the list is not complete.especially a beginning writer -. That’s where the skepticism comes in.Writing with verbs. Verbs are the engines of the language and have far more descriptive power than adjectives or adverbs. Clichés are overused expressions that have lost their freshness and vitality. The text pays a good deal of attention to helping students develop this skill. This exercise only a takes a few minutes and can be a lot of fun. if you hear a new expression more than once among your the use of clichés. One of the most dangerous traps a writer can fall into a list of clichés that should be avoided. The Art of Asking Questions from the Poynter has an exercise that you can do with your students that might turn their thinking around. JPROF. • Note: Roy Peter Clark has a good article on the Poynter web site about writing with verbs. For most working . it has already reached the status of a cliché -. Chances are. JPROF. Clichés. Most good writing teachers stress the power and importance of verbs – often to skeptical students. Students interested in writing develop a belief that using good adjectives and adverbs will enhance their writing. Verbs are simply aids in the process.

professional practice demands that the other guys attribute the story to you. if the story is important enough so that other media outlets pick it up. outlines what happened in his column. Every good journalist wants a scoop. The reaction of many editors would lead you to believe that "Thou shalt never deceive" is one of the most sacred of Journalist Commandments. Deception isn't always a good idea. It’s their acknowledgement that. When the Spokane Spokesman-Review recently exposed nefarious behavior on the part of Spokane's mayor. however. but it has a good history and support from one of the profession's major codes of ethics. that turns out not to be the case. The deal was that Columbia would give the Times the report a day early if the Times would agree not to interview any of those who made the complaints about anti-Semitism in its story. or not sympathetic to it. former public editor of the Times. the journalist seeks the occasional and often Pyrrhic victory of getting a story before anyone else gets its. however. Here are some web sites that will help you out: Scoop crazy. To those outside the culture of journalism. Daniel Okrent. The question of deception. Sometimes. They have to deal with math every day. Working in a world with relatively few rewards. an average. Such an instance occurred when New York Times reporters and editors struck a deal with Columbia University over a report that Columbia produced concerning anti-Semitism among its faculty. the newspaper used some deception in its reporting. Then. But it's not. you’re a better journalist than they are.reporters. the desire for a scoop may sound a little crazy. But the desire to be first is a real and effective spur to journalistic practice. A good reporter should know how to figure a ratio. it can throw other journalistic practices out of kilter. . for a brief moment. a median and a percentage.

Fortune 1. and the cost of housing. conducted in conjunction with the Public Relations Society of America. the rise in gasoline and energy costs. 29.Raising ethical standards. Catholic establishment web site gathers opinion from a number of journalism experts about the news media’s performance in 2005. “When the Pope died. Yet. Shiite divide in Iraq. 2005) The public is paying attention. The study took a sample of three groups: the general public (N=1. Mattingly said he was also surprised by the overly positive coverage of Pope John Paul II when he died. One of the fascinating things about such assessments are the stories that these experts feel journalists ignored or provided less than adequate coverage for. especially. strong hatred of John Paul II in the U. Among those mentioned are the Bush administration’s defense of torture.” which will have a great effect on efforts to bring democracy to that country. in higher education. This spring has seen a spate of ethical lapses by journalists. Religion columnist Terry Mattingly had two interesting observations.015).” Commentators were also asked to express their hopes for journalism in 2006.000 executives (150). Poynter Leadership & Management Group Leader: “Wouldn't it be wonderful if. What wasn’t covered. and Congressional staffers (150). the declining position of General Motors in the economy. it compared the attitudes of the three groups . so it might not be evident that our ethical standards have actually gone up during the past 20 years. in 2006. An interesting article on the Poynter. No top journalist or media organization had paid much attention to the “Sunni vs. this is probably the case. All we got was the positive. A new Harris survey.S. journalism's leaders found the business model or models that underwrite high-quality newsgathering?” (Posted Dec. to understand the reality facing Catholicism here in the West. That brought this response from Jill Geisler. there was little coverage of the strong. We needed more balance. shows that the public pays close attention to the news and that many of the traditional news organizations are held in high regard. "Everybody talks about the weather. A Writer's Life. Where. News organizations that score high on the trust scale are public television and National Public Radio. which should give us some insight into his reporting methods. If you are located close to a major college or university. which is meticulous. exacting and precise. Pew commissions surveys regularly about what news Americans are paying close attention to. The writer's life. What. you can't help talking about sports -. In the 1960s he was a pioneer of the New Journalsim. Why and How is titled. which used fictional and literary techniques to tell his nonfiction stories. Take a look at the web site for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (http://people-press. The study's major findings show that large majorities of each group have a defined set of news organizations they consult on a regular basis. But there are many other subjects that everybody talks about. what are some of the other things everybody talks about? One answer would be sports. More results from the survey can be found on the PRNewswire site and a summary of the survey results is at Broadcast and Cable magazine. and about 15 percent of the general public say they are "news junkies". and minorities of each group (21 percent of the general public) rely on non-traditional news sources such as web logs and chat room on the Internet. majorities of each group say they like to keep up with the news. Gay Talese style. A sidebar in Journalism: Who. It is a welcome addition . has written a memoir." In addition to the weather. When.or hearing a lot about sports. according to the New York Times. readers and critics have focused on Gay Talese's writing style. majorities of each group look for news that challenges their own political beliefs. But what readers should have been focusing on was his reporting.toward the news and the news media. What everybody talks about. For decades now. and national newspapers.

One of the most difficult concepts to learn about news writing is the manner in which a story should be developed. started to get interesting. particularly those produced by public relations departments. Writing news teaches the student many of the disciplines that he or she will need to be successful in working in the mass media. More High school journalist. and students need to have a good grounding in writing the news story before they tackle other forms of writing. undercover. making judgments about that information as to what is important and what is not. McSwane is a senior at Arvada West High School in the literature of Talese and for his legion of fans. The Westwind. That's when things More Basic News Writing I The news story format is one of the basic forms of writing for the mass media. When he heard that the Army was failing to meet its recruiting goals because of the unpopularity of the war in Iraq. David McSwane wanted to do "something cool. Students should pay particular attention to . Learning to write a basic news story teaches the student the importance of gathering accurate and complete information. and writing so that the content and not the writing itself is what makes an impression on the reader.S. Army's recruiting effort down for a day." What he did wound up shutting the entire U. The habits that a person gains in writing news will be the habits he or she takes to other forms of writing for the mass media. he decided to find out just how far the service would go to sign someone up. Students should be reminded that the news story form is one that is used not only in newspapers but in many publications. he's an honors student there and editor of high school newspaper.

but in this chapter the student will need to understand it well enough to put it into practice. and what forms of attribution are acceptable in writing the news story. and most of the story should in some way refer to the lead paragraph. . Attribution — The concept of attribution was introduced in previous chapters. A story written in the inverted pyramid form is rarely narrative. they do not understand how to build a story in the second. written. when it should be used (and when it is not necessary). The student should know why attribution is important. it should be about one subject — and this unity is gained through a logical and coherent presentation of the information and an effective use of transitions. third and subsequent paragraphs. Students will write a good lead but then drop into the narrative form in the second graph. A news story should have unity — that is. A lead paragraph contains the most important information that the writer has to tell the reader.the text and examples in this gain an understand of how an inverted pyramid story should be Key terms and concepts The following are some of the key terms and concepts that a student should understand and be able to put into practice by the time he or she has finished this chapter. the writer must make decisions about what information is most important and what is of lesser importance. instead. While many students understand the purpose and technique of the lead paragraph. Inverted pyramid — This is the most common news story structure. They should read and analyze stories in the book -.and better yet. in a local newspaper -.

Links and resources How to write a news lead. This site provides an overview of the two main types of news leads (direct and delayed) and when journalists should use each. Chip Scanlan gives a short history on this form of writing and why. and offers concise tips for crafting leads that hook readers in cyberspace. SNN newsroom. especially in the digital age. Poynter online. The inverted pyramid. Accuracy — This subject is again dealt with. Chapter notes . The first. Students should pay close attention to the details of what they write as well as to the major parts of their story.Direct and indirect quotations — Special attention should be given to making sure that students understand the difference between direct and indirect quotations. The ability to write compelling leads translates to success no matter if you are working for a print. the inverted pyramid still is being taught and used. despite its criticism. as it has been in previous chapters. If problems develop in this area. and often last. one exercise that an instructor might give is to select some direct quotations from the examples in the text or the exercises at the end of the chapter and have students rewrite them as indirect quotations. the inverted pyramid. This site takes into consideration the needs and wants of the online community. writing from the top down. Another step-by-step guide of writing in an inverted pyramid style. online or broadcast organization. 10 ways to write a great lead for a blog post. remains a fixture in the news industry. opportunity to catch and hold a reader is with the lead.

Staff members should be alert to the potential for even small. the result must be clearly your own work.. phrases. Borrowing ideas from elsewhere. topic ideas-and not specific words. previous Free Press stories. verifiable facts like dates. rhythm.. is considered fair journalistic practice. Using someone else's work without attribution -whether deliberately or thoughtlessly--is a serious ethical breach. vocabulary.Plagiarism. especially in the reporting of complicated stories involving many sources. from a magazine or book or wire service report. unintentional acts of plagiarism. Problems arise in the gray areas between the acceptable borrowing of inspiration and the unacceptable stealing of another's work. but journalists should never let that happen. Here is what the Detroit Free Press has to say about plagiarism: When material is used in a story from sources other than the writer's own reporting. That attribution need not be made for simple. but is essential for information that goes beyond simple fact-quotations or descriptions not heard or seen by the current reporter. radio or TV newscasts. and they should know how to avoid it. Students sometimes get mixed up about what constitutes plagiarism. Our standards: Words directly quoted from sources other than the writer's own reporting should be attributed. When other work is used as the source of ideas or stylistic inspiration. That may mean saying the material came from a previous Free Press story. characterizations or other generalizations not based on the writer's own reporting. images. those sources--other publications. They should understand that plagiarism is one of the worst things they can do.--should be indicated in the story. what is acceptable to learn from another are the elements of style and approach-tone. That is. . etc. from a television interview. however. etc.

although this does not happen a great deal. Effective editing is more than just giving copy a once-over to check for grammar. spelling and style mistakes.You can find what other codes of ethics have to say about plagiarism at Journalism. Developing good editing habits is a vital part of the process of learning to write well. . The chapter also discusses the different types of stories that a beginning reporter will have to master. weather and crime. org One of the most important concepts in any writing but particularly in journalistic writing is that of editing. obituaries. an editor holds sway. These include speechs and meetings. These structures can be used when the news event or the information the reporter has calls for them.This web site contains a great deal of information for both journalism instructors and students. but the event or information should not be forced into these structures. students should understand that within news organizations.journalism. The point is that a writer should expect to be edited and should look at that experience and process as a way to improve writing.asp) Basic News Writing II JPROF. Students should also get into the habit of editing themselves effectively. Editing should be a deliberate and systematic part of the writing process. ( Editing decisions can be made without the consent of the writer. First. This chapter attempts to take students beyond the fundamental concepts introduced in Chapter . Here the student will find a discussion of other news story structures besides the inverted pyramid.

there is nothing easy about feature writing. They are the engines of the language. They believe feature writing to be less pressurized by deadlines and generally more interesting than straight news writing. It is not a full biography. . Students should be taught how to eliminate wordiness from the things they write. but good feature writing requires the same reporting and writing skills as news writing. Feature writing requires understanding a story and the people within the story in a way that straight news writing does not. Verbs — the part of speech that denotes action or state of being. For the writer. The writer must select the part of the person's life that he or she finds most interesting to write about. although it should contain many biographical details. Information and ideas must be presented accurately. Those beliefs may be true in some cases. Profile — a type of feature story that is about an aspect of a person's life. Feature story — The feature story is something that students should be able to distinguish from the news story.Many students come to journalism professing more of an interest in featuring writing than in news writing. and writers should pay attention to the verbs they use. Most importantly. Wordiness — Most writers suffer from the disease of using too many words. trying to select the most accurate and descriptive verbs for the information they have. Key terms and concepts The following are key terms or concepts that the student should understand. verbs are more than just a part of speech. The words that people say must be quoted correctly and exactly.

Feature writing guide. Whether you consider yourself a reporter or a copy editor. There are various types of reporting required depending on the story that needs to be told. which will also strengthen media writing in general. a visit to this site might help you clear up issues commonly found in reporting copy. Today. Mobile and Internet researcher – guide to feature writing. He has written an article for the Post about his experiences on the obit desk. the obit story has been relegated to a classified advertisement. Writing a news story. But writing obits is important work. Feature writing is a skill unto its own. the journalism culture demanded that young reporters cut their teeth on obituary stories – “writing obits. For generations. This is a site for students who want a quick overview of news as well as tips for succeeding in the reporting and writing process.” we would say. This site provides techniques for improving feature reporting. Bert Barnes spent 20 years at the Washington Post writing obituaries before retiring in March 2004. The thinking was that obituaries were easy to write and possibly not very interesting or important. This site addresses 12 parts of successful feature writing from a public relations perspective. In it he says: . This is a public message board to discuss the process of copy editing. Chapter notes Writing obits.Links and resources Copy editing corner. in many newspapers (except for the larger ones). It always has been.

The Miami artist who executed the work at first claimed artistic license (maybe some of your students have used the same excuse) but later said she would .. Death is no big deal if you don't love life. Expensive misspelling. The artwork contained 175 words. JPROF. Above all. a handout is available at JPROF. I remember trying to figure out who the pallbearers would be. I still think that’s a good assignment for a beginning student because they have all the information available without having to interview anyone or look anything up.I loved that work. Responsibilities of the editor. Einstein (Eistein). and we had a lot of fun with it. A reporter's mistake becomes their mistake if they do not take steps to correct it. students should be taught that editors are the people who make decisions about the entire publication or web site. scientists and artists. life could be funny and beautiful. They included Shakespeare (Shakespere). All of us in the class had to do that. many of them names of has a set of discussion notes that contain many of the points you might want to make with your students at the beginning of an editing class. Either of these can be downloaded and duplicated for classroom use. Not doing so can turn out to be an expensive as a HTML file or as a PDF file. found out in 2004 when they spent $40. Getting your editing students in the right frame of mind to become editors is a challenge for any editing teacher. surprising and strange. Some 11 of those words were misspelled. For an example of an obituary story and its standard parts. It taught me that even in the monotony of the daily grind. and Gauguin (Gaugan). That's what the folks in Livermore. and they have to take responsibility for what is included in the publication. One of the first exercises I had in a beginning news writing class in college was to write my own obituary. I only wish I could have met more of the people I wrote about.000 for a mosaic for their new library. Calif. Tell your students (as you undoubtedly do) that they need to spell correctly and that they should check their spelling.

California law requires that public artwork cannot be changed without the consent of the artist. The writer must use all of the techniques that he or she has learned in writing for print and must refine those techniques for broadcast copy. You can read more about this in the news stories of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times. 2005) 9: Writing for broadcast Writing for broadcast. saying they should have checked the spelling before approving the artwork.fix the problem words. The most important of these techniques is that of condensation. The writer must learn that an even higher value is placed on brevity than in writing for print. The broadcast writer must learn to select and condense information. as outlined in this chapter by Mark Harmon. Unfortunately. Timeliness is one of the most important of . 10. Key terms and concepts Students should understand the following terms and concepts : Selection of news — While many of the basic news values are still at work in the selection of broadcast news. the broadcast journalist works with an additional set of considerations. takes a different level of skills than writing for print. (Posted Aug. The student should also understand the essential differences and similarities that exist between writing for broadcast and writing for print. the city of Livermore is having to pay her $6. the student should understand this demand for condensation and brevity that is made on the broadcast writer. Some people are blaming city and library officials as well as the artist.000 plus expenses to do that. By the end of this chapter.

Getting information to listeners and viewers is of primary importance.those considerations. not the eye — This is the key difference between writing for broadcast and writing for print. A story that has good pictures or compelling audio is likely to be used over a story that does not. Students should understand that the broadcast medium is generally not one that allows time for a full and complete development of a story. The listener has no opportunity to go back and “re-hear” a news broadcast to see what he or she has missed. cause and effect. clarity in writing becomes one of the chief goals of the writer. Students need to understand that what they are writing will be read aloud. The emphasis on information rather than explanation is another of those considerations. Broadcast news emphasizes immediacy. The audio or visual impact of a story is another important consideration in the selection of news for broadcast. Differences in style — Throughout this chapter a number of differences in writing style between broadcast writing and writing for print are mentioned. you may want to review the news values discussed in Chapter 4 and talk with them about how these values are changed or enhanced by the considerations of a broadcast journalist. Such leads require a deft . Writing for the ear. Students should also understand the importance of an attention-getting lead in making sure that listeners hear and understand their stories. and punctuation should be kept to a minimum. not read silently. Sentences are short. Style rules in broadcast writing are designed primarily to make it easy on a news reader to read out loud. In going over these considerations with your students. Dramatic unity — The most common story structure for the broadcast news story is dramatic unity with its three parts: climax. In that regard. the news that is the latest is often the news that is mentioned first.

Although this site is intended for high school students. from video production to interviewing. If you want a job in the television industry. Phonetic spelling — Broadcast writers should learn how and when to use phonetic spellings for words or names that will be unfamiliar to the reader.touch on the part of the writer. This site offers advice and tips on all types of radio stories including in-depth and vivid styles. you won’t ever have a broadcast go as badly as this one did for a college sportscaster. this site offers commentary on the current events of TV journalism. A good Cybercollege site on production values. links to jobs and other resources for broadcasters. and news readers may not have time to practice reading their copy before they go on the air. Students should remember that broadcast copy is often written on deadline. Newswriting for the radio. A good exercise for students is to have them spell their names phonetically. Broadcast writing is just as important. . They may look easy to produce at first glance. Successful television news: jobs and resources. Hopefully. Links and resources Broadcast news writing. Also on the site are “handouts” of the process of broadcasting. to radio broadcasters. Cybercollege. if not more so. but they are more difficult to do well than they appear. Boom goes the dynamite. you are bound to make mistakes along the way. Don’t forget about the radio. This link directs visitors to 16 tips for making broadcast writing strong and sound. No matter how hard you try. it is suitable for any beginning broadcast writer. This is a must see for aspiring broadcast students.

Here's how it starts: Dig hard. Poynter's broadcast journalism group leader. write web site. Network news sites. information-sniffing archaeologists. Want to advise your students as to how they can get into broadcasting? The Poynter Institute (which has a whole section on broadcasting journalism) has a timely article on tips on getting started in broadcast journalism. and maybe even sweep a few floors. If you learned to write for print first (and most of us did). Poynter has a wide variety of articles about all phases of journalism. Broadcast professionals say that's what young journalists should do if they're serious about pursuing a career in the competitive field of news broadcasting. you may have a bit of trouble switching to writing in broadcast style.Newslab. Each of the major television news networks maintains . The people at Poynter also respond daily to the major issues and controversies facing the profession. This site argues for improved quality in television newscasts. Chapternotes Breaking in. You can find the entire article at the Poynter web site. said Al Tompkins. Television and radio students who want to stand out from the crowd must become enterprising. Broadcast writing tips. That list is on the JPROF. Laurie Lattimore has compiled a list of tips for making the switch.

Select a major news story of the day and go to each of these sites to see what they have said about it. is different. The foundation for the organization produces an extensive report each year on broadcast news and the public's reaction to it.extensive news web sites. Those reports are usually in PDF forms. and they may take a while to download. That makes it convenient to see how each is covering a news story. the VOA news site might be of great help to you. This is a good project to do when there is a big. If you are trying to learn a language. they are creating . CBS ABC breaking news story. called War News Radio. Instead of gathering Associated Press and other news service reports and repackaging them.S. VOA is operated by the U. One of the best ways to keep up with the state of broadcast news is at the Radio and Television News Directors Association web site. government and broadcasts news around the world in more than 50 languages. One of the best broadcast news sites is that of the Voice of America. But their station. Students at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania have created an Internet radio station devoted to covering the war in Iraq. but they contain some excellent information. VOA has a tradition of presenting the news in an unbiased way -. Does one site have more or different information than another. • • • • • FOX News VOA News. War News Radio. An additional benefit of the VOA news web site is that you can hear the broadcasts in various languages as well as read the news in those languages. CNN News News MSNBC RTNDA.even when the news is not favorable or is embarrassing to the government.

interview them and put together their stories. Another story about War News Radio has just appeared in the Los Angeles Times. did a story about War News Radio in January and interviewed two of its producers. War News Radio is the product of some innovative thinking and initiative. Leads & Writing Conventions 6: Basic News Writing II: Types of Stories. and it could happen anywhere. even National Public Radio. The students troll the web for sources of information about Iraq – many of them in Iraq itself. Then they use an Internet telephone service called Skype to call these folks up. 10: Writing advertising copy Author Contact us Chapters 1: Sit Down and Write 2: Basic Tools of Writing 3: Style and the Stylebook 4: Writing in the Media Environment 5: Basic News Writing I: Inverted Pyramid. which. by the way. Editing & Feature Writing 7: Writing for the Web I: The Fundamentals .their own reports using sources that are not often heard from and technology that is not often used by news organizations. The result is something you would not hear on most radio news broadcasts.

com .8: Writing for the Web II: The Potential for Journalism 9: Writing for Broadcast 10: Writing Advertising Copy 11: Writing for Public Relations 12: The Writer and the Law Instructors Students JPROF. On this page Key Links and resources Chapter notes • terms and concepts American Advertising Federation .This web site contains a great deal of information for both journalism instructors and students.

and students should understand that point as they begin working in this chapter. whether that’s to sell more of a product. One final point for instructors: Advertising is a tremendously interesting and dynamic field to study. August 28. 2012 Advertising is information mixed with persuasion. The best advertising persuades as well as informs. increase the name recognition of an organization. They expect advertising to work — to do what they expect it to do. If the advertising does not work.Tuesday. the people who pay for it will not continue to do so. The first group wants to see a return on its investment. Since students are so widely exposed to advertising (as . to change their opinions. organizations. or to maintain the opinions they already have. etc. The best advertising presents information to the reader or viewer in a form that will persuade them to act. they pay for results. Consumers want. students should understand that clients do not pay for creativity. People buy a newspaper as much for the advertising as for the news. etc. the information that is presented to them in advertising. enhance the reputation of a company. Another point that students should understand is that some people (manufacturers. Consequently. and need. The link between advertising and news is information.) will pay other people (advertising copywriters) to write advertising.

What will appeal to them may not appeal to others. if a student says. Demographics — Students should understand that most advertising is not directed at large masses of consumers but is rather “targeted” toward a group that share similar demographic characteristics. Product characteristics — The physical characteristics of a product are part of product characteristics. and they need to recognize this when formulating their ideas about advertising copy. Advertising appeals are often based on these needs. clothing and shelter). It also includes the history and reputation of the product. they also have needs that go beyond the basics. and some useful time might be spent in discussing these needs with your students. but this term goes beyond physical appearance. Demographics is the way that we define these groups. the way the product . Needs — People have certain basic needs (food. it is often easy to get them to discuss advertising and articulate their opinions about it. you should encourage such discussion whenever the classroom situation permits. “I didn’t like that ad. in many cases). You should get them to think beyond their own needs and desires and to try to project their thinking onto other people. As an instructor. The text lists a number of needs.opposed to news. and you should try to introduce the points made in this chapter about advertising during those discussions.” try to explore that reaction: why did the ad not appeal to her? to whom did it appeal? what appeals are being made? what benefits are being offered? Key terms and concepts The following are some terms and concepts that students should understand as they study and work with the material in this chapter. For instance.

Links are provided to other sites about marketing and advertising. and even the competition. Links and resources Tips for writing effective copy. Advertising writing – tell your business story. The advertising situation — Students should understand the logic of identifying the key fact of an advertising situation and from that deducing the advertising problem and then the advertising objective. Chapter American Advertising Federation. One of the major notes professional organizations for the field of advertising is the American Advertising Federation. A quick read regarding writing effective advertising copy. . Focusing on benefits is a very important part of the formulation of advertising. This linear thinking helps the student focus on what the advertising should Product benefits — A benefit is something that will in some way enrich the consumer. Students who are interested in this field should visit this organization's web site. The site offers seven rules for writing advertising copy. There is information on how to form a campus chapter in case you are interested. the manufacturer. Strong consideration is given to writing that is focused toward technically savvy audiences.

Editing & Feature Writing 7: Writing for the Web I: The Fundamentals 8: Writing for the Web II: The Potential for Journalism 9: Writing for Broadcast 10: Writing Advertising Copy 11: Writing for Public Relations 12: The Writer and the Law .11: Writing for public relations Author Contact us Chapters 1: Sit Down and Write 2: Basic Tools of Writing 3: Style and the Stylebook 4: Writing in the Media Environment 5: Basic News Writing I: Inverted Pyramid. Leads & Writing Conventions 6: Basic News Writing II: Types of Stories.

On this page Key Links and resources Chapter notes • terms and concepts Public Relations Society of America . Most of the work of the public relations practitioner involves writing.This web site contains a great deal of information for both journalism instructors and students.Instructors Students JPROF. The chief idea of this chapter is to impress upon students the versatility in writing that a public relations practitioner must possess. and it is rare that only one kind of writing is . August 28. 2012 The field of public relations encompasses all of the forms of writing that we have examined so far in this book — and then some.

Otherwise. They may be required to learn enough Key of the computer terms language to build and or add to a website. this is an elaborate process. involves these four steps to some degree. Two of the newest ways for organizations to communication with their publics is through email and the World Wide Web. In some organizations. large or small. but it occurs no matter where the campaign is taking place. communication.required. the PR writer must have a good idea what the writing he or she produces is supposed to do. while in others the process is fairly informal. Any public relations campaign. Four-step process of public relations — These four steps include planning. News release — The good news release is essentially a good news story in a public relations suit. research. concepts The following are some key terms and concepts about public relations and public relations writing that the student should understand as he or she works through this chapter: Publics — The PR writers must think in terms of “publics. The intent of the writing must be firmly in mind as the writer begins the project.” the groups to whom he or she may be directing a communication. Intents and purposes — Like the advertising copywriter. the writing will be inefficient and ineffective. Intents and purposes . Public relations practitioners will have to become adept at composing email messages and at understanding the functions and purposes of a website. and evaluation.

Public relations headlines and PR news. The site covers details such as formatting. An up-to-date site with commentary and suggestions related to issues ongoing in public relation circles. Links and resources How to write a press release. commits a crime or does something else that draws negative attention and plenty of it. common errors and guidelines to make news releases worthwhile for the media. Discover how to deliver news to the media. This site offers advice for public relations staff in the midst of crisis control. This site is a resource for business-to-business public relations primarily. A client gets sued. but they apply to other parts of it as well. Students should note “The top 10 tips for improving your public relations skills. Public relations nightmare.” .are discussed in some detail in the “Letters” section of the chapter. but anyone in the field would likely benefit from the content. b2b public relations.