TEASE ME! The art of Crafting an Effective Tease for Broadcast News

Your news director says showcase your lead story and write one heck of an intro to your reporter. No problem. You got this. Now, you have breaking news. You need to get on the air with it in less than five minutes, and you’re going into wall-to-wall coverage as soon as you get on television. Piece of cake! Now, your news director has one more request. Write a tease. You freeze. I mean full on deer in headlights. You cry a little bit inside. Your palms sweat. Your mouth is dry. Your heart is racing. A single bead of sweat trickles down the side of your face. You are in full on tease panic mode. Never has a five-letter word and 10-15 seconds of time been so nerve-racking. All of a sudden, you’ve forgotten how to write at all. Your mind is as blank as that tease slug you’re in. Why does the five-letter word make our insides quiver in fear? Why does it reduce otherwise highly skilled, competent people to insecure, fumbling neophytes? How do you knock your news director’s socks off with an amazing, effective tease? This series of articles on the topic explores all of that.

One Journey Nearing an End…

The night before my final exam, I wrote a blog post that I never uploaded.  It was an account of what I was feeling – excitement, fear, disbelief, sadness.  This was a part of my life for four years!  What would it be like without it taking up so much of my time?  I barely remembered life pre-grad school.  I wouldn’t have to go to my old stomping grounds any more in Gainesville.  It was the last time in our little hotel room, the last time taking selfies on campus – the last everything. 

Hurricane Maria: The Human Spirit Triumphs Over Tragedy

Recently, I had an experience that affected me so much, I needed to write about it.  My boss offered me the opportunity to work on a special.  The topic is one we’ll be talking about for quite some time.  Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and many other places.  Shortly before Maria hit, Irma had already …

Emotion in Writing – Making a Connection through Shared Feelings

I know you’ve heard this before. “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.” Yes, facts are king for broadcast television writing. If we can’t get those correct, we have no credibility. However, writing for a television audience is so much more than that. It’s about making a connection. We have learned over the years our viewers want the presenters and the newscast as a whole to be relatable. One way to make that connection is to introduce emotion or feeling into your writing. I can hear the questions right now. But Bridget, isn’t that editorializing? Bridget, isn’t that disingenuous? It’s neither, and I’ll show you why in this article. This post will not have any photos or graphics to distract from the content. It’s an important subject that requires your full attention.

Grammar Geeks Wage War Against Grammar Gremlins

Grammar gremlins are creeping into articles, scripts, and in graphics in broadcast, print, and web-based media organizations across the world. It’s going to be up to us grammar geeks (gurus) to take on the gremlins and win the war. In this article, I will show you the top five grammatical pitfalls I see when I’m copy-editing scripts every day and give you simple tips to avoid the grammar gremlins in your copy.

Engaging and Dazzling Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is like poetry. It speaks to all of the senses for a truly captivating experience for your audience. Yes, we can use visuals to show people what we’re talking about in broadcast news, movies, blogs, vlogs, and newspaper articles, but even the best images are lost if they don’t have some descriptive copy to accompany them.

Concise Writing: Less is Best

Good broadcast news copy doesn’t have to be verbose. When I started writing for broadcast years ago, I had “lengthy writing” syndrome. I’ll never forget when my radio wrap did not air because it was too long. The audience can get lost in all of those words. Dial it back. Exercise restraint. Practice concise writing. This article shows you how.

STAY ACTIVE!  The Art of Using Active Voice

So you want to strengthen your broadcast news writing. You have come to the right place. One simple way to make your copy stronger is to make sure you are using the active voice when you write. What does that mean, and how do you do it? This short, powerful article will help you. It’s a three minute read that is well worth your time.

Lead Me to a Good Story, but Don’t Lead Me Astray

You’re sitting in front of your blank computer screen.  You have something important to communicate, but you don’t know how to start.  It’s happened to the best of us.  You need a lead line – a good one!  You’re bringing the audience into your story, and you want to viewers to be intrigued enough to stick around for everything you have to tell them.  So how do you craft that stellar lead?  Here is a quick read to show you some best practices and help you avoid some pitfalls.  I hope you enjoy it!  While you’re on my website, check out my articles on Grammar Gremlins, active voice, and concise and descriptive writing!

Lead Me to a Good Story, but Don’t Lead Me Astray: The Art of Crafting Compelling Leads

You might be asking yourself – why don’t I want my lead line to be clever? Here’s the deal. A lot of times, clever is distracting and confusing to the listener or viewer. Our audience shouldn’t have to use the DVR to rewind and see if they can figure out what the anchor is talking about, and likely they won’t do it. They will just wonder what the anchor said and miss the rest of the story. So you’ve succeeded in stumping them, at which point, your method of communication just failed.

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is like poetry. It speaks to all of the senses for a truly captivating experience for your audience. Yes, we can use visuals to show people what we’re talking about in broadcast news, movies, blogs, vlogs, and newspaper articles, but even the best images are lost if they don’t have some descriptive copy to accompany them.

Grammar Gremlins Strike Forbes.com

Imagine this. I’m scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, and an attorney shared an article about United Airlines agreeing to a settlement with a passenger who security had dragged off of one of the company’s planes. If you’ve read my article, you know where I’m going with this. That’s right, Forbes.com fell victim to #4 on my list of the top five grammar gremlins ...

Active Voice

Simply put, when you write in the active voice, you construct the sentence so the subject does the action. Active sentences are easier for the anchor to read in broadcast news. Sentences written in the active voice are also easier for your audience/reader to understand.

Concise Writing

People’s attention spans are not as long as they used to be. They are less likely to stick around for your entire message if that message takes too long to express. In this article, I give you simple techniques to clean the unnecessary words out of your copy.