I have had the honor and privilege to coordinate my station’s internship program for the last few months. So, I have been thinking a lot lately about the value of an internship. The topic came up again during a conference I recently attended. It got me thinking that the advice I gave to a budding …
I have taught you a lot of things over the past year about writing. Many of them have been higher level writing techniques, but what if you’re just starting out? What do you need to know? What do I as a copy-editor look for in a writer who is working on the newscast I oversee? …
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.
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.
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 …
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 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.
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.
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.
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.