What Makes a Good Story? InformativeInterestingAccuratePertinent Localization is key!
Questions to Ask? Who am I writing this story for (Audience)? What is the story about? Why are we airing/printing this story ? Does the listener/viewer/reader care (So what test)? What are the other sides (Balance)? What are the beginning and the end?
10 Rules for Sports Writing 1.Use Active Voice 2.Use Proper Grammar –Pronoun Agreement –Attribution 3.Use Simple Words and Numbers 4.Keep Writing Clean and Simple 5.Use Solid Reporting Skills
10 Rules for Sports Writing 6.Learn More than Just Sports 7.Remember Creativity –Clichés 8.Humanize Your Writing 9.Sometimes Less is More 10.Carefully Consider Outside Elements
Passive Voice The passive voice deadens, complicates and lengthens broadcast writing. The passive voice involves the direction of the verb’s action (not to be confused with tense.) Passive voice exists when the receiver of the verb’s action precedes the verb.
Passive Voice In order for a sentence to be passive, the following must exist... –A verb phrase –A form of the “to be” verb in the phrase –Receiver of the verb’s action precedes the verb.
Passive Examples “The player was arrested by the sheriff.” “The game was stopped during the storm.” “The game was kicked off at noon.” “The spotlight was focused on the star player.”
Passive to Active Solutions Relocate the actor Identify and insert the missing actor Change the verb Drop the “to be” verb
Passive Solutions “The player was arrested by the sheriff.” –“The sheriff arrested the player.” “The game was stopped during the storm.” –“The umpire stopped the game during the storm.” “The game was kicked off at noon.” –“The game started at noon.” “The spotlight was focused on the star player.” –“The spotlight focused on the star player”
Advantages of the Active Voice Straight-Line Meaning Tighter Copy Complete Reporting More Interesting
The Lead The first sentence in broadcast stories – Must draw viewer’s/listener’s attention – Sets the tone for the story – Includes many of the basic facts – Determines whether a story will be heard/watched
Good Leads Are... Factually accurate and correct In the active voice In the present or present perfect tenses –Watch for distorted present tense Simple Complete and clear Written to be read out loud
Good leads... Avoid commas and interruptives Lack participial phrases or dependent clauses Put attribution before assertion Follow S-V-O Limit a sentence to one idea Place the time element after the verb Don’t follow newspaper constructions
Lead sentences do not... Use prefabricated phrases Waste words Use clichés Start with “There is” or “There are” Include any form of the “to be verb” Include “yesterday” Include “continues” or “still
Write to the Video S-W-A-P: Synchronize Words And Pictures Tell the story in a way that makes best use of video Don’t directly describe understandable pictures Writing & video may tell more than one story at a time
Ending the Story Tell what happens next Provide a summary Tell the other side Include a bit of interesting information
Paper 2 Watch a major sporting event this weekend –NFL, CFB (D-1), MLB, High School Football Write 3 broadcast leads for the same game, using a different type of lead for each (p. 80). Which lead works best for this story? Why?