2 Print/Broadcast Differences Print news is written for readers scanning a page with their eyesPrint stories can be rereadMost people like newspapers for their detailed informationPrints stories are written based on word count and column inchesBroadcast news is written for listeners and viewers tuning in with their ears and eyes (for TV)Broadcast words, once spoken, are gone foreverPeople like broadcast news for quick, up-to-date infoBroadcast stories are written for length of time: 30 sec., 2 min., etc.
3 Print/Broadcast Similarities Although the writing styles for print and broadcast are different, the types of stories chosen are notThe best stories for print and broadcast are also the best stories in printReporting and newsgathering are similar too: identifying central point, finding the best story angle, doing background research, conducting interviews, identifying best quotes/soundbites, writing well, and adhering to journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, balance, and objectivity
4 Broadcast Writing Guidelines Adopt a conversational, informal and relaxed styleWrite short sentences that are to the point and limited to one idea per sentencePresent information in an up-to-date formatUse present-tense verbsRound off numbers and give them meaningShorten long titlesNever put an unfamiliar name first in a storyOmit a person’s middle initialPlace the description, age, job title, and other identification before a person’s name not after as done in printLeave out ages and addresses if they are not important to the storyPlace the attribution before what is said: “who said what”Avoid pronouns: may be unclear who you are referring to
5 Broadcast Writing Tips Add phonetic spelling to ensure proper pronunciation: Bow-fort, North Carolina; Beuw-fort, South CarolinaSpell out numbers up to and including elevenUse numerals for 12 to 999Use “says” instead of “said” to sound more current and nowUse a combination of numerals and words for large numbersUse words instead of abbreviationsSpell out figures, signs and symbolsUse hyphens for numbers and letters to be read individually: C-B-SAvoid alliterations or tongue twisters
6 Pyramid vs. Inverted Pyramid The best broadcast leads are short: 12 words or soBroadcast uses a pyramid style body of the story organization: complete story is written for time given, say 30 secondsBut like the inverted pyramid, the story often puts information in descending order of importance
7 Scripting Broadcast Stories Broadcast story “scripts” have more narrow left and right margins and are double spaced for readabilityCorrections can be neatly made on script using block-style editingSee script example on page 496Another example is on our website: