Objective You will learn about the specialized skill of broadcast news script writing.
Take notes on the following Power Point presentation to file in the “production” section your notebook.
Broadcast stories will… Be shorter and simpler than print stories Use present tense, active voice Sound more conversational o Use “don’t” rather than “do not” Start with an attention-getting “hook,”
Broadcast leads… 5W/1H leads don’t work o Too much info at once o Too hard to hear o Too hard for an announcer to read Use “soft” leads instead o Throw-away lead o Angle lead
Throwaway lead Vacationers driving around the country this summer are likely to find lots of detours. The American Automobile Association says road repairs and construction are going on all over the nation.
Angle Lead (hook) Planning to drive on your vacation this year? Get ready for lots of detours. The American Automobile Association says road repairs and construction are going on all over the nation.
Some Things to Remember Keep your sentences short Keep subjects and verbs close together Avoid introductory clauses
Quote Attribution Broadcast writers should avoid two common print formats: o putting the attribution after a quote or statement o identifying people by age, job title, etc. It’s usually better to paraphrase quotes
Quote Attribution Listeners/viewers can’t see “quote marks” Use direct quotes only when it’s important to repeat someone’s exact words.
Quote Attribution RIGHT: The director of emergency disaster relief said all victims of the Florida hurricane are now back in permanent housing.
Quote Attribution WRONG: “ Victims of the Florida hurricane are all back in permanent housing,” said Scott Smith, director of emergency disaster relief.
Broadcast Copy Guidelines Double-space CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING Use an easy-to-read typewriter-style font (like Courier or Arial)
Broadcast Copy Guideline Put a slugline at the top left of each page o Vacation Detours o 30 seconds Scripts are always in a dual column format
SAMPLE TV Spot Script 30 Apr 06Name_______________________________ Internet resourceClass__________ 30 secondsPage 1 Kill Date: 31 Dec 06Exercise # _______ VIDEO (LS) STUDENT AT COMPUTER (01:35) (MS) COMPUTER MONITOR SCREEN (02:05) (CU) STUDENT TYPING ON COMPUTER (LIGHTING CHANGES TO RED) (03:00) (CU) KEYBOARD (03:43) (ECU) COMPUTER SCREEN (04:15) AUDIO MUSIC: UP & UNDER ANNOUNCER LOOKING FOR INFORMATION? CHECK OUT THE INTERNET. BUT BEWARE... SOME INTERNET INFORMATION IS OFF LIMITS. DON’T VENTURE INTO THE DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET, ESPECIALLY TO HOME PAGES WITH SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GAIN ACCESS TO THESE SITES, BUT THE COMMANDANT HAS PLACED THEM OFF LIMITS. ALL DINFOS COMPUTERS KEEP A LOG OF THE SITES YOU VISIT... A LOG OFFICIALS COULD USE TO TRACK YOU DOWN. (MORE)
SAMPLE TV Spot Script 30 Apr 06Name_______________________________ Internet resourceClass__________ 30 secondsPage 1 Kill Date: 31 Dec 06Exercise # _______ VIDEO (CU) STUDENT’S FACE (STRIP LIGHTING ON FACE) (04:37) (CU) COMPUTER MONITOR (PICTURE BLURS AND TURNS TO STATIC) (05:12) AUDIO (MORE) BE SURE TO PULL THE PLUG ON BAD NET SURFING HABITS... BEFORE SOMEONE PULLS THE PLUG ON YOU. KNOW AND OBEY DINFOS INTERNET RULES. MUSIC: FADE UP AND OUT TO TIME # # #
Broadcast Guidelines Omit datelines Work the location into the lead Use an end mark (- 30 -) or (# # #) to clearly designate the end of the story o Time = Length o 20 seconds = 5 lines (45 words) o 30 seconds = 8 lines (65 words) o 60 seconds = 16 lines (125 words)
Punctuation Avoid complex punctuation Listeners/viewers can’t see it! Punctuation is only there to help the announcer read the story o Commas (,) and periods (.) o Ellipses (…) and dashes (--) o Quotation marks (“__”) o Question marks (?)
Unconventional punctuation Use ellipses (…) to indicate dramatic timing, like a long pause. Example: While workers were arriving early this morning … a deafening explosion shook the plant.”
Using Abbreviations Eliminate most abbreviations (even AP Style abbreviations for states) Use only well-known abbreviations, like C-I-A and NASA. Don't use abbreviations unless you want them to be read as abbreviations
Using Numbers Numbers can be hard to follow, so try to avoid using them If you do need to use numbers in your broadcast copy… o Spell out numbers under 12 o Use numerals for 12 to 999 o Write “one thousand” instead of 1,000
Using Numbers Simplify complex numbers. o Round numbers off o Use modifiers such as…approximately, almost, more than, about Example: $2,001,859.00 becomes “slightly more than two (m) million-dollars.”
More on numbers Spell out the symbols for dollars and cents 29-dollars or 60-cents Write fractions as words and hyphenate them two-thirds Use hyphens to link related numbers “For more information, call 1-800-5-5-5-1-2-1-2”
Time references Use present tense Avoid repeating “today” – say “early this morning,” or “this afternoon” instead Use terms that listeners can relate to Example: “One lane of the freeway will be closed during the morning rush hour.”
Names & Titles Use the title before the name If the title is long, break it up or shorten it Never begin sentences with a name If the person is well-known, like President Bush, you can omit the first name