Week 6 (9/9): More writing for broadcast

Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay


Week #5 Exercise – From various reputable news sites you researched and wrote a News Story for TV. 

As well as written articles you also researched video articles and video footage of the news item.

When writing the script you included:

* Narration for the News Anchor/Presenter– leading into the story and possibly tail ending it.

* Narration for the On Camera Presenter (You)

* Video footage of the news item. After watching the footage you chose sections that were

   suitable to be shown on air and chose a timecode start point and a timecode end point.

* If video footage was not available then you found suitable photos/graphs etc.

* You included links to the footage/photo/graph sites if appropriate.

* You then constructed the script using the above elements.

Well done! It’s quite a challenge and depending on who you’re working for in the future you may not have to go into so much detail… but getting the hang of this, anything else will be a breeze!

If you work for a small TV station some or all of this may be useful and necessary when constructing a TV News Story. 

Remember that in most cases the footage would come from video your cameraperson has shot. Some of it with you on camera as the TV Reporter.  Plus possibly other footage of the incident where it is too dangerous for you to be present. The Cameraperson can zoom in or they grab cutaway footage on the run.

Sometimes the editor will choose what footage to include and sometimes you will be with the editor helping them.

In the case of you being a one person VJ (Video Journalist – who shoots, reports (on camera) and edits – this type of scripting will be a useful exercise/guideline.

Week #6 – Exercise

Okay, now that you have your TV News Story let’s turn it into a Radio News Story.

As opposed to TV being a visual medium (where pictures tell the story), Radio is Audio.

But hey, you knew that anyway. Funny thing is, though we all know that, sometimes we have to remind ourselves when we are writing for either medium. Especially if we are writing for both.  And where writing for Newspapers/Mags, online Blogs etc use words, pictures are often included to illustrate the story.

Radio has no pictures. 

So you have to make sure your story describes the visual to the ear of the listener.

Sometimes the On Air News Reader will read the entire story.

Other times it will be partly the News Reader and partly the on location News Reporter and or audio from a Press Conference/Interview of Person Associated with the story.


* So make another copy (duplicate) your TV News Story.

* Name it Radio News Story – then the name of the story e.g. Bushfires

* If the TV News Reader/Narration is suitable for a Radio News Announcer, delete TV News Anchor title. You won’t need a title for reading it on radio. Or you could just put: Radio News Reader.

*  As there is no video on this, write up what you see on camera. E.g.. If we see that the flood water level has reached a 3 metre mark… as we can’t see it on a measuring post… write it.  e.g. In the last hour, rising floodwaters have now reached the dangerous 3 metre level, flooding all  roads and cutting off the township of Nelson.

If you didn’t have the chance to finish your TV News Story you can check out this video.

  Watch the video and choose either 1 story e.g. Byron Bay flooded or Sydney flooded. If you want to tell a longer story then you can use both stories but make sure you link them. And don’t just copy what the on air reporters say. Get the basic story then do some extra research. Once you have more details write it in your own words.

* Remember you can also insert the audio from someone being interviewed or giving a comment but as the listener can’t read who it is, you need to say their name and where they are from/what they do etc.

  At 1:46 on the video you might like to insert the audio. But you will need to preface it with something like….

  As Jane Golding, from the Bureau of Meteorology said…”  We’re concerned about… “

* It would be a good idea to research what Jane’s actual job title is and add that.

* Basically, you have to paint a picture with your words. Let thelistener see it in their mind.

  Descriptive adjectives are very useful. e.g.  Instead of a big storm… try a raging storm.

* Length of story should be 1-2 minutes. Time it on your phone’s stopwatch.

  Speak it out aloud as if you were reading it on air.

  The trouble with reading it to yourself is that it’s easy to speed up and therefore the timing will be out.

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