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Writing for the ear. What’s different? It’s heard, not read You get one chance Written to time frame For reporters, it’s NOW!. Writing for the Ear. Keep it Simple Short sentences (10-to-12-words) Active voice Emphasize S-V-O Avoid complex constructions Commas create complexity.

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Presentation Transcript
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Writing for the ear

  • What’s different?

    • It’s heard, not read

    • You get one chance

    • Written to time frame

    • For reporters, it’s NOW!


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Writing for the Ear

  • Keep it Simple

    • Short sentences (10-to-12-words)

    • Active voice

    • Emphasize S-V-O

    • Avoid complex constructions

    • Commas create complexity


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Writing for the Ear

  • Talk as you speak


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Writing for the Ear

  • Get personal; be more intimate!

    • You might want to find another way to work next month--at least if you drive I-76 through Akron.

    • Gasoline will cost you more this summer--about a quarter a gallon more according to the U-S Department of Energy.


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Writing for the Ear

  • Use personal pronouns (you, we, us)…

    • To create ownership/belonging

    • To create intimacy

    • To demonstrate the WIIFM

      (What’s in it for me?)


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Writing for the Ear

  • Use personal pronouns

    • Thanks to you, it works for all of us.

    • Together we can make our streets safer for our kids.

    • You can make Ohio a healthier state by calling …


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Writing for the Ear

  • Contractions are part of being informal

    • It’s cool to use them

    • It’s also fine to use slang (with care)

    • It’s essential to have conversational tone


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Writing for the Ear

  • Public Service Announcements:

    • Most PSAs are 10-30 seconds

    • Your copy must fit time frame


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Writing for the Ear

  • To fit a timeframe

    • Overcome the Microsoft spacing curse

    • Use “Courier” or “Courier New”

    • Get equal number of characters/line

    • Set margins at width of 60 characters.


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Writing for the Ear

  • Write to a timeframe

    • 8 lines = 30 Seconds

    • 5 lines = 20 Seconds

    • 2.5 lines = 10 Seconds


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Writing for the Ear

  • Use “tune in” words

    • A listening audience is often passive

    • Grab their attention first; tune them in

    • Place NO essential facts up front


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Writing for the Ear

  • Without the tune in…

    June first is the deadline to apply for low interest mortgages through the Ohio First Time Buyers Plan.


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Writing for the Ear

  • With the tune in…

    Are you a first-time home buyer? Next Wednesday, June third, is the deadline to apply for a loan from the Ohio First Time Buyers Plan.


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Writing for the Ear

  • Without the tune in…

    Call 5-5-5-3-5-7-4 to get your tickets for this weekend’s Kent Celebrity Football Classic.


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Writing for the Ear

  • With the tune in…

    Are you ready for some Celebrity Football? This weekend on the Kent State campus…


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Writing for the Ear

  • With the tune in…

    Are you ready for some Celebrity Football?

    • A contemporary reference

    • It’s a media cliché

    • It works on the air!


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Writing for the Ear

  • Clichés can work—for the ear. But don’t overdo it:

    • Tired of the same old....

    • Don't look now, but...

    • If you thought you'd heard the last of...


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Writing for the Ear

  • More “tune in” examples

    • Tired of long lines at the supermarket? Your Ohio Farm Bureau has good news.

    • If you live in Summit County, hang onto your wallet!


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Writing for the Ear

  • Scripts vs. Actualities

    • Scripts read by on-air personalities

    • Actualities contain the voice of the source

    • In this class we’ll work only on scripting -- to understand broadcast style


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Writing for the Ear

  • Scripts

    • Written in broadcast style and tone

    • Follow broadcast (not AP) rules

    • Written precisely to timeframe


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