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ADVANTEGES : This method is a good compromise in that gives equal importance to both the words and the pictures. It also enables the report to 'breath' by the inclusion of pauses for natural sound.

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General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • ADVANTEGES: This method is a good compromise in that gives equal importance to both the words and the pictures. It also enables the report to 'breath' by the inclusion of pauses for natural sound.

  • DISADVANTEGES: It requires practice and takes longer than text-first editing. But the result demonstrates that it is worth it. It is particularly appropriate to the editing of 'special news reports ' lasting three minutes or more, when there is generally more time allowed in the editing suite.


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • GENERAL SCRIPTING PRINCIPLES

  • NOTE: These are guidelines only – not rigid rules.

  • Write the studio introduction first- before you start writing the script. This will help you focus on the story and will avoid your first piece of text being a repetition of what has just been said by the presenter in the studio. It is possible that your news editor will change it but he/she will still be grateful for your suggestion. Remember: you know your story better than anyone.


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Generally, scripts are for conveying facts and figures; interviews for conveying opinion, emotion, anecdotes and examples. This is not an absolute rule, but a useful guideline.

  • Keep your text SHORT! You are not writing a newspaper article. In television the pictures tell the story. The total length of you script should be between a third and a half of the total length of the report.

  • Each piece of script should normally be no more than twenty seconds. If it is longer, put in a short [two or three second] pause with natural sound. Remember: you are 'feeding' the viewer information. Don’t give them indigestion.


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Keep your sentences simple. The art of good TV script-writing is to write simply but without simplifying. Try to avoid subordinate clauses. Television is Doha; this is better than: 'Ahmad, who lives in Doha, is a television reporter; short sentences are also easier to rearrange when you have to change the words to fit the picture.


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Use the me what I can see but ordinary language of ordinary people. Yours words should be conversational, not literary or poetic. Remember: you are speaking to the viewer, not writing a letter to him/her.

  • Don't be afraid to ask the occasional question. Addressing your viewer directly gets their attention. For example: \so how doses the government plan to reduse traffic?'


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Have the pictures in your head as you write the words – like a cinema projector inside your skull.

  • If facts and/or figures are disputed or uncertain, attribute them to a specific source –for example:'according to the united nations ….

  • Try to simplify figures by using fractions instead of percentages. Instead of 54% you can say 'more than half ' or even 'most'. Instead of 72%, you can say "nearly three-quarters" or "roughly seven out of ten". But, when reporting election or referendums, you should usually quote the exact percentage.


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Say some thing like a cinema projector inside your skull.specific – not woolly generation or philosophical musings. You are a journalist, not a poet or a prophet.

  • Something the pictures 'speak for themselves '. If so, let them. There are times when the best script is not script. Learn to ' write silence' [former BBC War Correspondent, Marten Bell].


General scripting principles note these are guidelines only not rigid rules

  • Keep your language politically and emotionally like a cinema projector inside your skull.neutral. 'Terrorists, freedom fighters, guerrillas' all imply partiality. Choose a word that describes without implying.

  • Avoid adjective & adverbs. These are descriptive words. The pictures should be doing the describing. Check your script for adjectives and, each time you find one, ask your self if it really necessary.