Next reading • Chapter 3: Appearance issues • Complexion & hair • Your image and your look • Your features • Controlling & improving your image • Makeup and dress
Next reading • Voice issues • What we started with and more • Continue to use for practice • Practice and conditioning • Note the various terms • Think about ‘interpreting the material’
But… • While those are good for reading and practice • Each time we’re dealing with different performance areas…we’re trying to have an understanding of the material • So far —’spot production’ • This week and next—’news’ • Chapter 2 gives you an overview
Writing for Electronic Media • “The Material” • Goals: • Understand the style of electronic journalism • Know the importance of considering audience and being accurate in writing and reporting • Learn the major principles of broadcast news writing style • Review grammar of good writing
Writing for Visual Media • Print media • Present information for the “eye” to read • Info can be more complex and comprehensive because readers can process information at own speed • Broadcast media • Present information for the “ear” to hear • Info must be straight-forward and easy to comprehend because viewers cannot go back to “get” information they didn’t understand
Writing “to be read” • Consider the text to the right from a newspaper article. Read it out loud to a classmate and ask student to recall the information. Also pay attention to reading from text that is “written to be read” versus “written to be spoken.” A federal survey shows that the number of meals served in public schools has dropped 18 percent in the last 18 months as more families send sack lunches to school with their children. The decline in number of full-price lunches has averaged nearly 12 percent, according to the survey, and the decline in number of reduced-price lunches has averaged 27 percent.
Writing “to be spoken” • Now read this text aloud. Notice the difference in your delivery and in the student’s comprehension and interest in the story. Parents are fighting cuts in government lunch subsidies with the brown bag. In the last year and a half, five times as many students brought their sack lunch to school as those who bought hot lunches.
Writing for Visual Media • The writer’s challenge • Inform audience of important events • Keep audience interested and attentive • Motivate audience to contemplate news, perhaps take action • Keep writing crisp, concise • Write more formal than everyday conversation but less formal than ‘print style’ • Focus on why a story is important to the audience – what is the relevance to their lives?
Writing for Visual Media • The “Audience” – Writing is communication that requires a message as well as an audience • Target Audience – a bloc of individuals with similar characteristics (such as age, gender, lifestyle) that give them a somewhat common identity
Writing for Visual Media • Key “audience” considerations in writing • Know your target group • Who are they? What do they like? What resonates with them? • Determine style for telling your story • Match audience interests with style that will get their attention • Know your message • What do you want to say and how can you say it so your audience understands? • Know your purpose • Why is this message particularly important to your audience?
Writing for Visual Media • Accuracy - above all, as our book said, broadcast news must be accurate • More people get their news via television and digital media, so it is crucial the reports are truthful, factual and honest in their presentation • Do not sensationalize information – do not report it in a style or manner that gives in to hype • Not all stories are “exclusive” or “breaking news” and the audience understands that • If you “cry wolf” for every story, the audience will not know when information is truly critical
News & Society • Importance of ‘watchdog role’ • Issues of fairness and bias • Gatekeeper • Timeliness, Proximity, Conflict, Prominence, Human Interest, etc.
Writing for Visual Media • Accuracy (continued) • Attribution – crediting a person or entity as the originator of a statement, idea or point of view • Broadcast: Title, full name, information • Statements need attribution when: • It is necessary for clarity to note which person/group said what • The news item is controversial in nature and needs a “source” for legitimacy • The statement is a personal comment and must be identified with a source and not the reporter’s opinion
Writing for Visual Media • Style – Broadcast news writing follows several style rules to help it be as clear as possible to the audience • Primary style components: • Attribution • Numbers • Names, Ages, Titles • Verb tense • Pronunciation • Grammar
Writing for Visual Media • Attribution – unlike in print, attribution generally comes at the beginning of a sentence. Notice the difference: • Print: Almost 30 percent of American adults are considered obese and in danger of contracting Type I Diabetes, according to a recent CDC report. • Broadcast: The CDC reports that almost 30 percent of American adults are obese and could get diabetes.
Writing for Visual Media • Numbers – To help anchors deliver important facts in the most clear way, it is crucial to follow proper broadcast style for reading numbers: • Spell out numbers one to eleven • Use numerals for 12 – 999 • Never use symbols for “dollars”“cents” or “percent” – always write out the word • Write thousands, millions, billions, trillions • Ex: The budget is expected to exceed 12 million dollars. • Round numbers off whenever possible • Ex: The construction project is estimated to cost nearly 4.5 billion dollars.
Writing for Visual Media • Names, Ages, Titles • Unfamiliar people’s names are generally delayed until viewers have been alerted to listen for an upcoming name • Ex: A local farmer is protesting the new restriction. James Fox says the regulation will force him into bankruptcy. • Titles should be generalized (most of the time) and placed before the name • Ex: Dean of Students Laura Avery says tuition increases will be minimal next year. • Ages (use sparingly) should be placed in front of the name • The 65-year-old freshman says it is never too late to get a degree.
Writing for Visual Media • Verb Tense – Broadcast news is written in present tense to help stories sound up-to-date and fresh • Focus on what is happening now so present tense is accurate • Ex: The Commerce City council authorizes building a new high school in town. • Always use present tense verbs unless it sounds awkward or is inaccurate • Ex: The pope dies yesterday, leaving a world in mourning behind. (The past time reference makes it impossible to accurately use a present tense verb)
Writing for Visual Media • Pronunciation - Use phonetic spelling with names or other words that have a unique or unfamiliar pronunciation. • Examples: • FEB-roo-air-ee • ZOO-ology • NU-cle-ar • Sha-HEED Sa-EED (Shahid Saeed)
Writing for Visual Media • Grammar – • Subject-Verb agreement: • The news media are all different in their presentation styles of information. • Subject-pronoun agreement • Each team member signed a contract promising he did not use steroids in the off-season. • Active voice – the subject of the sentence should be the one doing the action (rather than being acted upon) • The teacher is suing the district for gender discrimination (not: The district is being sued by a science teacher for gender discrimination.)
Take-home challenge • Watch a local newscast at two different times (morning, noon, evening, night) before Thursday and determine what the main audience is for that newscast. Consider story content, language used, advertising for determining the audience. • See linked information on the course outline: www.tonydemars.com • After performance Thursday – writing exercise