News Vets Expand On Last Week’s Tip

Posted August 14, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

In our Tip Of the Week last time, we emphasized the importance of reading your script aloud.    A few veteran news folks responded with some additions.   So let’s share those thoughts reinforcing and expanding that idea.

Jay Pearce-WVIK Rock Island and a long time presence on both commercial and public airwaves in Illinois -” I always taught my students to start by pretending they we’re telling their neighbor what they had just seen or heard. It is amazing how those “official” terms disappear. And how simple the sentences get. Listeners basically have one chance to hear what you are saying…don’t confuse them.”

Micheal Leland-Iowa Public Radio and numerous stations including WBEZ in his past lives-” I do this whether I’m writing or anchoring. Great advice.”

Steve Scott-Former INBA President, Former WLS, now at WCBS in NYC-“Yes! Absolutely! You should be sitting at your desk, reading your copy aloud as you write it. I’m old school (okay, just old) – it drives my coworkers crazy sometimes. But, we’re writing for the ear, not the eye. How it looks may be different from how it sounds. My advice: Say aloud the story you want to tell. Say it aloud again. And again. Now, write what you’ve been saying aloud. It’s key to getting conversational broadcast news copy.”

Thanks for the dialogue,

Bill Wheelhouse