WRITING FOR BROADCAST

6     Newswriting

‘When you’ve got a thing to say,Say it! Don’t take half a day …Life is short – a fleeting vapour –Don’t you fill the whole blamed paperWith a tale, which at a pinch,Could be covered in an inch!Boil her down until she simmers,Polish her until she glimmers.’

– JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS

Hard news is new and important information about events of significance. Soft news and human interest items are stories run for their entertainment value first and their information second.

In the hard news story for broadcast there is no room for padding. The information must have the impact of an uppercut and connect with the audience in the first sentence.

The news angle

Before so much as rattling the keyboard, the journalist ...

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