Inquiry: Chapter 11 review

Key points: Preparing Broadcast Copy

  1. News happens at anytime of the day or night.
  2. Radio copy writing is written for the ear.
  3. Use a pronunciation guide to ensure no mispronunciation happens.
  4. The listener or viewer has to understand information immediately so it has to grab their attention but be simplistic and clear.
  5. Only give the most important facts, don’t add unnecessary information.
  6. Use the inverted pyramid, therefore the flow is ordered and correct. “Write as you speak”.
  7. The formula ‘Rule of 20’ is used to be effective, each syllable in a sentence counts as a unit, with 20 units the maximum. However sentence length can vary but must be easily read.


Differences between writing for broadcast and print-based media are:

 Broadcast                                                            Print-based media

Writing designed to be heard                         Writing designed to be seen

Simple direct style                                             Direct purpose in writing

Scripts written conversationally                   Correct punctuation used

Be precise and correct                                     Understandable language

Just the essentials of story                              Use of 5W’s and 1H in main paragraph

Rhythm and cadence                                          Formal/semi-formal

Creates a fusion of words and visuals             Story needs more development


Active and passive voice used

Clarity needed, pronunciation guide used


Practical: Week 4 interviewed someone and wrote a short article using their speech.  Return to this interview, and write that news story as a very short broadcast audio-visual script.

This is a short broadcast audio-visual script of my interview with my fiancé Shepard.


Audio Visual
Hey babe, what is the most important thing to you, and why? My fiancé sitting in bed late one night.

SOT (playing a game on his iPhone)

Shepard: “What do you mean?”


Confused look on his face.
“What is the most important thing to you, and why? It’s part of my media writing course.”  Staring at each other.
Shepard: “Oh I see; well you are of course”. Smiles widely and looks at me.
Shepard: “Life would be boring without you”.
What else?
Shepard: “A house or home because you need “somewhere to come home to every night and a place to put your crap”.


Stares at me and laughs.

SOT (gentle laugh)

Anything else? SOT (ceiling fan turning)
Shepard: “Your health as your no good if your dead.


Looks at me with conviction in his eyes.
“A job is important because money is needed to buy food, have a house and have money to do things.”


Counting off his points on his fingers.
Shepard: “Lastly would be family because I was raised by them and they looked after me so I need to return the favor.” Concerned look on his face, but love in his eyes.

SOT (clears his throat)

“Thanks for that, great answers” Both smiling lovingly at each other.



Quiz: Words, completed 19/09/2016

This weeks quiz asked ten questions and to read Chapter nine of Hicks, English for Journalist in preparation for the quiz.

After a second attempt I achieved 100%, there was confusion for me over ‘masterly’ instead of ‘masterful’ as in the ‘golfer’s performance …’  In general the advice should be, aim to write as you speak.




Process of writing 2016, chapter five writing for broadcast, viewed 7 October 2016

Whitaker, W.R., Ramsey, J.E., & Smith, R.D. (2012). MediaWriting: Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations (4th Edition). New York, New York, USA: Routledge.

Wynford Hicks (2013). English for Journalists: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Special edition). New York, New York, USA: Routledge.