Basics of writing for radio news broadcasts

byPersianeditor@icfjorg
Jun 26, 2009 in Miscellaneous

Even though commercial radio broadcasting has been around for less than a century, radio listeners have come to expect their newscasts to be written in a particular way. Learning about broadcast sentence-structure is one of the foundations for developing effective skills at radio newswriting.

Michael Meckler, creator of Newscript.com, provides a few basic tips for writing radio news stories and advising what you can do to keep your radio script engaging:

Keep it simple
There are three types of sentences: simple, compound and complex. A simple sentence contains a subject and a verb.

In your scripts, simple sentences are best.

Avoid your relatives
Relative clauses start with words such as "who," "which" or "where" and provide additional information about a noun in a sentence. These "relatives" interrupt the flow of the sentence and should not be used in broadcast newswriting. Try to break information into multiple sentences when this happens.

  • Bad example: "Fred Grandy...who played "Gopher" on the original "Loveboat" T-V series...later spent 8 years as a Congressman from Iowa."
  • Better example: "Fred Grandy played "Gopher" on the original "Loveboat" T-V series. He later spent 8 years as a Congressman from Iowa."

Be active
Use an active voice (putting things in present/future) instead of a passive voice (putting things in the past). Writing in passive voice weakens your writing and makes listeners less interested in what you have to say.

Do not waste time stating an object's existence with the phrase "there is" or "there are". Describe that object doing something. Be sure that you are writing sentences with subjects that are doing things and not subjects that are merely receiving actions.

For more information, go to http://www.newscript.com/