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broadcast script 4

Print news stories have the 5 Ws, but broadcast news stories have the 4 Cs (correctness, clarity, color and conversational style). These four Cs still serve as the basis for broadcast writing and form a good framework for talking about broadcast writing styles. Here are the rules for writing broadcast copy:

  • Use titles before names.
  • Avoid Abbreviations, even on second reference.
  • Avoid direct quotations if possible.
  • Attribution should come before a quotation, not after it.
  • Use as little punctuation as possible.
  • Numbers and statistics should be rounded off.
  • Personalize the news when possible and appropriate.
  • Avoid extended description.
  • Avoid using symbols when you write.
  • Use visual cues in your writing.
  • Use phonetic spelling for unfamiliar and hard-to-pronounce names and words.
  • Avoid third-person pronouns.
  • Avoid apposition.
  • Write in the present context when it is appropriate.
  • Avoid dependent clauses at the beginning of sentences.

The most common structure for broadcast news is called dramatic unity. This structure has three parts: climax, cause, and effect.

  • The climax of the story gives the listener the point of the story is about the same way the lead of a print news story does; it tells the listener what happened.
  • The cause portion of the story tells why it happened—the circumstances surrounding the event.
  • The effect portion gives the listener the context of the story and possibly some insight into what the story means.

Assignment: Produce a script for a newscast.

  1. Take Assignment #2: On the Spot News Story and turn it into a segment for a newscast.
  2. Report the story as if it just happened.
  3. While still following AP Style, write a script for one anchor.
  4. You are writing in a conversational tone as outlined in your textbook.
  5. You are the anchor of this ONE anchor news cast.


  • Think about what the focus of your story is before you write it!
  • Do additional research if needed.
  • Use quotes if needed to add to the story.
  • Time limit: 1:30 minutes.
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