POWER OF SUGGESTION
The human mind is a vast storehouse of scenery. The
radio writer suggests to the audience what the scene
should be, and listeners through their minds eye
can see anything from a pinhole to Waikiki Beach.
PACING AND TIMING
You must prepare the material for delivery within a
definite time frame. Within this timeframe, the changes
in quality, emotion, thought or feeling of the material are
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
As the radio writer, you can take listeners from one
point on earth to another, or even into outer space with
words, sound effects or the appropriate music.
Radio writers call conflict the backbone of interest
in radio writing. Conflict is the ageless formula of hero
against villain, good against evil, the fight for survival
and the solution to difficult problems.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the basic
rules of radio newswriting.
As a Navy journalist your first encounter with radio
writing will probably be as a radio newswriter. In that
assignment your job will be to meet the deadlines and
rigid standards of the electronic media with the Navys
Radio news style, while dictated by the need for
getting and holding the attention of an audience, differs
from station to station. It is alive and constantly
changing along with the broadcast industry itself.
As with most areas of journalism, there are few
absolutes. When scripting broadcast copy, you will face
many subjective choices that can only be made by using
your own common sense.
The guidelines presented in this chapter are
intended to be consistent with the style recommended
by The Associated Press and United Press International.
However, keep in mind that these guidelines are just that
guidelines. For your copy to serve any worthwhile
purpose, it must be the kind of spots and releases the
individual radio stations in your geographical area
desire and are able to use. Most local broadcast stations
have individual preferences regarding their newscasts
and announcements. To be responsive, you must be
willing to adapt to those preferences. Study the styles of
the stations in your area. If your material does not meet
the requirements of the stations you are attempting to
serve, then make the necessary modifications.
Initially, be aware that writing for broadcast media
is not the same as writing for print media. True, the same
rules of accuracy, propriety and good taste apply;
nevertheless, there are a number of differences,
particularly in writing style. Your job is to tailor each
release for the medium that will use it. A release sent to
an area newspaper may be turned down by area
broadcast stations if it is not rewritten in broadcast style.
Remember that any station is more likely to use your
release if it is in a form that does not require the news-
casters reworking. Do not create extra work for the
news outlet. This is a fundamental step and should be
practiced by every public affairs office.
Broadcast writing is highly personalized far
different from writing for the print media. Broadcast
copy is written and designed for the ear. It is personal
and has a sense of immediacy. The listener becomes
involved and feels as though he is a part of the event
THE SIX Cs
In keeping with the requirements previously
covered, your broadcast copy must measure up to the
following six Cs:
Clear copy is written in a simple, easy-to-
understand manner. It is developed in a logical way,
flows smoothly and is easy for the listener to follow.
Even the simplest story may be misunderstood on the
basis of one hearing. The listeners attention may be
divided between any number of distractions. Therefore,