AIRMAN HOMEY AN HOMEY
80 MILES AN
WORLD WAR II
80 M.P.H. OR 80
When you use an unfamiliar abbreviation or
acronym that will be pronounced as a word, be sure to
spell it out in the first usage. The following example
THE NAVYS CHIEF OF
CALLED CHINFO . . .
If you are concerned about mispronouncing names
and places, you can limit the possibility by writing a
phonetic spelling of the word in parentheses
immediately following the troublesome word. You are
the author of the release and thus the authority for
pronunciation of all names and places in the story. Study
the following example:
CAPTAIN ANTOINE (AN-TWAN)
SPOKE TODAY . . .
Make sure the phonetic spelling appears on the same
line as the word it represents.
Numbers present special problems to the broadcast
writer. For the sake of clarity, broadcasters have
developed their own style with numbers. Any number
that begins a sentence is always written out.
From One to Nine
For broadcast copy, write out the numbers from
ONE to NINE. Exceptions: Sport scores, time (hours,
minutes, etc.), dates, addresses, telephone numbers and
From 10 to 999
Use numerals for numbers 10 through 999.
Examples: 12, 45, 893, 250, 999.
Thousand, Million, Billion
Borrow from both styles and substitute words for
zeroes. Examples: ONE-THOUSAND, 15-HUNDRED,
Make numbers conversational. Round out figures
unless the exact figure is essential to your story. For
,527 would become 15-HUNDRED
DOLLARS. However, exact numbers must be used if
your story deals with deaths or other subjects requiring
Write dates as OCTOBER 1ST, 2ND, 3RD, 4TH
and 31ST, and use four digit numerals for years, such as
1979 or 1994.
Additional examples of using numbers in broadcast
copy are shown in figure 13-1.
STRUCTURE OF BROADCAST COPY
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
structure of broadcast copy.
Broadcast writing, like other styles of writing, can
only be learned through experience. Consequently,
writing experience can only be gained by writing,
writing and more writing.