The ability to write well is an applicant's most prized skill, according to surveys of broadcast news directors. To ensure that your students' writing skills are well honed, there is no better handbook to turn to than this newly updated third edition of Writing Broadcast News. Mervin Block- who has written for the best in the business- offers timeless advice, guiding both first-year students and seasoned professionals through the essentials of writing for the ear.
With countless scripts collected from writing workshops in newsrooms across the country, this resource is studded with insightful - and at times entertaining - comments, suggestions and much-needed corrections. Readers will find Block's clear and incisive voice coming through in the expanded "Top Tips of the Trade" and the "Dozen Deadly Sins"-reminding us that mistakes can be our best teachers. New "WordWatcher" boxes highlight the challenges in writing for print versus broadcast.
Mervin Block is a broadcast writing coach and author. He has written news at three television networks: as a staff writer for the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" and the "ABC Evening News with Frank Reynolds," and as a freelancer at NBC News. He has written news for Ed Bradley, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, Douglas Edwards, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd, Edwin Newman, Charles Osgood, Dan Rather, Harry Reasoner, Frank Reynolds, Diane Sawyer, Bob Schieffer, Robert Trout and Mike Wallace. Block teaches newswriting workshops at TV and radio newsrooms around the country. In 2004, the Chicago Press Veterans Association chose him as Press Veteran of the Year.
PREFACE I. RULES 1. Dozen Deadly Don'ts: Missteps and mistakes that mar scripts 2. Venial Sins: More mistakes that hurt copy 3. Top Tips of the Trade: 40 tips from the field that lead to better writing II. STYLE AND FORM 4. Style: Tips to develop your writing style 5. Lead-ins, Lead-outs and Leading Questions: On starting strong and finishing well in broadcast stories 6. Attributions: Who Says? How to quote people and attribute facts in broadcast scripts 7. Words Part I: Put in a Good Word: How to find the right word at the write time 8. Words Part II: Eliminate the Journalese: How to write plainly and clearly for stronger scripts 9. After Words-After Math: A lesson on numbers for wordly writers 10. Bad News: Characterizing news is bad- and tips for sports and weather scripts 11. Noosepapers: Dangers of fishing for a fast fact in a print story III: BEST PRACTICES 12. The Art of Rewriting: Why rewriting is an essential skill 13. My Least Worst: Rewrites of scripts written by the author 14. Your Turn: Scripts and rewrites to test your skills 15. All Else: Q&A with the author on the "tricks" of broadcast writing APPENDIX A: A BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR BROADCAST WRITERS