When you start out writing for broadcast, it can be hard to know when you’ve nailed it.
Rick Russell is news director at WJTV in Jackson, Miss.; he says the best way to assess the quality of your story is to have someone else read it back to you.
“You have to listen to that story,” Russell says. “The viewer doesn’t read your written word, they listen to your spoken word.”
Russell says there are three questions you should ask as you’re listening to your copy being read out loud.
1. Does the story make sense? If the person reading it isn’t sure about something, the viewer may be confused, too.
2. Is it conversational? You want to use words that help you sound like the Average Joe or Jane.
3. Is it easy to read? If your reader stumbles or gets hung up on a word or phrase, you need to revise your copy.
“If you can say yes to all three of those questions, you’ve probably written a very good story,” says Russell.