More tips for writing TV news

The single most popular post here at Advancing the Story offers tips on writing TV news. They’re just as useful now as they were when we first shared them in 2008, but the Canadian journalism site where we found them has just been updated and the original post has vanished. Not to worry! Here’s a recap, plus some …

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How to write a mobile news story

According to research from the Nielsen Norman Group, it may be nearly twice as hard to comprehend information you consume on a smartphone-sized mobile device. The limited amount of information displayed on the screen requires users to remember more as they move from screen to screen. In addition, the act of scrolling is a distraction, …

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How TV journalists write for social media

Kristen Wilson spent her college career working on design and magazine projects, but her first job out of school put her on the front lines of WTVA’s social media presence.  Wilson is a Web producer for the NBC affiliate in Tupelo, Mississippi.  She says the best way to master social media is by observing your …

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3 great tips for better TV stories

KARE-11’s Boyd Huppert is an amazing storyteller.  A workshop with him may be just about equivalent to a master class in TV news.  At the Excellence in Journalism conference, he shared some of the things he wished he had known when he first started reporting — here are Advancing the Story’s favorites: 1.  Keep interview …

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4 surefire tips for more effective TV writing

Reporters usually get all the credit for great broadcast writing, but if you consider the amount of writing TV producers do in a single day, you’ll understand why we thought WXII-TV’s Executive Producer Brian Neal might have some good advice after years of writing and editing scripts in the Winston-Salem market. 1. Keep it short. …

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TV reporter tips for better storytelling

The old inverted pyramid approach to storytelling — reporting the most important information first — is still a useful tool, especially in breaking news situations.  But creative reporters like to  change the approach to fit the content.  Rachel Beech at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi says she has a favorite technique for writing feature stories. “With …

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Top 5 social media writing tips

It’s not hard to find a slew of articles on best practices for social media tweets and posts, but if you can only focus on five things, here’s where to start! 1.  Share “news.” Before you say, “Duh!” — let us explain.  In addition to sharing pieces of information about any story you’re reporting, be …

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Well-chosen details make stories stronger

One challenge TV reporters face is deciding what details belong in a story. Too many and the story bogs down. Too few and it loses impact. What works in a story is “telling” detail: information that conveys a basic truth about a character or situation. Think about the difference between two stories about the aftermath …

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15 rules of storytelling–and then some

Writing a two-minute TV news story is nothing like writing a screenplay for a movie. Or is it? Truth is, all writing has some things in common. Take this list from Emma Coats, a former screenwriter at Pixar, the movie studio. Of her 22 rules of storytelling, more than a handful apply to the kind …

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The very best in TV news writing

The best broadcast journalists are always looking for ways to get even better at that their craft, and a great place to start is by watching KARE-TV’s Boyd Huppert. But don’t take our word for it — Huppert is also the 2013 winner of the large market Edward R. Murrow Award for writing. Over the …

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