Writing & Storytelling for News


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Notes and bullet points on how to write for news, how to do it well and what not to do.
It is important to think like a viewer, to distill your idea and clarify it and most importantly, it has to be objective and balanced.

Bullet points

- Alliteration
- Avoid repetition
- Wordplay
- Smiles and metaphor
- Personification
- Exaggeration
- Relatable comparisons

- Rule of three - 
One or two is too few, three is just right!

The Page F Test;

- Precise (spelling, grammar, clear, concise)
Accurate (facts, relatable, names, titles, up to date)
- Germane (relevant, research, tight, top line)
- Equitable (balance, objective, representation, sensitivity)
- Flow (logic, tie-writing)


Be aware of wordy writing, and importantly don't overkill with facts and figures. The text should be formal, but at the same time convorsational.

- Chronologically
- Most up to date info/PIX first
- Told through strong central character --> relatable

It is important to ask the essential questions to get the all the coverage you need. These consist of "the seven helpers": Who, What, Why, Where, When, How and the Consequences.

- The Lead
Attention grabbing
Concise and not overloading with facts 
Should sound fresh/new
Written in active voice
Be creative
Conversational in tone
Use narrative to tell the story

- The Tag
After the package
Think of it as your logline (Pitch)
Give them enough, but not reveal it all
One sentence, one thought
News is storytelling

Format your text with the SVO method, Subject first- then the verb, and last object. And make sure it is in present tense - Ben (S) films (V) with a camera (O)

Remember; WIIFM - What´s In It For Me

Scripting A News Package

- Make a tick list/"shopping" list of what it is you need
- Shot list
- Give your reporter purpose, make them active and engaging
And last but not least make sure you
- Sell the story!

Heighten the relativity in the story, the words and images must compliment each other and not distract or compete against one another and don't be to literal. Think about what the main content should be - Narrative - the Whole - and that it has to be New and Fresh. 

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