News Scripts – Writing to Visuals – Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

You Write for Viewers

When a press note is circulated by a govt department or one attends a big company’s press conference, remember that the public relations officer there are giving you their side of the picture.

However, you are answerable to your viewers. It should be looked at from the viewer’s perspective on or how they would be affected. It may be a good idea to visualise someone sitting on the other side intently listening to you. Are you able to get your message across to them?

For instance, instead of saying the government has cut the surcharge on fuel… say, “Your fuel bill will be lower from next month”. In short, you are trying to tell the story from the user’s perspective and thereby personalising it.

Increase interest through Action Verbs

Action verbs help viewers understand the information faster and it is an interesting read.

For instance. Instead of saying, “The citizens of the country are confused and need information on….” Say something like, “Citizens want to know.” This minor change makes it more appealing.

Writing numbers

When it is for the ear, it has to be pleasing to the ear. A number such as 324,897 makes it difficult to comprehend while hearing. It is always better to use words such as, almost 325 thousand or nearly…

Words such as over, nearly, approximately can be used and the number can be rounded up.

News Story requires Marketing too

Your tool to market the story are your words. Words such as we tried to find out, a year on, has life changed, our exclusive story on the lives of, etc highlight, how you are the only one who tried to find out. Making it unique, worth reading and selling your channel or programme in the process.

Make the news story move forward

News stories should not end with just giving information, it should analyse, highlight what can happen next or the impact of a particular happening.

As long as you do the research and tell these aspects… people will be interested.

If you want to know more on the subject, you can always buy our book, Preparing for Primetime. This is available as an e-book at Amazon.