Assignment 3 (10%) – Broadcast news story

Assignment 3 (10%) – Broadcast news story

Assignment 3 (10%) – Broadcast news story

Due  Wednesday 20 January, 4. pm


This assignment will focus on writing a story to be read by anchors (news readers) and not accompanied by video.

They are called “readers” or RDRs (also pronounced readers) and they never run longer than 30 seconds.


Write a RDR for today’s 7pm newscast using only information in your newspaper story assignment, which is based on an issue of interest to GUST (Assignment 1).

Make sure your story runs no longer than 30 seconds on air.


1. Impact, elements, words – find the impact and the elements in your newspaper story.

2. Target Audience – writing for broadcast, like all good writing, begins with thinking about your audience, and how information will affect the audience.

3. Write as you speak only better – radio and TV are conversational media. We begin by writing the stories, but tell them orally. Tell your story to your audience as though you’re telling it to your best friend. Use conversational language, but avoid slang. – Use contractions (

4. Limit yourself to one thought per sentence – keep all of your sentences to no more than 20 words. Strive for an average of about 15 words.

5. Make your RDR resonate without pictures – using the right words often means using senses besides vision to show your audience what is going on.


Imagine slithering through a block of swiss cheese a mile and a half long. Climbing up a thousand-foot maze dragging a broken leg. That’s what it was like for Emily Mobley. She clawed her way beneath the earth for four days, after an 80-pound boulder slipped and crushed her in a cave…

(NBC correspondent Steve Dotson – about a cave rescue that had plenty of video.)

6. Write for the ear – rely on the active voice, short sentences, short words, a conversational style.


Not: “Two people were killed today when a light plane, which had just taken off from Jeffersonville Regional Airport, crashed into a mountainside”

Try instead: “Two people died in a plane crash near Jeffersonville this morning. The Cessna two-seater slammed into a mountain just after taking off from the regional airport.

7. Look for ways to put the story in the present tense – broadcast news strives for more immediacy than print news.

8. Avoid quoting people – it is awkward or impossible for the anchor (news reader) to convey when someone is being quoted.



9. Read it aloud and time yourself – RDRs should run no longer than 30 seconds. Read at a pace of about four seconds per line. Write the number of seconds it runs at the top of your story.



• MS Word document clearly stating your name and student ID number + number and title of assignment.

Please include your newspaper story (Assignment 1) in your file. You will submit TWO documents – your original GUST print story (Assign 1) AND the same story REWRITTEN as a  Reader ( RDR) for television)

• Submission – the assignment must be submitted via MyGUST portal by the due date.

• Late submissions will not be accepted due to the end of the semester.

• Request for an extension will not be granted due to the end of the semester.

DUE DATE: Wed 20 January, 4 pm.