COMM11007 Week 7 Blog Activities

Week 7 – Blog Activity 

1. Inquiry: Review Chapter 11 of your Media Writing text (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith). Summarise the key points of this chapter, and answer the question: What are the key differences between writing for broadcast and print-based media? 

Key Points of Chapter 11 – Preparing Broadcast Copy.

·                  Radio and TV stories are designed to be spoken over the air.
·                  Simple, direct style to get attention in a limited time frame.
·                  Time pressed audiences want the essentials quickly.
·                  Write conversationally with clarity, so the words can be pronounced and heard easily.
·                  Use the inverted pyramid style to write the story, with the most important details first, leading into the story, which will be brief due to time constraints, so details might be cut.
·                  Don’t crowd broadcast leads with too much detail.
·                  Get rid of unnecessary words. Don’t begin with numbers or figures.
·                  Keep sentences brief, energetic and simple – one thought to a sentence. Vary sentence length.
·                  Rule of 20 in which each syllable in a sentence counts as one unit.
·                  Use active voice, with strong, declarative subject-verb-object sentences.
·                  The action is happening now, you are the ears and eyes on the spot.
·                  Re-write, freshen and update copy.

Key differences between writing for broadcast and print-based media.

·                  Broadcast copy is written for the ear and not the eye. This limits the listener/viewer to hearing the story once. Although, these days podcasts, ABC iview and SBS ondemand services allow you to hear/see stories again.
·                  Needs to be simpler than print to grab attention in a set number of minutes and seconds. Audiences are often listening casually, and have short attention spans.
·                  Broadcast copy must be written with two audiences in mind – the reporter/announcer and the viewer/listener. Words must be clear and precise so they can be spoken and heard properly.
·                  Newscasts are repeated, so they need to be freshened up with additional information as it comes to hand.
·                  Just write and report the news. Leave the interpretations to the audience.
·                  Radio, TV and increasingly the internet and social media create immediacy by combining all their visuals and sound, to involve the audience in the event. 
·                  According to Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith (2012, p. 285), in the New New Media, outstanding writing ability is not enough. The communication specialist needs to integrate content and Web applications, including social media in all its facets to create top quality writing – plus keep on top of the ever-changing technologies that are being used.


     Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE, & Smith RD 2012, Media Writing print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York and London.

2. Practical: In Week 4, you interviewed someone and wrote a short article using their speech. Return to this interview, and write that news story as a very short broadcast audio visual script.

‘I am busy organising Mum’s 60th Birthday celebrations,’ Shannon said, ‘With a Rock’n’Roll theme; to be held at the hall in Pambula on the South Coast, where mum lives.’
Picture of the hall at Pambula.
‘Family, education, work and her 15 year old Pomeranian dog, Misty; are all things that are important to Shannon.’
Tweet of Shannon in the office, where she works, at Cooma University Centre.
‘My two aunts and grandparents encouraged and mentored me to pursue an education,’ Shannon said.
A picture of Shannon and her two aunts, and grandparents, when she was younger.
‘I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature, at Newcastle University,’ Shannon said. 
Photo of Shannon on her Graduation day.
Shannon said: ‘Now I am working fulltime at Cooma University Centre, as co-ordinator, and furthering my education by working on my Masters of Arts in Writing.’
Photo of Shannon at work in the centre, helping students.
‘Part of my Masters, is a Creative Non-fiction work about the life of my grandfather, Bill McDonald.’
Picture of Bill McDonald.
‘Shannon is a sixth-generation member of the McDonald family, who first settled on a property in Nimmitabel, in the 1850’s.’
An old sepia photo of the original family members, out the front of their newly built house on the property.
Shannon says: ‘My grandfather still works the original farm, as a successful, profitable concern today.’

Video of Bill McDonald working and living on his property in Nimmitabel. With a prominent vision of the name of the property Willow View.
Sheep being rounded up on the farm. Sound of dogs rounding up sheep, and Bill calling out to them.
Video of kelpies rounding up sheep on the farm, with the river in the background, and willows growing along the banks.
‘Shannon use to live with her Grandfather, until this year, when she moved into a flat in Cooma, as it is closer to her work. Misty, her dog is always with her, wherever she goes. Misty was a present from her mother, when Shannon turned eight.’
Picture of Shannon at home in the flat, in the evening, with Misty, they are both sitting by the fire, Shannon is reading.

Quiz Week 7, Words – Reflection

Read Chapter 9, Words, of Hicks, English for Journalists.

I really enjoyed reading this chapter on words. The English language is endlessly fascinating. Reading this chapter reminded me of, So you think English is easy? (Ames, 2017), a whimsical, entertaining article about the complexities of the English language, in which we are invited to ‘marvel at the unique lunacy of language’, and maybe; ‘committed to an asylum for the verbally insane’.

On my first attempt at the quiz, I got 90%. The incorrect answer was question 2, where we had to choose: ‘axe 30 positions’, ‘sack 30 people’ or ‘cut 30 positions’. I chose ‘sack 30 people’, the correct answer being ‘cut 30 positions’, but I do not agree with this, I think ‘sack 30 people’ is being honest, the other two suggestions sound like ‘sugar-coating’ to me.

There is ‘a lot’ in this chapter, and it helped clarify a few things I often get confused; for example: non-existent words, p 121, a lot not alot.

I didn’t know the original meaning of shambles was a slaughterhouse, p.117.

The euphemistic meaning of the rhyming slang for ‘cobblers’ will create another image in my mind.

I found it amusing that golf balls are addressed, as well as, envelopes, p.113. I didn’t know golf balls had addresses – but that would be useful for all those lost balls.

Then, there were the ones that ‘really got my goat’:

·         Misusing clichés, especially, ‘the proof of the pudding’, which should be: ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating,’ p.123.

·         Empty words, p. 122, and annoying phrases that I find extremely irritating: ‘stuff’, ‘on the ground’ and, ‘as we speak’, are a few that come to mind.

·         Vogue words, p. 113, there is one word, ‘impact’, that is so ubiquitous now, I am wondering if it has come into common parlance, and is being accepted as a legitimate word replacing ‘affect’ and ‘effect’. For example: “‘The impact of the widely used word ‘impact’ upon the English language, has impacted people’s ability to find other words to use instead of ‘impact.’”

So, I’ll get off my ‘high-horse’ now and finish ‘UP’ by wrapping ‘UP’, now that my time is ‘UP’... and finally shut ‘UP’.


Ames, K 2017, COMM11007 Media writing Study Guide Lesson 1: Introduction to Media Writing, CQUniversity, Rockhampton.

Ames, K 2017, COMM11007 Media writing Study Guide Lesson 7: Quiz, CQUniversity, Rockhampton.

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Chapter 9 pp. 108-135, 4th edn, Routledge London and New York.


  1. Well done Karen. The only improve here is that you can remove 'Sharon says' because you are hearing Sharon say things...


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