|newscript.com||online radio journalism tutorial|
Many stations run local news-talk during drive time, often with a longtime, well-respected, pillar-of-the-community talker -- especially in morning drive. The newsroom needs not only to inform listeners of the important events of the day, but also to give them...and the talker...something to talk about. Stories need to have enough detail to allow the talker to make cogent arguments and hold intelligent conversations with listeners. Here the in-depth style can help.
For example, a press release arrives from State University heralding better chickens. A researcher in the agriculture school says she's discovered that hens fed a special enzyme produce offspring less prone to disease. When you do your phone interview, ask about the implications for the person in the street in order to get tape that will be comprehensible to those listeners who are not poultry scientists. In your script, emphasize the general value of having healthier chickens while including a few details of the research with, say, a sentence like this:
Since story count is relatively low, the in-depth style is not suitable for 90-second casts. This style is best suited for stations with a 5-minute news hole at the top of the hour and 3:30 at the bottom.
You may want to end the cast with a zinger -- a humorous or unusual piece that gives the talker something immediately to play with and helps the talker's phone lines light up. Use common sense, however, in choosing a zinger. A longtime, well-respected, pillar-of-the-community talker is not going to want to offend listeners. Also keep in mind that you're supposed to be a journalist, not a comedian.