Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mastering the Broadcast Lead

Recently, we've been discussing broadcast news writing. To get started, you'll want to start with the broadcast lead. The broadcast lead should include:

1) The essence of the story
2) One or two of the "W's"
3) Relation to the audience
4) Up-to-date information

Here are some examples of summary leads transformed to broadcast leads from

From the story "Gunman Kills Pastor at Illinois Church" by J. David Goodman:

Shortly after services begun at 8:15 Sunday morning, a man walked straight down the aisle of an Illinois church and shot the pastor to death, according to the state police.

In broadcast lead format:

State police say that at an early Sunday morning church service, a man shot and killed a pastor at an Illinois church.

From the story "Discharge From the Army Relieves Mother" by The Associated Press:

A North Caroline mother who reported for Army duty with her two young children said she was happy and relieved that the military granted her an honorable discharge.

In broadcast lead format:

Like any military mom, a North Carolina woman was relieved to be granted honorable discharge from the military.

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