Congratulations, you work in a newsroom! That means you are up-to-date on the latest news
about your organization, community, nation, and even the world. But, if you are the writer
tasked with writing a news script, that may mean a heap of pressure because you need to capture
the attention of your audience amidst a crowd of noise. That’s not easy, but it is entirely possible.
How do you really connect with your audience through that news script you will be writing?
Here are some helpful guidelines:
Know Your Audience
You probably learned this way back when you were in college, but knowing your audience is
definitely the first step in any communication process. These are the questions you need to ask
● Who are you talking to?
● Why are you talking to that audience?
● What do they want to know?
● What do I want them to know right now?
● How will this affect my audience?
● How will my audience react to me?
How To Reach Your Target Audience
Once you have asked the above questions, you will need to respect the answers because these
will dictate how effective your news script will be. One thing you do have to remember is
avoiding buzzwords so you can connect better with your audience.
1. If this is your first time to write a news script, know that it should follow a pyramid
format. This means that the most important details should be at the top of the pyramid,
then followed by supporting details. At the very bottom is the body of the story. Think of
this whole process as some sort of “teasing the audience” because you want the top
details of the pyramid to hook them in an instant so they will listen and watch up to the
end of the story.
2. Devote your article to the active voice. This allows the audience to listen without being
bored, and helps them to stay interested in what is being broadcast.
3. Learn to focus on the characters being described in the news script. For example, if the
story you are writing is about a bus that went over a ravine, it’s best to utilize a human interest angle. You should provide the names of the passengers and the driver, as well as their respective ages. Details like these allow your audience to empathize with them and
really feel the emotion of the moment.
4. Use a conversational tone and voice. This allows the audience to connect with the story
and understand what is being described to them. It means you should use words that the
average person understands rather than rely on jargon that only intellectuals use.
5. Stay logical. This means you can explain what happened without confusing the audience.
So, follow correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as well as focus on the flow of the
details. You may make this a chronological narrative, or give some data that will snare
the attention of the audience before you give the more minor details. In this regard, you
have some freedom and may employ subjective judgment.
6. Use relevant quotes if you can. This makes the human interest angle more pronounced,
and makes the story more about humans than just boring statistics. It also adds to the
emotion being expressed.
7. Keep track of time. Your news script has to extend for a specific number of minutes,
without speeding past the audience. This is important especially if your news script will
be broadcast on TV or radio because time is money.
8. Don’t pander to gossip. You will have to be sure about your facts, so make sure that the
details are accurate. Quote sources where necessary. The last thing you want is to
incorporate information into your script that is based solely on hearsay. You can also do
some back research to find out whether the story has roots in previous events or someone
who caused the current event has a record of doing so.
Writing a news script is a great responsibility because many people will be listening, watching,
or reading it in mass media. Also, you should know who your audience are so that you can
inform them in the most effective way. Ask yourself about the link between your script and your
audience at all times; that way, you can come up with a news script that the audience will be
interested about. You should also refrain from using buzzwords that don’t really interest your
audience so that you can make a very effective and interesting news script.