Radio News Scripts

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How to Write Radio News Scripts
Introduction Learning how to write news for radio broadcasting can be a challenge because it is a format that has its own rules. First and foremost, radio news scripts are written for listeners, not readers or viewers. Follow these basic guidelines for writing a radio news script: Instructions Difficulty: Moderate Steps

Step One
Know that radio news writing is aimed toward the listener, so the writing should be clear and simple. No words that are difficult to pronounce, nor require a dictionary to understand.

Step Two
Write an outline. Determine the key elements of the story. These are the essential components. Ask yourself: Who? What? Why? Where? When?

Step Three
Write a tease. This will be used with other teases to whet the appetite of the listener before the news is aired. This should not be longer than a sentence.

Step Four
Write a lead sentence. This is used to grab the listener’s attention. Be concise and accurate with your lead.

Step Five
Write the body. Include all necessary facts, figures, and main points. Radio news stories are typically 100 to 300 words, based on the amount of time dedicated to the story. 100 words equates to approximately 30 seconds of airtime.

Step Six
Write a story conclusion. This should be no longer than a sentence or two that sums up the key points of the story.

Step Seven
Format your script in accordance with basic radio script guidelines which may vary from radio station to radio station.

Step Eight
Fact-check the script and review your grammar. Present the script to a copy-editor that might find mistakes you overlooked. Overall Tips & Warnings • • Keep it fresh. Repetition is the most common error made in regards to leads and teases in radio news. Some of the basic radio script guidelines include:

• • • • • • • • • • • •

All copy should be typed and double-spaced. Date the first page of the script. Indent all paragraphs. Don’t use semicolons and write out...
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