Notes on Broadcast Guidelines

  • The AP Stylebook refers to words that people will actually read; broadcast includes words that people will never read.
  • Even though words are fewer in broadcasts, they will still be read, so it’s important that they’re correct.
  • In broadcast style, you’re writing for the ear.
  • 1 — use first and last name on first reference, then last name only; titles before names
  • 2 — if words are difficult to pronounce, write them phonetically
  • 3 — don’t use abbreviations
  • 4 — minimize use of numbers; round off when you can; write out one through nine; round off wherever you can
  • 5 — for quotes, the attribution comes at the beginning of the sentence; best kind of attribution is a soundbite; use present tense if possible
  • 6 — don’t use much pronunciation; commas = red flag; use one slash mark for a comma, two slash marks in place of a period, and three slash marks for the end of a paragraph
  • 7 — personalize the news; avoid groups of words that rename a noun
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