from training.npr.org: https://training.npr.org/2020/08/20/for-digital-flatten-the-pyramid-and-embrace-the-trapezoid/
Writing & Voice
If you’re wedded to the inverted pyramid (or just don’t know any better), don’t get to the point — end on a flat note. Metaphorically.
In times of crisis, journalists have the responsibility — even more so than usual — to seek out people who are often passed over by the media, even as stay-at-home orders make it harder to reach them.
“Chinese virus.” “Hindu mobs.” Using geography, ethnicity and religion as modifiers is questionable at best and dangerous at worst.
A spot must tell a complete story — no matter how complex or involved — in under a minute. It’s not easy to write, but we have guidance.
It’s the time of year when few local and regional news outlets (including public radio) are spared. Here’s how to do it as best as it can be done.
You’re probably using these ubiquitous journalistic crutches without even knowing it.
Smile, remember to breathe and be prepared to improvise when you’re a reporter on a two-way.
Print and audio journalism exist in the same world — but the terrain is different. Let this serve as your map.
The “Morning Edition” host came to NPR from newspapers. His advice on audio: Forget everything you know.
The three-act structure is the most basic organization a story can have.
To build a strong vocal presence for audio storytelling, you should practice a daily warm-up routine that involves body, breath and voice.
No one is available to read behind you and it’s nearly time to hit “publish.” What do you do? Call on the copy editor within.
A good radio hooks your audience. Here are five examples of great intros — and why they work.
Print this poster, which has the six questions you should ask before starting a story.
The lead is the introduction — the first sentences — that should pique your readers’ interest and curiosity.
Just because there’s a lot of online real estate available doesn’t mean every story is appropriate for long-form treatment.
At this hyper-competitive moment in audio, it’s essential to grab listeners at the very beginning of a story.
For many radio reporters — even some of the most experienced ones — the prospect of talking on-air with a host can be daunting.
We can all get better at talking to communities that are not our own. It requires listening, humility and the willingness to investigate our own biases.
Joe Richman gives tape recorders to “ordinary” people and works with them to tell stories about their own lives.
Infuse documentary-style radio into everyday reporting (even when you think you don’t have the time or material).
Transcend scene-setting clichés. Here is a sampling of ways NPR journalists have done just that.
Active sound makes an audio story sparkle. It is sound that isn’t stuck in the background. It’s up-front. It shows character and action. Here’s how to capture it.
The NPR anchor’s guidance works for any public radio newscaster, in big markets and small.
The listening app holds lessons — both positive and negative — for intro writers.
For this correspondent, learning to write for radio required a special style of script-writing.
Among these tips: Have “booty call” sources: They are always available and they know what you need.
We all make mistakes — this checklist will help you make fewer of them.
Robert Garcia, executive producer of NPR’s Newscast Unit, shares examples of stand-out news spots and why they work.
Good copy effortlessly leads the listener from one piece of tape to the next. Find out how to accomplish this feat of writing grace.
Not every broadcast radio script looks the same! But there are elements every script should share. And here they are.
If you are new to radio, this post should help demystify the process. The first step may be the hardest: finding the story.
Longer pieces are not just stretched-out short pieces.
Intros are the most important feature of your story — here’s how to write one.
Is there a typical public radio voice — perhaps a “white” voice? Is there room for new and different ways of speaking?
Why is it so hard to write how we talk? Here are some essentials tips to capture the human voice in your radio writing.
Let Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle be your guides.