When we think about a typical newscast, we may often think about two serious anchors at the news desk reading formal scripts. However, I think at Annenberg TV News (ATVN) we definitely try to minimize the time anchors sit at the desk during the newscast. Now the anchors are standing next to the video wall in the media center or the monitors in the studio or even sitting on the couch. I have noticed that anchors enjoy walking around and feel more comfortable with the fact they are not stuck at the desk.
To make the anchors feel even more comfortable on air we aim to write conversational scripts. For example, our entertainment segment, Tuesday’s Tea, is a very light segment. Not only is the script fun, but the banter is natural between the anchors. This week my team and I actually had more time to copy edit scripts before the show started which was helpful in making sure the information was accurate. Also, before the newscast our anchors take time to read over the scripts and make any adjustments to make it easier for them to read on air.
Looking at the script is crucial when writing to video and creating graphics. For example, this week I had a multimedia journalist cut the teases for the newscast. When I saw the video she cut for Nipsey Hussle’s memorial, I realized the video was not going to work. The video was of fans outside the rapper’s clothing store instead of video of someone trying to get tickets to the memorial service at Staples Center.
Also, when we have graphics, the copy must reflect
what viewers are seeing. For example, when we use graphics of tweets and quotes we make sure that the script has exactly what the graphic says word for word. However, when we do a graphic that includes a list of information, we may elaborate a bit more in the script.
Overall, I think my team and I can work these last couple of weeks to make our scripts more conversational for our viewers. The more conversational the copy, the more viewers can understand the news being presented.