8th Edition

Broadcast News and Writing Stylebook

By Bob Papper, Janet Kolodzy Copyright 2025
    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    Broadcast News and Writing Stylebook is the go-to resource for writing broadcast news, offering a concise introduction to writing engaging stories for television, radio, podcasts, and online media.

    Covering the nuances of reporting, grammar, style, and usage, readers will learn how to craft stories on government, crime, weather, education, health, sports, and more. This eighth edition is updated to include:

    • New sections on industry challenges and opportunities from Artificial Intelligence, deep fakes, and streaming.
    • Fully updated examples, exercises, and glossary.
    • An expanded focus on ethics with ethical issues discussed in virtually every chapter.

    Drawing on over a quarter of a century of broadcast news and industry research experience, authors Papper and Kolodzy once again ensure this vital text contains all the information necessary for being a successful news writer today.

    Whether you’re a journalism student or a working broadcast professional, Broadcast News and Writing Stylebook is a definitive reference for your bookshelf.

    This book also features an accompanying Instructor Manual, found at www.routledge.com/9781032519845

    Acknowledgments

    1     News Now, News Next       

    What Is News?

    Types of Stories

    Finding Stories

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    2    Challenges in News TodayFinancial Challenges

    Ratings

    Misinformation, Disinformation & Fake News

    Artificial Intelligence

    Journalists, Trust in Media Under Attack

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    3      Challenges Bring Opportunities  

    Why Social Media?

    Why Mobile?

    Measuring Engagement & Driving Traffic

    Streaming/OTT (Over the Top)

    Artificial Intelligence … AI

    Other Opportunities

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    4      Research, Collecting Information & Bites        

    The Assignment Desk

    Online

    On Social Media

    Morning & Afternoon Meetings

    Artificial Intelligence

    What Makes a Good Bite

    Conducting Successful Interviews

    Beyond the Interview

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    5     Readability     

    Broadcast News Writing

    Writing for the Ear vs. Writing for the Eye

    Rules of Readability

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    6     Words  

    Keep It Simple

    Keep It Conversational

    Keep It Clear

    Keep It Tight

    Make It Powerful

    Get It Right

    Common Problems

    Summary

    E thics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    7     Phrases & Phrasing 

    How to Say It

    What to Say

    What You Didn’t Mean to Say

    Last Note

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    8     Sentences      

    Keep It Short

    Make It Clean, Clear and Concise

    Last Note

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    9     Leads & Endings     

    Types of Leads

    Figuring out the Lead

    Types of Endings

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    10   Stories 

    Plan and Focus

    Story Logic

    Story Structure

    Make the Writing Structure Interesting

    Transitions

    Within Stories  n Between Stories

    Before You’re Done

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    11   Working with Bites, Actualities & Natural Sound       

    The Feel of Natural Sound

    Working with Bites, Actualities and Natural Sound

    Packages

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    12   TV: Story Forms      

    Story Forms

    Putting Packages Together

    MMJ … VJ … One-Man-Band

    Live Reporting

    Golden Rules

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    13   TV: Working with Pictures 

    The Power of the Visual Image

    Working with Strong Pictures  n Working without Strong Pictures

    The TV Balancing Act

    Picture Cautions

    Drones

    Strong Stories Have Central Characters & a Plot

    Prove Your Story

    The Element of Surprise

    Connecting with Truths

    Care About the Story

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    14   Producing News on TV      

    Overview

    Audience

    Audience Flow

    Newscast Structure

    Building a Local Newscast

    Teases & Promos

    Promotion

    Tease … Don’t Tell

    Make Them Care

    Don’t Ever Do This

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    15   Producing News on Social Media

    Branding

    Do Everything, Distribute the Most Engaging

    Be Everywhere

    Taking Better Pictures

    20 Survival and Growth Tips

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    16   Producing News on Websites & Mobile 

    Streaming Video

    Constructing Web News

    Beyond Text, Pictures & Video

    Multimedia

    Constructing Mobile News

    SEO, SMO & Keywords

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    17 Radio, Audio, Podcasts: Story Forms & Working with Sound       

    Radio Story Forms

    Drawing Radio Pictures

    Podcasts

    Audio & Social Media

    The Business of Radio

    Summary

    Ethics

    Key Words & Phrases

    Exercises

    18   News, Weather & Sports    

    Why News, Weather & Sports?

    Reporting Weather

    Defining Weather Terms

    Reporting Sports

    Sports and Teams

    19   Reporting: Seasonal Coverage & the Calendar

    Seasonal Reporting

    Solar & Lunar & the World’s Major Religions

    Calendar Holidays

    State Holidays

    20   Reporting: The GA & Specialized Coverage    

    The General Assignment Reporter

    Business, Economy & Taxes

    Crime & Legal

    Education

    The Environment

    Geography

    Government

    Heath & Medicine

    21   Ethics, Legality & the RTDNA & SPJ Codes of Ethics

    Ethics

    Ethical Decision-Making Starts at the Top

    Issues in Media Law

    The Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

    The SPJ Code of Ethics

    Summary

    Exercises

    22   TV Script Form, Supers & Glossary

    Abbreviations

    Script Form

    Supers

    Glossary of Broadcast & Online Terms

     

    Index


    Biography

    Bob Papper is Research Professor at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, USA.  A graduate of Columbia College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, he has worked as a producer, writer and manager at TV stations in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Columbus, OH and radio stations in NY, ME and IN.  He has won more than a hundred awards including the top honors in broadcast journalism (duPont-Columbia) and in broadcast journalism education (Ed Bliss Award).

    Prof. Janet Kolodzy teaches multimedia and broadcast journalism at Emerson College, Boston, USA. A Northwestern University Medill School graduate, she has worked as a writer, copyeditor and producer at CNN and CNN International. She was the education reporter and an editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Arkansas Democrat. She is the author of Practicing Convergence Journalism.