We’ll now see how writing for radio and television is different to writing for newspaper and magazines. The printed word has always proven to be more powerful in expressing complex thought or argument. Hence, the media of magazines and newspapers are more apt for carrying out in-depth analysis of public issues. Writing for the print media also requires a greater command over vocabulary, grammar and usage. Hence, writing for publications is far more challenging and exacting than writing for television or radio. It is only those intellectuals who can perform incisive analyses that make it to editorial pages of major newspapers. Reporting for print media, on the other hand, is usually about following a set format or template, which doesn’t require high analytic skills. The following tips will come handy to the news or opinion writer:
“The opening line of the article must grab the reader’s attention straight away. This is no different to any other form of writing: a story must hook the reader in a very short space of time…this hook must be the first sentence, not the second or the third…Another crucial point here is the length of the opening sentence. The word count needs to be no more than twenty-two words for your grab line. This in itself is a challenge.” (Shaw, 2007)
Moreover, writers should keep in mind that congested printing styles, where the paragraphs are large and run on with long sentences, tends to put off the reader. Hence, maximizing ‘white space’ within the article will make it more appealing to read.
In conclusion, writing for any medium of communication brings with it a unique set of challenges and requirements. But by mastering these requisites the writer can produce a work of high quality. A brief look at the history of twentieth century writing reveals how many outstanding pieces of articles, plays and TV shows have been produced. These masterpieces have excelled in the art and craft of writing.
Writing TV Drama: Scripwriting Tips, It is important to know your market, retrieved from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/write-a-script/writing-tv-drama> on 19th July, 2012
Janet Shaw, June 12, 2007, Writing Articles for Newspapers and Magazines – Tips and Tricks, retrieved from < http://janetshaw.com/blog/writing-articles-for-newspapers-and-magazines-tips-and-tricks/> on 18th July, 2012.
Harvard College Writing Program, Harvard Writing Project, retrieved from <http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k24101&pageid=icb.page123040> on 19th July, 2012.