Moving from Print to Broadcast

We are almost into the mid of Winter Quarter at school as the fourth week of classes comes to an end. Like the previous weeks, I also learnt many things taught in classes and otherwise. However, this week offered a different taste of journalism in my Media Writing class. From somewhat boring lessons about print journalism, we moved onto a different genre of journalism—broadcast. This week, the class focused on radio journalism.

On Tuesday, we had a guest speaker Keith Seinfeld from National Public Radio affiliate radio KPLU. Seinfeld is a Health & Science Reporter at KPLU and has been working there since 2001. Earlier, he had covered environment beat at KPLU.

Seinfeld talked about difference between print and broadcast journalism.  He talked about the different phases a a broadcast story goes through before it goes on air. He also had the class hear two of his stories: one on E-cigarettes, and the other on surgical checklists in hospitals. Both stories were interesting and helped us better understand the art of broadcast journalism.

Print and broadcast journalism have many things in common, but they are not completely alike. Broadcast journalism is to be heard, and print is meant to be read. We measure the stories of broadcast in seconds or minutes, but the stories of print are measured in number of words or inches. In print, we use sentences of varied lengths, but in broadcast, we use short and concise sentences.

Today, we had an assignment to write a 60-second news story for radio from a given print story, and then do its recording. We were divided into groups of two students, and each had to read the other’s story. I was partnered with another classmate of mine. She could not do the recording because the recording could not start on time, and she had another class to attend at 11 a.m.

Writing a news story for a completely different medium was quite interesting. In fact, I liked writing this story more than the stories I write as a part of my in-class assignments. It was fun altogether.