Broadcast vs. Print

Two programs that reach the audience with similar news are surprisingly different in structure and format.

With broadcast, the anchor only gets one opportunity to get the information across, in the print industry the information is available to be reread as often as needed. With broadcast you only get one chance to get it right.

Page style with print is generally single spaced, with broadcast the anchor needs to be able to clearly read from one line to the next so the copies tend to be double or even triple spaced.

Numbers are similar to print in that AP style is applied – write out numbers one through nine and with 10 through 999 write out the numeral version of the number.

Symbols are not used in broadcast copy, because the anchor needs to be able to easily interpret and read what needs to be said and certain symbols, such as the $ sign, are said in a different spot then where they are typed.

What was really interesting to me was the sentence structure for broadcast copy.

Sentences need to be kept as short as possible for breathing purposes. I had never thought of that before, but it makes sense.

You don’t want the anchor to take breaths in the middle of a sentence, so keep them short.

Those are the fundamental differences between print journalism and broadcast journalism.


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