How to Write a News Script
- 1). Assemble all of the facts. This is probably the most important step in writing your script. In addition to talking with officials, witnesses and other people important to the story, you also should consult legal documents related to the story. Police reports, for example, may contain information that an official forgot to tell you.
- 2). Understand the grammar most commonly used in news stories. According to Newscript, the beginning paragraph on most news stories (also known as the lead), is composed of simple sentences that contain only one subject and one verb. For example: "Lima Town Councilor Gary Carew proposed additions to the town sewer system." In subsequent sentences, avoid words such as "however" and "furthermore," as the complicated sentence may get lost in your listener's ear.
- 3). Organize the rest of your script by providing the background for the story, and then what is happening to change the situation. For example: "For many years, Lima residents complained about insufficient drainage. Councilor Carew promises that the overhaul will eliminate the periodic flooding that has occurred in low-lying areas."
- 4). Transition between each of your stories in a graceful manner. The University of Southern California provides examples of transitions in and out of commercials and in between stories and anchors. This is an opportunity to "tease" the important stories that are coming up to keep the viewer's attention. A sample transition might sound like the following: "When we return on Action 5 News, we'll tell you about a local high school's effort to raise funds for a student dealing with chronic illness."
- 5). Consider how the story will sound to the ear before you go to air. As CyberCollege points out, a listener or viewer cannot return to a sentence he didn't understand. A broadcast news reporter must employ clear sentences that logically follow each other. Read the script aloud to yourself as a final check, to catch problems in your script that your eyes might have missed.