Writing and Copy Editing for Broadcast
For my first week as video teammate, I thought I would mostly be in the avid room editing and approving videos. But, I learned the job was mostly about delegating, communicating with MJs, and copy editing! My system for the day was to assign MJs to a story, follow up on their progress, then copy edit the script before moving on to the editing process. And I was surprised to see how time-consuming copy editing was. The most important aspects I considered when writing or copy editing a story were accuracy, writing to the video, and adhering to broadcast style.
My copy editing technique to adhere to broadcast style is to always read stories out loud. It is important to remember that you aren’t writing for print. Broadcast is to be read out loud, so the writing should be in short, conversational sentences that are natural to say, and I’ve found reading the copy out loud myself is the best way to spot mistakes. I often try to channel my Tuesday anchors, Kendall and Madeline, as I read. At this point in the semester, I am familiar with their reading style and speed, so I try to tailor the copy to fit what I think would work for them. (But, I also secretly like reading out loud to pretend I am an anchor… Even when I was operating camera 1 as a freshman, I would mouth the words along with the teleprompter to pretend I was on camera!)
In the next few weeks I hope to improve my writing and copy editing speed. I often have to go back to stories a few times with "fresh eyes" to spot mistakes I made while writing the first draft.