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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Read, Write, Edit, Publish


It’s easy to think that writing a short copy story would only take a few seconds to knock out, but if that is what you’re doing, then you’re doing something wrong.

Reading the wire and writing the copy story is only the first step to finishing the material that is read in the newscast. Every single story you write should be written and then edited to make sure that there are no mistakes and that it flows well for the anchor to read.

It’s easy, as a producer, to get so caught up in the formatting and visual aspects of the show that you forget one of the most important parts, the actual writing!

While the newscast is a visual medium, that does not mean the writing is not just as important. If the audience cannot understand what the visual parts of the show are describing, then the audience will not want to watch it.

One of my biggest challenges as a producer is writing and copy editing while multitasking my other responsibilities. It’s easy to forget to continuously be editing everything that is written for the show when there are so many other things I have to be doing at the same time.

For me, this is one of my biggest challenges, but the more I practice writing under pressure and with a deadline, the better I am getting at catching mistakes including my own. Catching spelling and grammatical mistakes is harder when I am focused more on the flow of content and the timing of the writing, but the more I continue to make myself check for them, the more I am able to catch them.

No matter what field you go into writing and editing is one of the most valuable strengths you can have, and it is something I work on and continue to try and improve upon each week.

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