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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

All You Need Is A Good Tease


The tease: a necessary, mind-racking component of broadcast news. As someone who constantly watches news programs, I know how important an artfully crafted and intriguing tease is. As a viewer, I want to know what the story is about, but I must also find what the anchor is saying interesting enough that I keep watching through the commercial break. You could say, the best teases mimic their name, they literally tease you. 

The most difficult part for me in creating a tease is finding the right words to say. Teases are short, but powerful. The tease must give the viewer enough information about the story, yet still make the viewer curious enough to want to learn more.

This week, I helped with writing the superteases for two stories. I discovered the more information I gathered about the story, the easier it was to create a tease. I also tried to write to the information that intrigued me the most. I put myself in the role of the viewer. When reading stories I asked myself, "what information would stop me from turning the channel?" The minute I read something that captured my attention, I incorporated it in my lead. 

Finding the information, not so hard. Writing to the information in a catchy, persuasive way and relaying the gist of the story, I'll be blunt it was a struggle. I can't say I have a better understanding of how to write the perfect tease, but I am definitely learning. I guess this is where the old adage comes into play, "everything gets better with time." I know eventually writing teases will become second nature, and dare I say fun, but at the moment, it's still a learning process for me. 

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