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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

I'm Just Teasing

When I first was introduced to the art that is teasing I wasn’t too impressed. I mean come on, I’m a journalism major and writing one attention grabbing sentence about a story seemed pretty easy. But when I sat down to write my first tease I kept hitting walls.


The hard thing about teases is figuring out what you want to tease. A good tease makes people want to watch or read more about the story. So what do you tell your audience about the story that will entice them to read more? 


“Singer Whitney Houston found dead in Beverly Hills hotel, we’ll have the details next.”


Not terrible but not great. Are the details of Houston’s death that enticing? They could be, but if you’re a news organization you probably have all the details that every other news organization has. When you tease a story you want to tease the news that only you can offer, that will entice viewers to watch or read your stories over everyone else’s.


“Singer Whitney Houston found dead in Beverly Hills hotel, we have the exclusive on her final conversation.”


Now you would only use this kind of tease if you really did have the exclusive on Houston’s final conversation. But it just goes to show you that what you tease can have a major effect on whether viewers watch your newscast or read your web stories. 

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