In the NewsU course The Lead Lab I really learned a lot about how to create a lead. The course really caught my attention because it was really interactive. It was entertaining and fun to go through and explore the Lab. While taking the course I learned that when writing a lead begin with the basic who, what, where, when, why, and how. After you get the basics down narrow down the information down to the basic news story. Another thing that I thought was interesting was the myths of lead writing. One myth that I thought was interesting was that a good lead can never be more than three or four sentences long. A rule that I have always learned in writing was to be short and to the point in order not to lose your reader, but though this may be true sometimes a longer lead can be better to draw the reader into the story. Also another myth was that a good lead can not have a quote in it. In english class I learned that sometimes using quotes in the introduction can be cheesy, but sometimes in a lead it can catch the reader’s attention. I think the most helpful thing I learned in this chapter though was how to fix your own leads. It was comforting to know that its okay not to get it right the first time. A good lead is like clay, it needs refining and molding until it’s just right. This course really helped me understand how to write better leads.
Writing for the “EAR”! April 7, 2010
In the NewsU Course Writing for the Ear I learned that for broadcasting mastering this skill is extremely important. “Writing for the ear” means to write in the way that a person would speak. For example, make your writing more like a conversation and less like a research paper or English assignment. Learning how to write for the ear will help you become a more efficient and more powerful “teller of true tales”. In the course I also learn that a good audio story is in many ways just like a well-written print story. The both use vivid details, engage the reader, and have a beginning, middle and end. Although they are similar, there some very important differences between the two styles of writing. When writing for the ear the writer would use fewer words than in a printed piece. This therefore makes audio stories narrower in focus than printed stories. Audio stories tend to drill down on a particular character, a specific angle or limited theme. Taking this course made me aware of what writing in this field looks like, but most importantly what it sounds like. I really thought that this online course had a lot of valuable information that will help me in my future career as a PR practitioner.