Re: Reporter style writing versus technical writing

Subject: Re: Reporter style writing versus technical writing
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl6955 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2012 11:07:13 -0400

Building on Peter’s explanation of “blank spots,” there’s another
reason besides a late-breaking big news story: the number of pages in
a newspaper has been historically determined by the amount of
advertising, not necessarily the amount of news. The ratio of ads to
news copy is something like 60/40 in favor of ads, if I recall
correctly.

So if your sales team has sold six pages of ads, that drives a
ten-page newspaper with four pages of news. But if there was only two
days worth of news…ruh-roh. Turn to the press releases.

An even more critical example is in broadcast news. A half-hour TV
newscast has to fill a half hour. If you’re five minutes short on a
slow news day…you can’t fill the extra space with more ads. Again,
turn to the press releases. I’ve had to do that on occasion, although
I’d normally rewrite the release to be more suitable for my needs.
My first career was in broadcast journalism, and I still maintain to
this day that learning how to write “hear copy” for newscasts was a
big help in learning how to write clear procedures.

Oh, and as to Debbie’s point about calling children “kids,” in between
the journalism and tech writing I was a social worker for three years,
working exclusively with families that had children. I found that many
parents called their children “kids,” and many parents had the exact
same objection as Debbie. It’s a matter of personal preference.


On 9/24/12, Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com> wrote:
> Like everyone else so far, I don't really have a problem equating
> children with baby goats. It's an apt comparison. But I do have a
> problem with the slangy "kids" used where any other form of
> colloquialism wouldn't be considered. I often see and hear instances
> that really grate on me. It seems dismissive and even derogatory
> sometimes when used in a formal or semi-formal context. I'm not ready to
> move the word from the slang category yet.
>
> -Brian H.
>
> -----Original Message----- From: Debbie Hemstreet
>
>> also, throughout, children are referred to as "kids"... I hate calling
> children kids like they are a bunch of goats to be herded...
>
> --
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Reporter style writing versus technical writing: From: Debbie Hemstreet
RE: Reporter style writing versus technical writing: From: Brian.Henderson

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