Writing in Stereo

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Welcome to Writing in Stereo!

March 20th, 2011

Welcome to Writing in Stereo! Writing in Stereo contains the core curriculum for all aspects of Doug Potter's work in radio broadcast journalism at Palo Verde High School and Pueblo High School from 1979 to 1983 and from 1986 to his 2006 retirement.

Potter's curriculum was the foundation for two radio stations--one AM and one FM--and both beginning and advanced classes in broadcast journalism for radio.  Students in these classes mastered the broadcast news writing style and produced hourly newscasts throughout the day each and every school day.  Broadcast automation software, operated by students, made possible the broadcast and re-broadcast of these newscasts throughout the evening.

Students also mastered Digidesign's Pro Tools digital audio workstation for Mac in studio production of content for the stations.

Click on any of the links to access the curricula.  Please credit "Writing in Stereo by Doug Potter."

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Best overview of Writing in Stereo curriculum and methods applied to video

January 27th, 2011

A video colleague of mine teaching in St. Louis recently wrote me for advice on curriculum.  I share this advice with you because it's a very coherent overview of the program as I taught it at Pueblo Magnet High School in Tucson, Arizona.

Your curriculum is in three places on my blog, http://writinginstereo.podbean.com.   Here under Writing in Stereo II.  Here under MicWriter.  And here under MicWriter on Video.

WR03facade.jpgHere's how this evolved.  When I taught it for my broadcast journalism for radio classes, I taught the Writing in Stereo II sequence just as you see it there.  (Exception being the Voicer.  We never had use for it, so I breezed over it and moved on.) Since I've retired, I've reconsidered the piecemeal approach and decided presenting the whole package (video) model first and then breaking it down for the students' lessons made more sense.  That way they'd know where they were going.  You could show them a perfect example of a short video package and walk them through the MicWriter model as it applies.  Then teach the lessons, starting with the Reader.  (Take a look at MicWriter on Video.  You'll see there how little you have to add to the radio curriculum.  The writing style is exactly the same.)

announcerewrites.jpgHow do you get the daily announcements?  Do you get a copy in your mailbox first thing in the morning, last thing the previous afternoon?  A few years before I retired, our faculty email had totally replaced our school's daily announcements.  I was just copying the appropriate faculty emails for print copy to rewrite to broadcast style.  Then we kept them in chronological order (that is day/date order) on the table.  We'd read their broadcast rewrites on the first day they appeared and then again the day before and the day of.  These are usually meeting announcements or those of events to happen "next week."  Including the same rewrite day after day for a week (or two) serves no purpose.  The listeners can't absorb it all, and your faculty will get tired of hearing it.  This, of course, is up to you.  If you're word processing, there's little to rewrite either way.

atPTwpaper.jpgOnce your Advanced (first kids to learn it) students are well-practiced on the reader, you're ready to do some practice newscasts.  These will be dry runs with the actual announcement copy to rewrite.  In radio we paired students in teams for the year (semester, if you prefer) and had them rotating weekly through stations according to a wall pocket chart.  One pair would rewrite new school announcements and assemble the copy for the program.  Another pair were rewriting our school angle world, national, state and local stories--I provided them one each.  We had a pair putting together the sports news from the school announcements.  Other pairs were on stations in production (recording and editing), news phoner/wraparound (your package, editing) and on the air (deejays).  Again, these station assignments rotated weekly.  Once they have the writing style down, it's pretty much an "Okay, roll's taken, get to work." kind of class.  You sweat during the last ten minutes, when copy needs to be delivered or a phoner isn't quite ready to air on time. (forced smile)  But the broadcast goes up at the beginning of second period, and those students who remain from first to do that get a note to their second period class.  We record it for airing hourly via our broadcast automation software.  (I translate it to MP3 for that insertion.)  And we do it all over again third, fifth and sixth periods.

The Beginning class concentrates on the writing style for most of the first semester.  You hope to get them into the routine above before Christmas, I should think.

You should have many questions.  I look forward to clarifying.

To discuss this with me, write me at writinginstereo@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Welcome again to Writing in Stereo!

November 29th, 2010

Welcome to Writing in Stereo! Writing in Stereo contains the core curriculum for all aspects of Doug Potter's work in radio broadcast journalism at Palo Verde High School and Pueblo High School from 1979 to 1983 and from 1986 to his 2006 retirement.

Potter's curriculum was the foundation for two radio stations--one AM and one FM--and both beginning and advanced classes in broadcast journalism for radio.  Students in these classes mastered the broadcast news writing style and produced hourly newscasts throughout the day each and every school day.  Broadcast automation software, operated by students, made possible the broadcast and re-broadcast of these newscasts throughout the evening.

Students also mastered Digidesign's Pro Tools digital audio workstation for Mac in studio production of content for the stations.

Click on any of the links to access the curricula.  Please credit "Writing in Stereo by Doug Potter."

Welcome to Writing in Stereo!

November 4th, 2010

Welcome to Writing in Stereo! Writing in Stereo contains the core curriculum for all aspects of Doug Potter's work in radio broadcast journalism at Palo Verde High School and Pueblo High School from 1979 to 1983 and from 1986 to his 2006 retirement.

Potter's curriculum was the foundation for two radio stations--one AM and one FM--and both beginning and advanced classes in broadcast journalism for radio.  Students in these classes mastered the broadcast news writing style and produced hourly newscasts throughout the day each and every school day.  Broadcast automation software, operated by students, made possible the broadcast and re-broadcast of these newscasts throughout the evening.

Students also mastered Digidesign's Pro Tools digital audio workstation for Mac in studio production of content for the stations.

Click on any of the links to access the curricula.  Please credit "Writing in Stereo by Doug Potter."

Associated Press piece makes challenging rewrite for broadcast

October 27th, 2010

Let's analyze a newspaper clipping for rewrite to broadcast.  Here's the story: Hurt teen athletes can see a doc free  (Associated Press). This story opens with what one could almost call a soft lede:

A local clinic will give free consultation to high school students with sports injuries on the next two Saturdays - Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.

Adding the dates spoils that notion, though. And the next paragraph is an amazing hard lede!

The University Physicians Healthcare's Arizona Institute for Sports Medicine, in conjunction with the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, will host a walk-in clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. both Saturdays at the Arizona Institute for Sports Medicine, which is on the UPH Hospital campus at 2800 E. Ajo Way, Suite 200.

The fifth 'graph is pure radio:

Sports clinic officials say the free treatment encourages athletes to seek medical help quickly, because prompt treatment is a major factor in healing.

The facts we need for the last sentence are in the next 'graph:

More information on the Saturday sports-injury clinic is available by calling the Arizona Institute for Sports Medicine at 874-9000.

Pretty passive as it's written. Sounds like public radio.

Reaching out to new audiences

October 26th, 2010

Just a short entry today: we've recorded the audio tracks for two PowerPoint webinars for the National Association of Citizen Journalists.  And production is underway on the accompanying graphics for the first program.  As Writing in Stereo reaches out to many different audiences of learners, we look forward to hearing from all of you.  Let us know how you're using the curriculum.  Tell us how we might improve it.  That address is writinginstereo@gmail.com.

Talk about convergence!

October 21st, 2010

We're very excited here at Writing in Stereo to realize that what we assumed was a divergence of broadcast news writing skills as applied to student writing to that of video production journalism to that of citizen journalist bloggers is actually a convergence of the importance of broadcast news style as applied to multimedia journalism, the convergence of all of these disciplines.

Just Google multimedia journalism, and you'll discover how broad this field is.  When television news directors begin hiring reporters who can shoot video and videographers and photo journalists who can write broadcast news style, they say they're looking for "multimedia journalists,"  But the amalgam of skills required, much of these concentrated in the technical, suggests a far broader range of abilities necessary to the person delivering news via the web.  And so the National Association of Citizen Journalists' recognition of the importance of broadcast news writing skills actually dovetails quite nicely with the emphases we've hitherto pursued.

Amalgam and hitherto in one blog entry! Impressive, no?

WiS recommends Podbean

October 20th, 2010

A moment's digression from rewrites and progressive politics to let you know Writing in Stereo's contribution to the National Association of Citizen Journalists is coming along fine.  Scripts for all PowerPoint webinars are completed, and the first webinar audio track is recorded.

In a section on technology we endorsed Podbean.  Describing the procedure for broadcasting the reporter's audio stories, we directed journalists to:

... upload them to your audio blog.  What audio blog?  Well, my blog, Writing in Stereo, appears on the Podbean website.  Here's the address: www.podbean.com.  Uploading is easy.  They explain everything.  And a basic audio blog site is free ... my favorite price.

Now we should get a year's Podbean upgraded for free, right?

Sunday college football rewrite

October 17th, 2010

Here's a rewrite from the Arizona Daily Star's sports pages:

The Arizona Wildcats climbed a couple of notches on the A-P football poll.  That's thanks to Saturday's win over Washington State.  Meanwhile, Oregon climbed to number one.  That means Arizona might get a chance to beat a number one team if Oregon can hold on to the top spot.  This coming week number fifteen Arizona hosts Washington at Arizona Stadium.  Star quarterback Nick Foles will not play.  His knee injury will keep him out for two weeks.

Writing in Stereo: always here for free!

October 14th, 2010

Some assurance for those studying our curriculum here without charge: