Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 7D Notes

April 23rd, 2010

The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980's.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics to all aspects of the teaching of high school English.  Each lesson included a lesson plan and notes.  I'm sharing these with you here.

Notes (VII.D)

The average daily announcement will be more public relations or advertising than journalism. For this reason we treat the announcement as sort of a press release, accepting its biases and rewriting the information contained in it for broadcast news.

The student writer has trouble with active voice and the journalist's objectivity. The novice falls into the trap of repeating the advertising tone of the message, using the direct address ("you-understood"). I frequently find myself asking students to stand up, labeling one the announcement writer, one the audience for the announcement, and a third the broadcast journalist. Then I ask the pronouns each should be using. With this demonstration, students can readily see the journalist's objective position. The advertiser addresses the audience as "You," while the journalist observes and calls either party he, she, or they.