Even in the rush of breaking news, you should pay attention to getting place names right.




Broadcast news has place name challenges:

  1. place names are said out loud by readers and reporters – so you have to be careful with pronunciation
  2. in TV, place names are read with the eye on the screen – so you have to be careful with spellings in graphics and strap-lines  and supers
  3. news is a highly mobile career where ‘workers’ move to new markets with place names they are unfamiliar with. 



For example: I live and work in Brisbane, Australia – where Brisbane is pronounced


When  I visit the San Francisco area, I’m amused to see signs for ‘their Brisbane‘ – pronounced Bris-bAYne.

This week, a smart reporter I work with was wise to ask how to pronounce the suburb Alderley – is it AL-derly or ORlderley.  The correct answer is ORderley – but you wouldn’t know from just reading it off a screen. You have to ask. Always Ask.


A fellow producer had a great tip:

Always pronounce it Alderley. (You pronounce the ALL as you do in ALL-ways)

In a later post I’ll write about having an easy-to-reference-and-expand list of place name problem words. 


I imagine many readers would have picked up the incorrect spelling of VEMICE in the title. Incorrect place names stand out. So I encourage you: even in the rush of breaking news, pay attention to place names. This is such an important topic I’ll write more posts about it.



2 thoughts on “Breaking News Tip: Get place names right – The Merchant of Vemice – Part 1

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