Bard of Breaking News (Breaking Bard)

Today I got a message from a great writer from a rival TV station – a writer who taught me a lot when I was a young reporter and I continue to heed and respect his advice.

BBN Brevity-is-the-soul-of-wit.-.png

He pointed out that one of the stories on the commercial channel I work for could have been written ‘tighter’.

He pointed out: the school was sent into lock-downcould be been written as the school was locked down.

Same meaning – but in broadcast news where every syllable and second counts – the briefer expression saves you 2 words or 3 syllables.

2 words instead of 4!

It’s a good example of how you can ‘write tight’ by looking for ‘weak’ verbs and nouns ( sent into lock-down) and turn it into a more active verb – locked down.


When I taught writing internationally I’d encourage writers to ‘release the verb’…

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