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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Wayne A Lynch
TCOM 348
Tacoma Campus

Non-fiction Writing for Television

Explores non-fiction styles of writing for television, including news writing and documentary writing, with a focus on the development of stores from a proposal to a script. Addresses issues and conflicts that arise with the linking of visual images and spoken words in non-fiction television genres.

Class description

This course will cover writing news for broadcast (emphasizing leads, verbs and active voice writing) and the web (emphasizing the inverted pyramid writing style), crafting public service announcments (using both audio and video) and creating a mini-documentary story. Students will also be exposed to writing promotional material for televison and writing reality programs for television.

Student learning goals

Goal #1 To learn how to correctly and effectively use the basic fundamentals of news writing, including active voice, strong verb selection and short concise sentences.

Goal #2: To understand the importance of correct spelling, grammar, accuracy, syntax and style in all forms of non-fiction television writing.

Goal #3: To understand the elements of good storytelling techniques in creating non-fiction material for television and the web.

Goal #4: To be exposed to other forms of non-fiction writing, including news promotion and reality television writing.

Goal #4: To learn the importance of writing material on strict deadlines.

General method of instruction

We will utilize classroom lectures, power point presentations, published articles from a variety of sources, actual Associated Press wire copy to work from, actual scripts from local television productions to model long-form stories after, and several top-notch guest speakers. There will be also be five quizzes based on the Associated Press Stylebook.

Recommended preparation

Good preparation in advance would be to watch some local television newscasts in the Seattle market and compare their broadcast writing with coverage of the same story on the station's web sites. Is the coverage more thorough on the web, written differently, packaged more effectively, etc.?

Class assignments and grading

There will be some reading assignments and two television viewing assignments. Most of the writing assignments will be done in class, e.g., news stories, web stories and public service announcements. The longer-form mini-doc assignment will be homework.

There will be a point system for grading which will be outlined on the syllabus, with a maximum of 600 points available.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Wayne A Lynch
Date: 12/17/2010