Consultant releases list of words and phrases that add urgency to TV news reports

Consulting firm SmithGeiger has given its TV clients a three-page list of phrases intended “to help reflect and promote urgency and a ‘happening now’ feeling in a newscast.”
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It’s not enough for TV news shops to use words like new, rapidly developing, and breaking, according to SmithGeiger. “Those are just the basic ingredients. Mixing them up with a range of other words and topics can make for a rich vocabulary that leads to legitimate news urgency.”

Here are the words and phrases that SmithGeiger suggests be used:

* we do have some breaking news right away
* rapid developments
* this story is rapidly changing
* you saw it here first just minutes ago
* we are going to be covering this live for you
* breaking overnight
* you are looking live
* but first we begin with
* all new
* new right now
* new developments are unfolding
* we are watching with you these first pictures live from the scene
* this is a rapidly developing situation
* breaking as we go on air
* you’ll hear in just seconds
* take a live look behind me
* but after we told you…we kept asking
* we’ve been talking about this in the last hour
* we want to give you the very latest
* we are going to stay on this story every step of the way
* we have new information for you as soon as anything happens
* we are following this closely and are making sure you don’t miss anything
* we are going to stay on this story night and day
* we are not stopping with our coverage until this story is done

* TV consultant tells clients to make news sound urgent (mervinblock.com)
* This just in! Salaries are declining in local TV newsrooms (newslab.org)
* Earlier: TV station limits the use of “breaking news” (jimromenesko.com)

UPDATE: There’s a lively discussion about this on my Facebook wall.


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