Working in the media 3: Getting your message across
In the final article in this series, Graham Easton offers a basic guide to the nuts and bolts of writing and broadcasting for a general audience
You are staring at a blank computer screen with the deadline for your article ticking away. Or maybe you are talking to yourself in the bathroom mirror, practising your answers for the radio or television interview which you are about to give. Your pulse is racing, your palms are sweating, and your mouth feels like sandpaper. That is all normal; the key is to channel the adrenaline into something useful.
By the time you sit down to write the article, you should already have a clear idea of who your audience is, what your message is, and what angle you are going to take. You should be able to summarise the story in two or three sentences. Your editor may have given you specific guidelines on what he or she wants--a certain interviewee, some key facts, or a particular argument.
I remember when, as a general practice registrar, I developed