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Two Minute Tips

Writing business for broadcast

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This episode looks at how to make business stories interesting on the air.

Before class: assign students to listen to some radio segments from programs like This American Life or Marketplace, or to watch broadcasts on Bloomberg TV or CNBC. Here are questions you can ask in class.

  1. What are a couple of things that you took away from this podcast (they should name things like, “focus more on story telling and less on data, and finding people to illustrate business stories)
  2. How do you feel about structuring a story so that it includes somebody doing something for a reason? Suppose there’s no somebody?
  3. Let’s talk about the challenges of humanizing a company. What should you be telling people about Facebook? Or Apple? Or Pet Smart? Remember that people can only take in so much data at a time. So you have to keep charts simple.
  4. How do you get experts to speak in plain English?
  5. Give me some examples of how you remember details to put in your stories. Do you draw stars in your notebook, or make a note to yourself to mark the time of the recording?


  • Micheline Maynard

    Micheline is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post concentrating on business and culture. She has written about flooding in Detroit, tainted water in Benton Harbor, nationwide shortages of restaurant staff, and vaccine hesitancy.


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