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Is Anybody Listening?

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© FEBC International 2012

Writing for Radio

You've spent 12, 15, maybe even 20 years sitting in classrooms, and you've learnt to create complex, tightly reasoned, formal pieces of writing. Now's the time to unlearn it all!

Radio is for the ears, not for the eyes. So, our scripts should be like speech, not like notices, newspaper articles, official publications or even great works of literature.

 

 

Have a look at this Wikipedia article:

Batten disease (also known as Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjögren-Batten disease) is a rare, fatal  neurodegenerative disorder that begins in childhood disorder that begins in childhood

Early symptoms of the disorder usually appear around ages 4-10, with gradual onset of vision problems, or seizures. Early signs may be subtle personality and behavior changes, slow learning or regression, repetitive speech or echolalia, clumsiness, or stumbling. There may be slowing head growth in the infantile form, poor circulation in lower extremities (legs and feet), decreased body fat and muscle mass, curvature of the spine, hyperventilation and/or breath-holding spells, teeth grinding, and constipation.

 

 

Imagine that you have a regular health program. You could use this information to develop a radio feature on Batten Disease. Look at this script:

Nobody knows your child like you do. You can sometimes see he's getting sick before anyone else notices. Even before the doctors can tell anything's wrong. Jonathon's parents were the first to notice something was wrong with their bouncy four-year old. He was getting wobbly on his feet, bumping into furniture. Maybe he wasn't seeing so well. Or was he just in a rush? At the same time he seemed to stop learning new words.

It's a problem, isn't it? You don't want to be labelled as a paranoid parent, always at the doctor's. But you see these little signs that might mean nothing or might mean something. In this case, Jonathon's parents were right to check it out.

Jonathan had an inherited sickness that only starts to show after a few years. It's called Batten Disease. The first signs might be clumsiness or vision problems, like Jonathon's. Or a problem with speech or general learning development. Then the signs become more and more obvious.

 

What differences can you find between the two pieces of writing:

 

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