March 22, 2017

The lead of your story has to speak to what motivates viewers to sit and watch. Here are five motivators for engaging viewers with a news story on TV or the web:

  • Money
  • Family
  • Safety
  • Health
  • Community

You can address the “safety” motivator in crime stories, in stories about unsafe cars or in stories about texting or talking on the phone while driving. The “community” motivator might be a story about crumbling neighborhoods, the rise of social networks and the push for neighborhood schools.

As you craft your lead, and the entire story, write to one (or, even better, more than one) of those motivators. For example, a city council meeting about a tax increase is clearly about money. But if the tax increase is going to pay for more police officers, it might be a story about safety.

Taken from Five Motivators to Engage Viewers, a video tutorial by Poynter’s Al Tompkins at Poynter NewsU.

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Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current…
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