How to Read a WDBJ-7 News Script

There are six records filed each weekday:

  • News-7 Mornin'.....Airs 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
  • AM...5-minute news segments that air at 7:25 a.m., 7:55 a.m. and 8:25 a.m.
  • News-7 at Noon.....30-minute newscast
  • News-7 at 5.....30-minute newscast
  • News-7 at Six.....30-minute newscast
  • News-7 at Eleven.....35-minute newscast

The text versions of newscasts include scripting instructions that help in the production of the newscast. Here's a list of what these symbols mean:

  • SLUG= This is the title of the story that appears at the top. It allows the producers to keep track of each day's stories. Beyond that, the slug has no significance and is not part of the story.
  • ANCHOR= The first name of the anchor for that story.
  • WRITER= The computer initials of the reporter, anchor or producer who wrote the story.
  • TAPE#= If the story has videotape with it, this tells the producer where it is.
  • GRAPHIC= This is a brief description of the the picture that will appear over the Anchor's shoulder while he or she is reading the story. Not every story has a graphic.
  • SUPER= Tells the computer what writing to put on the screen. The number attached to the super tells the computer whether it is a location, a date or a person's name.
  • (-------------) Indicates the beginning or end of video, but the Anchor keeps reading.
  • (////SOT////) Sound on Tape. Indicates a piece of tape that includes its own audio.
  • DOUBLE BOX Putting two video sources on the screen at the same time, usually an anchor and a reporter in the field.