by Charlie Meyerson | August 17, 2015
When you publish audio content, it may not be heard for a while. Someone may discover it hours later, or perhaps the next day or week. This calls for a different approach to time elements.
Here are a few tips we give our newsroom, which can be applied across the board:
- Avoid words like “today,” “tomorrow” and “yesterday” when possible.
- If you can avoid or suppress a time element, do so. Gives your story a longer shelf life. (Instead of “The City Council debated Tuesday,” say “The City Council’s debating …” or “The City Council’s decided …” (depending on whether a decision was reached).
- If you must use a time element, try to keep it out of the lead sentence. Make it an almost parenthetical aside to your story. (“Also at that meeting Tuesday, the mayor announced …”)
In other words: Ask yourself if the story will sound old, dated or wrong later that day or the next day. If so, adjust your tense, or lose the time element altogether.
(photo credit: Ryan Johnson, per Creative Commons licensing)