Home > Christina > WJLA and Breaking News Grammar

WJLA and Breaking News Grammar

WJLA is the ABC television affiliate in Washington, DC.  Their Facebook page has over 129,000 likes. As a top industry news market, professional language is valuable in their social media campaign.  However, perfect grammar is not always a priority when it comes to breaking news.  Take the following post for example:

Breaking News Story on WJLA's Facebook Page

Breaking News Story on WJLA’s Facebook Page

If the priority here was about Academic English, the update could have been worded much better.  However, when it comes to breaking news, professionalism is important, but so is being the first to report the story.  WTVM Reporter Curtis McCloud once taught me the industry saying, “Make air, not art.”  This means that in the news industry, you’re usually going on air with no time to be a perfectionist.  The goal in live news broadcasts is to get all of the pertinent information into the news segment in a professional manner.  Now, it seems that this philosophy has spread to breaking news updates on social media as well.

Another example of a breaking news update on WJLA's Facebook page, suggesting that punctuality takes precedence over perfect grammar.

Another example of a breaking news update on WJLA’s Facebook page, suggesting that quickness takes precedence over perfect grammar.

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  1. March 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I’m learning a lot from your posts. Please remember to label them with “LSW” and the appropriate number.

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