11. The anchor intro

In French radios, it's called a “lancement”, launching. Indeed, back in the old days, the anchor signaled to the engineer that it was time to launch the subject. It's still done if the engineer is present. Such is sometimes the case with the big newscasts of the day.


The anchor intro is a script redacted by the anchor, that allows him to introduce – or launch – a report during the newscast.

Duration of an anchor intro

An anchor intro lasts about twenty seconds. There must be at least three sentences, at most five or six.

Structure of an anchor intro

An anchor intro is structured in three parts :

  • First part : The lead sentence, that contains the news.

There’s a very efficient technique used to determine what the news is. You have to ask yourself : “What part of this is brand new information?” The answer to this question must be summarized in one sentence, redacted in a catchy way so as to attract the listener’s attention.

  • Second part : Additional info.

It consists in at least one sentence, most of the time in two or three, that add the elements needed to understand the information. To make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, use the 5Ws. Check that your intro contains the answer to these five questions.

  • Third part : the sentence defining the angle that’s been used to treat the story.

The reporter picks angles to treat the news, so as to put the spotlight on different aspects of it. Let us consider for example the beginning of a trial. Here are a few possible angles : a portrait of the accused (voicer), a summary of the facts (voicer), a joint interview of the defendant and the plaintiff’s lawyers…

An example : 

  • First part :

The trial of the accused murderers of Laurent Désiré Kabila will start this morning in Kinshasa.

  • Second part :

On this first day, the judges will read the act of accusation.The defendant will remain in Makala jail for the whole duration of the trial.

  • Third part :

The principal accused is Eddy Lapend, the former chief of staff of president Kabila. His portrait, by our reporter Paul L.