How Safe Is Safe?

Radio broadcasting is all about the art of words. Since the reader cannot see or touch what they are being presented, the broadcaster must be precise and catchy with words they choose.

In a broadcast from NPR, writer and broadcaster Joe Palca questions the listeners with How Safe is Safe? This news clip brings up how engineers plan for disaster and do they plan for it all. This article narrows in on the design plans of nuclear power plants and bridges. With these two major dangers people want to know that they are protected from all possible dangers.

News broadcaster Palca starts off with a descriptive blurb of how engineers used to test safety, with trial and error; giving simple but detailed information to interest the listener. The broadcast then moves to a  few sound bites from professors from Duke University and Wisconsin University to explain and give more detail on the plans of engineers. Palca incorporates a ton of detail painting an image in the listeners heads, enabling them to “see” what they are hearing. Palca uses a stern but catchy tone to get his report across.

This broadcast does a decent job of using all the important tools for a broadcast script, the only slight concern would be the terminology used for engineering, it might go over some peoples heads and lose their interest in the story.

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