Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mervin Block  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: Chicago, Illinois



Illinois Connection

The author was a newsreporter and editor in Chicago and a former new producer at WBBM Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mervin Block is a broadcast writing coach and author. He has written news at three television networks: as a staff writer for the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" and the "ABC Evening News with Frank Reynolds" and as a freelance at NBC News.He has written news for Ed Bradley, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, Douglas Edwards, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd, Edwin Newman, Charles Osgood, Dan Rather, Harry Reasoner, Frank Reynolds, Diane Sawyer, Bob Schieffer, Robert Trout and Mike Wallace.Block teaches newswriting workshops at TV and radio newsrooms around the country.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Rewriting Network News: Wordwatching Tips from 345 TV and Radio Scripts
ISBN: 0929387155

Bonus Books. 1990

In Rewriting Network News, Merv Block collects 345 network scripts that feature problems in grammar, news judgment, broadcast style, and storytelling, not to spotlight sinners, but sins that can be remedied. By reading scripts wi

Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger: A Professional Handbook
ISBN: 1608714179

CQ Press College. 2010

The ability to write well is an applicant's most prized skill, according to surveys of broadcast news directors. To ensure that your writing skills are well honed, there is no better handbook to turn to than this newly updated third edition of Writing Broadcast News. Mervin Block- who has written for the best in the business- offers timeless advice, guiding everyone from first-year students to seasoned professionals through the essentials of writing for the ear.

With countless scripts collected from writing workshops in newsrooms across the country, this resource is studded with insightful- and at times entertaining- comments, suggestions and much-needed corrections. Readers will find Block's clear and incisive voice coming through in the expanded "Top Tips of the Trade" and the "Dozen Deadly Sins" reminding us that mistakes can be our best teachers. New "WordWatcher" boxes highlight the challenges in writing for print versus broadcast.

Writing News for TV and Radio: The New Way to Learn Broadcast Newswriting
ISBN: 1608714217

CQ Press. 2010

Suitable for beginning writers, this title offers a guide to writing for the ear. By learning and applying the basic rules of broadcast newswriting, it helps aspiring broadcast journalists write the way they talk and pay particular attention to grammar, language, and sentence structure.

Broadcast Newswriting: The RTDNA Reference Guide, A Manual for Professionals
ISBN: 1608714160

CQ Press College. 2011

This book is filled with tips about words. No matter where you look, you'll find examples of what to do and what to avoid. Nobody made up these examples. Nobody could. Whether your writing is beyond reproach or beyond repair you'll want to roam this book in the company of the acknowledged master of newswriting.

Weighing Anchors: When Network Newscasters Don't Know Write from Wrong
ISBN: 1936863391

Marion Street Press, LLC. 2012

Evening News Stars Often Fail Us. Can You Spot Their Mistakes?
Longtime network newswriter Mervin Block doesn't just watch and hear evening newscasts

he listens. Block, who wrote for Walter Cronkite and other anchors at ABC, CBS and NBC, examines today's network anchors, their scripts and their journalism. Instead of writing about anchors' delivery, wardrobe or favorite desserts, he points out distortions, deceptions, discrepancies and abuses of broadcast writing style. Block shows how newscasters:
• fudge facts,
• tinker with time,
• label stories exclusive that aren't,
• utter grammatical grotesqueries,
• present old news as breaking news,
• exaggerate medical news,
• hammer home hype,
• boast about routine coverage.
Block’s sharp wit will leave you amused, fuming and shaking your head over today's network anchors. Reinforced with tips, tests and quizzes, Weighing Anchors gives anyone who watches the evening news the tools and insights to identify write from wrong.