If you’re working in broadcast news (or doing any kind of writing, really) and you don’t have or use a Thesaurus, please, get one.
One thing that will make your newscast sound boring or stale in a big hurry is repetition. This morning I heard the word “agreement” used 3 times in 3 successive sentences. What about “deal” or “pact” or “tentative contract” or anything to say the same thing in a different way?
I have bookmarked www.dictionary.com and not only use it to check words for their exact meaning when I’m unsure (you’d be surprised by how many times you can be mistaken!) but to use the Thesaurus feature. There’s also www.thesaurus.com and if you can’t go on the ‘net at the same time as you’re in your news software program then tell your News Director he or she needs to invest 5.99 for a little pocket Thesaurus for the newsroom.
This doesn’t mean that you should start being all flowery with unfamiliar synonyms just to make yourself sound smart. You’ll only sound stupid. But a busy brain working under a strict deadline can use a little help sometimes and a Thesaurus is simply a tool of the writing trade. I’d be lost without one. I’d not only be lost, I’d be adrift, astray, disoriented and wayward.