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, Marlene Sanders, Diane Sawyer, Bob Schieffer, Robert Trout and Mike Wallace.
Block taught newswriting workshops in TV and radio newsrooms around the country.
Block's latest book:
- Weighing Anchors: When Network Newscasters Can't Tell Write from Wrong." (2012) Published by Marion Street Press.
Block's other books:
- Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger: A Professional Handbook, 3rd ed. (2011)
- Broadcast Newswriting: The RTDNA Reference Guide (co-pubished by the Radio Television Digital News Association), 2nd ed., paperback, $33, 2012
- Rewriting Network News: WordWatching Tips from 345 TV and Radio Scripts, (2010)
- Writing News for TV and Radio (with Joe Durso, Jr.), paperback, (2010)
Those four books were published by CQ Press, a division of Sage.
Block worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Chicago, served as executive news producer for WBBM-TV, Chicago, and wrote and broadcast editorials for WNBC-TV, New York City.
He won first prize three times for TV spot-news scripts in the annual competition of the Writers Guild of America.
Block wrote a monthly column on broadcast newswriting, “WordWatching,” for the RTNDA magazine, Communicator, for 13 years.
He taught broadcast newswriting at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism for more than 30 years, and taught workshops in radio and television newsrooms.
Previously, he taught journalism (print, then broadcast) at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Block holds an M.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, and a certificate from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. At Medill, he received the Harrington Memorial Award as "the outstanding student [in the news-editorial sequence] in the graduate class."
In 2004, the Chicago Press Veterans Association chose him as Press Veteran of the Year.
Contact him at: merblo.aol.com.
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