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How to Write a News Article
Last Updated: February 28, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 74 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,123,896 times.
Writing a news article is different from writing other articles or informative pieces because news articles present information in a specific way. It's important to be able to convey all the relevant information in a limited word count and give the facts to your target audience concisely. Knowing how to write a news article can help a career in journalism , develop your writing skills and help you convey information clearly and concisely.
Things You Should Know
- Outline your article with all the facts and interview quotes you’ve gathered. Decide what your point of view on the topic is before you start writing.
- Your first sentence is the most important one—craft an attention-getter that clearly states the most important information.
- Proofread for accurate information, consistent style and tone, and proper formatting.
Planning Your Article
- If you’ve ever written a research paper you understand the work that goes into learning about your topic. The first phase of writing a news article or editorial is pretty similar.
- Who - who was involved?
- What - what happened?
- Where - where did it happen?
- Why - why did it happen?
- When - when did it happen?
- How - how did it happen?
- 1) those that need to be included in the article.
- 2) those that are interesting but not vital.
- 3) those that are related but not important to the purpose of the article.
- This fact list will help prevent you from leaving out any relevant information about the topic or story, and will also help you write a clean, succinct article.
- Be as specific as possible when writing down all of these facts. You can always trim down unnecessary information later, but it’s easier to cut down than it is to have to beef up an article.
- It’s okay at this point to have holes in your information – if you don’t have a pertinent fact, write down the question and highlight it so you won’t forget to find it out
- Now that you have your facts, if your editor has not already assigned the type of article, decide what kind of article you’re writing. Ask yourself whether this is an opinion article, an unbiased and straightforward relaying of information, or something in between.
- If you’ve ever heard the term “burying the lead”, that is in reference to the structure of your article.  X Research source The “lead” is the first sentence of the article – the one you “lead” with. Not "burying the lead" simply means that you should not make your readers read several paragraphs before they get to the point of your article.
- Whatever forum you’re writing for, be it print or for the web, a lot of readers don’t make it to the end of the article. When writing a news article, you should focus on giving your readers what they want as soon as possible.
- Write above the fold. The fold comes from newspapers where there’s a crease because the page gets folded in half. If you look at a newspaper all the top stories are placed above the fold. The same goes for writing online. The virtual fold is the bottom of your screen before you have to scroll down. Put the best information at the top to engage your readers and encourage them to keep reading.
- Ask yourself the “5 W's” again, but this time in relation to your audience.
- Questions like what is the average age you are writing for, where is this audience, local or national, why is this audience reading your article, and what does your audience want out of your article will inform you on how to write.
- Once you know who you are writing for you can format an outline that will get the best information to the right audience as quickly as possible.
- Even if you are covering a popular story or topic that others are writing about, look for an angle that will make this one yours.
- Do you have a personal experience that relates to your topic? Maybe you know someone who is an expert that you can interview .
- People usually like to talk about personal experiences, especially if it will be featured somewhere, like your news article. Reach out through a phone call, email, or even social media and ask someone if you can interview them.
- When you do interview people you need to follow a few rules: identify yourself as a reporter. Keep an open mind . Stay objective. While you are encouraged to ask questions and listen to anecdotes, you are not there to judge.
- Record and write down important information from the interview, and be transparent with what you are doing and why you are doing this interview.
Writing Your News Article
- Your lead should be one sentence and should simply, but completely, state the topic of the article.
- Remember when you had to write essays for school? Your lead is like your thesis statement.
- Let your readers know what your news article is about, why it’s important, and what the rest of the article will contain.
- These details are important, because they are the focal point of the article that fully informs the reader.
- If you are writing an opinion piece , this is where you will state what your opinion is as well.
- This additional information helps round out the article and can help you transition to new points as you move along.
- If you have an opinion, this is where you will identify the opposing views and the people who hold them.
- A good news article will outline facts and information. A great news article will allow readers to engage on an emotional level.
- To engage your readers, you should provide enough information that anyone reading your news article can make an informed opinion, even if it contrasts with yours.
- This also applies to a news article where you the author don’t state your opinion but present it as an unbiased piece of information. Your readers should still be able to learn enough about your topic to form an opinion.
- Make sure your news article is complete and finished by giving it a good concluding sentence. This is often a restatement of the leading statement (thesis) or a statement indicating potential future developments relating to the article topic.
- Read other news articles for ideas on how to best accomplish this. Or, watch news stations or shows. See how a news anchor will wrap up a story and sign off, then try to emulate that.
Proofing Your Article
- Be sure to double check all the facts in your news article before you submit it, including names, dates, and contact information or addresses. Writing accurately is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a competent news article writer.
- If your news article is meant to convey direct facts, not the opinions of its writer, ensure you’ve kept your writing unbiased and objective. Avoid any language that is overly positive or negative or statements that could be construed as support or criticism.
- If your article is meant to be more in the style of interpretive journalism then check to make sure that you have given deep enough explanations of the larger story and offered multiple viewpoints throughout.
- When quoting someone, write down exactly what was said inside quotations and immediately cite the reference with the person’s proper title. Formal titles should be capitalized and appear before a person’s name. Ex: “Mayor John Smith”.  X Research source
- Always write out numbers one through nine, but use numerals for numbers 10 and up.
- When writing a news article, be sure to only include one space after a period, not two.  X Research source
- You shouldn’t submit any news article for publication without first letting someone take a look at it. An extra pair of eyes can double check your facts and the information to ensure that what you have written is accurate.
- If you are writing a news article for school or your own personal website, then have a friend take a look at it and give you notes. Sometimes you may get notes that you want to defend or don’t agree with it. But these should be listened to. Remember, with so many news articles getting published every minute you need to ensure that your widest possible audience can easily digest the information you have provided.
- Start with research and ask the “5. Asking these questions will help you create an outline and a narrative to your article. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Interview people, and remember to be polite and honest about what you are writing. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Put the most important information at the beginning of your article. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about writing an article, check out our in-depth interview with Gerald Posner .
- ↑ http://www.dailywritingtips.com/say-what/
- ↑ https://www.addthis.com/blog/2014/10/30/dont-bury-the-lead-when-you-write-content-strategy/#.VeQR-dNViko
- ↑ http://grammarist.com/usage/lead-lede/
- ↑ https://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/writing/voices.html
- ↑ http://www.gonzo.org/articles/lit/esstwo.html
- ↑ http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/culture-and-media/s07-02-different-styles-and-models-of.html
- ↑ http://www.apstylebook.com/?ref=google&gclid=CMqM4qrb_a4CFUZN4AodwTZO1w
- ↑ http://business.tutsplus.com/articles/11-ap-style-guide-rules-that-are-easy-to-mess-up--fsw-27489
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/02/
About This Article
To write a news article, open with a strong leading sentence that states what the article is about and why it’s important. Try to answer the questions who, what, where, when, and why as early in the article as possible. Once you’ve given the reader the most important facts, you can include any additional information to help round out the article, such as opposing views or contact information. Finish with a strong concluding sentence, such as an invitation to learn more or a statement indicating future developments. For tips on researching your article, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write a News Article
News articles report on current events that are relevant to the readership of a publication. These current events might take place locally, nationally, or internationally.
News writing is a skill that’s used worldwide, but this writing format—with its unique rules and structure—differs from other forms of writing . Understanding how to write a news story correctly can ensure you’re performing your journalistic duty to your audience.
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What is a news article?
A news article is a writing format that provides concise and factual information to a reader. News stories typically report on current affairs that are noteworthy—including legislation, announcements, education, discoveries or research, election results, public health, sports, and the arts.
Unlike blog and opinion posts, a strong news article doesn’t include personal opinion, speculation, or bias. Additionally, the diction and syntax should be accessible to any reader, even if they’re not deeply familiar with the topic. News stories, therefore, don’t contain jargon that you might find in a research paper or essay.
What are the rules for writing a news article?
Whether you’re learning how to write a short news story for a school assignment or want to showcase a variety of clips in your writing portfolio , the rules of news writing hold true.
There are three types of news articles:
- Local: reports on current events of a specific area or community. For example, “College Football Team Welcomes Legendary NFL Coach” or “School District Announces New Grading Policy.”
- National: reports on current affairs within a particular country. For example, “NASA’s James Webb Telescope Captures Surreal Images of the Cosmos.”
- International: reports on social issues or current affairs of one or more countries abroad. For example, “UK’s Record Heat Wave Expected to Continue Next Week.”
Regardless of the type of news article you’re writing, it should always include the facts of the story, a catchy but informative headline, a summary of events in paragraph form, and interview quotes from expert sources or of public sentiment about the event. News stories are typically written from a third-person point of view while avoiding opinion, speculation, or an informal tone.
How is a news article structured?
While many news stories are concise and straightforward, long-form or deeply investigated pieces may comprise thousands of words. On the shorter side, news articles can be about 500 words.
When it comes to how to structure a news article, use an inverted pyramid. Organizing your content this way allows you to thoughtfully structure paragraphs :
- Begin with the most important and timely information
- Follow those facts with supporting details
- Conclude with some less important—but relevant—details, interview quotes, and a summary
The first paragraph of a news article should begin with a topic sentence that concisely describes the main point of the story. Placing this sentence at the beginning of a news article hooks the reader immediately so the lede isn’t buried.
At a traditional newspaper, this practice is described as “writing above the fold,” which alludes to the biggest, most pressing news being visible at the top of a folded newspaper.
How to write a news article
There are a handful of steps to practice when writing a news story. Here’s how to approach it.
1 Gathering information
Source the five Ws about your news topic: who, what, where, when, and why. Lock down a keen understanding of the timeline of events so you can correctly summarize the incident or news to your reader. The key is to position yourself as a credible and reliable source of information by doing your due diligence as a fact gatherer.
2 Interviewing subjects
Consider who you want to interview for the new article. For example, you might choose to interview primary sources , such as a person who is directly involved in the story.
Alternatively, secondary sources might offer your readers insight from people close to or affected by the topic who have unique perspectives. This might be an expert who can offer technical commentary or analysis, or an everyday person who can share an anecdote about how the topic affected them.
When interviewing sources, always disclose that you’re a reporter and the topic that you’re writing on.
Draft an outline for your news article, keeping the inverted-pyramid structure in mind. Consider your potential readership and publication to ensure that your writing meets the audience’s expectations in terms of complexity.
For example, if this news article is for a general news publication, your readership might include a wider audience compared to a news article for a specialized publication or community.
Brainstorm a snappy headline that concisely informs readers of the news topic while seizing their interest. Gather the most important points from your research and pool them into their respective pyramid “buckets.” These buckets should be based on their order of importance.
Get to writing! The paragraphs in a news article should be short, to the point, and written in a formal tone. Make sure that any statements or opinions are attributed to a credible source that you’ve vetted.
Reread your first draft aloud. In addition to looking for obvious typos or grammar mistakes , listen for awkward transitions and jarring tense or perspective shifts. Also, consider whether your first draft successfully conveys the purpose of your news story.
Rework your writing as needed and repeat this step. Don’t forget to proofread your work.
Strong news stories are built on facts. If any statement or information is shaky or unsupported, the entire work is compromised. Before publishing a news article, double-check that all the information you’ve gathered from the beginning is accurate, and validate the information that your interview sources provided, too.
How to write a news article FAQs
What is a news article .
A news article informs readers within a community of current events that are relevant to them. It typically revolves around a topic of interest within a publication’s readership, whether the information is about local, national, or international events.
News articles are structured like an inverted pyramid. The most important or crucial information is always presented to the reader up front, followed by additional story details. A news article concludes with less important supporting information or a summation of the reporting.
The general rules for writing a news article involve accuracy and integrity. Report on the details of a story in a factual, unbiased, and straightforward way. When writing a news article, do not editorialize or sensationalize the information, and keep your content free of your opinion.
How to Write and Sell Your Articles to a Newspaper or Magazine
If you're a writer with a passion for journalism or creative non-fiction, you may dream of seeing your work published in a newspaper or magazine. Perhaps you have just started a hobby and discovered a passion. Or you are struggling with a family conflict you know others will relate to. Maybe you came across a great tip or have insight into a topic many people might find helpful, or you are a seasoned freelance writer looking to expand your horizons.
Whatever the reason for grabbing the pen (or, most likely, reaching out for the keyboard), newspapers and magazines are always looking for the next great story to publish. In this article, we'll show you how to take those initial steps to get your work published.
A Unique Point of View
If there is one thing most freelance writers will tell you when you get started, it's this: You will probably spend much more time editing than writing. However, if you want to get an article published in a newspaper or magazine, nice words are not enough. You need a unique angle or a unique tone.
Coming up with a good notion can actually be easier than you might think. It doesn't have to be extraordinary; it just needs a personal or original point of view. It could, for example, be a first-hand experience that caught you up unexpectedly. Or a life-changing adventure. Or, why not? You can write about all the things you learned while working for a specific industry that you know readers will appreciate.
There are many reasons why writers choose to publish their articles in local publications. You might write articles to get more visibility as a writer, to generate an income, or to create high-quality backlinks to your own blog or website (keep in mind, though, that most newspapers will have little to no impact on your site's search engine results page position).
But Where Can I Sell My Story?
You have an idea. You have an outline that can introduce it to an audience. And, if things have gone right, you have an article ready to be shared. So what's next?
An important aspect of selling articles is learning where you can submit your stories. There are many places that could be interested in buying your article. And, if you are a new freelance writer, you might be surprised to hear there are more possibilities out there than applying directly to newspapers. Let's see what the main ways to get your articles online are.
If you want to cast a wider net, press and content agencies are a great starting point. Instead of going to one particular newspaper or magazine with your ideas, agencies can help you understand which publications will be more interested in your article - and pitch it for you. If what you've written is quite unique, these different publications might even bid on your story like an auction! Agencies are the ideal places to share big feature stories.
Some stories can also be sold to multiple newspapers and TV stations so that you can get a fee instead of one payment. However, it's better to pick one agency as they will want to sell exclusivity to their clients.
Many magazines will be happy to pay for your story. A lot of them will let you fill in a form online and get back to you if they find your article interesting. It's always worth keeping an eye on their Twitter feeds - as they might be looking for specific topics. If you're a more experienced or niche writer, you might not consider this a viable business, but you can definitely make money sharing your life experiences with real-life magazine readers.
You can contact newspapers directly and offer your story to them. Almost all of them have forms on their websites, but you can also call, email, or even send them a Whatsapp.
Selling articles or stories to the newspaper is not effortless, but it's also not difficult if you follow the proper steps and are willing to put in some extra effort on top of the actual writing. For example, you might have to send many query letters and create different versions of your articles , such as short summaries and bullet points lists (we will go through this in more detail in the next section).
Creating a Good First Impression
As a writer, you might be thinking: My words should speak for themselves. But editors receive many articles a week and might not have the time to read every single line of them. Sometimes, the most important aspect of selling articles is knowing how to communicate with editors.
You definitely don't want to tell an editor how great you are (or how rejections haven't shaken your enthusiasm for writing). Instead, it's better if you focus on:
- What you are submitting or proposing (an idea, an outline, a short fiction story, a blog post style article, etc.)
- What other newspapers, magazines, or new publications have featured your work before. (make sure you include a link to your portfolio)
- Your skills and relevant experience.
- Why you think your article is good for publication.
These communications will be more diverse once you have established a relationship with different editors. Still, most of them will be happy to receive a one-page pitch letter rather than an entire manuscript. Once you've earned your reputation, you can bypass the query letter process.
Use Indy to make freelance simple. The useful set of tools will make your freelance admin easier by connecting your work from proposals to payment.
Is freelance work getting too complicated?
Writing Articles for Money
If you are new to the world of writing (or freelancing), you'll be happy to hear that you don't need to be an expert to publish your first magazine article and/or start making money writing. You don't need to do it full-time either; you can start with freelance gigs or small contracts.
There are a few different types of content that can make you money as a writer. These include (but are not limited to):
- Selling your articles to newspapers and magazines
- Writing blog posts (for others)
- Self-publishing your work as an e-book
- Writing scripts for video producers
- Making show notes for podcasts
- Writing content for marketing campaigns
- Writing copy for websites
Your experience will of course determine which publications or customers will take your work.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Your Articles?
If your story is in demand or exclusive, you can expect higher payments from newspapers and magazines. It should be noted that, as a profession, freelance writing is relatively unstable. If you pick this career, you should think of yourself more as a self-employed entrepreneur than a flighty artist.
Pay rates for freelance writers working for newspapers and magazines vary depending on the publication. The amounts also change depending on your experience and whether you have published other important pieces. In addition, your geographic location (or at least your market) will also determine your payment range. Some writers charge by the hour and others by the number of words. For an article feature (and considering all the factors we mentioned), you can expect to get $30-$120 an hour.
Free Places to Get Your Articles Published
If you're new to the world of freelance writing, you should consider uploading your articles to a free platform that can act as a portfolio of your work. One of the main advantages of using these sites is that they offer practically unlimited storage for your content. Plus, you can create shareable links, and Google will find your articles and index them in searches.
Some popular free sites to write articles and get them easily distributed to a broader audience include:
- Medium : This popular publishing site has an easy interface, a network of users looking for things to read, and ranks quite high in google searches. Medium articles also look particularly good, as the site has chosen font combinations and layout options that improve legibility, readability, and aesthetics.
- LinkedIn : You can publish your articles on LinkedIn and get a lot of attention, not just from your network but from people searching for that topic. LinkedIn is better for pieces in which you have subject matter expertise.
- Scriggler: This content platform is focused mostly on helping authors maximize their outreach. Many freelance writers choose Scriggler to discover and comment on each other's work.
- Ezine Articles : You can submit original articles here to get more exposure and traffic back to your site. This platform is better suited for freelancers trying to promote their own businesses.
- Tumblr : Most people think of Tumblr as an image database. But you can also host articles there. In fact, Tumblr has a popular hashtag for them: #Articles.
- Vocal : Sites like Vocal not only allow you to share your stories, but you can also earn money from reads, tips, and challenges. For example, you can make around $3.80 for 1000 reads ($6 if you have a Vocal+ membership)
Selling Your Article to Multiple Publications
When you are very knowledgeable about a topic, you can also get more mileage out of the articles you write. All you need to do is provide each piece with a new or different perspective.
Retelling or 'rewiring' your stories is both an excellent creative exercise and a way to improve your finances. The first thing you should do if you're considering expanding on a particular topic is to find the emergent patterns. Perhaps your first article mentioned something in passing. Why not expand on it, and turn it into a completely new angle? Or revisit something you might have wanted to flesh out... or even go over something you discarded before. You can dig in and see what more value there is in a topic, and that passion will always come through in your work if you are genuinely interested in something.
There's nothing wrong with remixing material to make more money writing articles. But, of course, this doesn't mean just spinning some words and sending the same article to different publications. Rephrasing can also take your writing in a new direction, turning it into a completely new story. Don't plagiarize yourself; start fresh and shower your subjects and topics in a new light.
Using Indy as a Freelance Writer
The road to getting your article published is never easy. There isn't a clear roadmap or specific steps to follow that will guarantee a positive outcome. But there is a lot you can do to turn your passion and endurance into a solid business.
Indy is a one-stop platform that can help you boost your freelance writer career with powerful tools and an easy-to-use dashboard. These are some ways in which Indy can help you keep your work organized and your clients happy.
Schedule meetings and keep track of all your article submissions with day, week, and month views. Indy's calendars can also sync with Google Calendar and integrate directly with the platform's time tracker. See what articles are due and keep track of invoices, contracts, and proposals. With Indy's friendly and colorful calendars, you won't miss your next writing deadline or all your hard work payments!
Manage all your freelance writing contracts in one place. You can start with a template (or write your own article writing contract from scratch), edit the different fields, and sign and send in minutes. Indy offers legally-vetted freelance contracts for a variety of jobs and situations. They are flexible, support electronic signatures, and integrate with your clients and calendars. Define payment terms, deliverables, and project details, or create NDAs in seconds. Plus, Indy helps you protect your work and your client's information and keeps everything centralized, so it's always easy to track and follow.
Who likes paper trails more than a writer? With Indy, you can store all of your articles, track changes and revisions, and get feedback and approval, all within one easy interface. You can manage your published articles, query letters to editors, and even ask for feedback without your client having to create an account. When you upload a new version of a document, Indy automatically adds version control so you can see all changes. Plus, all your files are securely stored in the cloud so that you can access them from any device (or provide someone with access).
Generate and send invoices in seconds - and get paid for your writing work faster than ever. Indy's invoices make selling articles really straightforward. They look beautiful (you can include your own logo and use your brand colors) and are easy to send and pay. You can also set up recurring invoices to help you keep track of all cash flow without needing to create each document manually and set the tax rate and taxable items. Indy works with various payment methods such as credit cards, direct deposits, checks, wire transfers, etc.
Organize all of your article writing submissions in one place. With Indy's proposals, you can create engaging, professional-looking, and impactful estimates and proposals to impress your clients. These documents offer a balanced combination of powerful features and functionalities and also allow you to keep track of their status. You can start with a template or from scratch (the platform uses drag-and-drop text, image, embed, timeline, estimate, and signature blocks). The system can, for example, tag them as Draft, Sent, Read, and Approved.
Indy has an integrated to-do list app that is ideal for managing your daily tasks. For example, you can get a clear picture of the articles you have to write. This feature can be especially useful for freelance writers who want to divide their writing into smaller chunks—such as research, interviews, drafts, and editing. Your tasks are also automatically connected to your calendar, so you can easily keep tabs on everything.
You can record, report, and get paid for your time all from one place using Indy. If you're a writer, you might charge by the number of words or by the hour. If it's the latter, you can use the time tracker to know exactly how long it took to write a specific article. This feature has two more advantages: It can help you stay more focused on your tasks and not on the clock, and it can give your client more clarity about what you wrote, when, and for how long. Because Indy integrates all of its tools, you can also add your sessions and entries to your invoices automatically (don't worry if you prefer to measure your time differently, you can also do a manual input).
People and Projects
In addition to the tools we just covered, Indy has two more essential features that can help you boost your writing career: People and Projects. With people, you can keep tabs on all your contacts. Each client, for example, gets a contact page that automatically collects all invoices, files, and other documents you have shared with them. And with projects, you can easily divide your writing jobs and manage their status, tasks, messages, and documents from the same dashboard.
In this guide, we showed you the importance of having a unique point of view, a list of places you can sell your stories to, and some tips for how you can make a great first impression on editors. We hope you put these tips into action and feel empowered to take the next steps in your freelance writing career.
Life - and writing- are complex, but Indy makes them simpler. You can start our Free plan today and take full control of your independent business from start to finish and, when you're ready, upgrade to Pro for just $12 a month.
How to Write a News Article That's Effective
It's similar to writing academic papers, but with vital differences.
- Writing Research Papers
- Writing Essays
- English Grammar
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
Techniques for writing a news article differ from those needed for academic papers. Whether you're interested in writing for a school newspaper, fulfilling a requirement for a class, or seeking a writing job in journalism, you'll need to know the difference. To write like a real reporter, consider this guide for how to write a news article.
Choose Your Topic
First, you must decide what to write about. Sometimes an editor or instructor will give you assignments, but you’ll often have to find your own topics to cover.
If you get to choose your topic, you might be able to pick a subject related to your personal experience or family history, which would give you a strong framework and a dose of perspective. However, this route means you must work to avoid bias—you may have strong opinions that could affect your conclusions. You also could pick a topic that revolves around a personal interest, such as your favorite sport.
Research for Your News Article
Even if you end up with a topic close to your heart, you should begin with research, using books and articles that will give you a full understanding of the subject. Go to the library and find background information about people, organizations, and events you intend to cover.
Next, interview a few people to collect more information and quotes that give perspective on the topic. Don't be intimidated by the idea of interviewing important or newsworthy people—an interview can be as formal or informal as you want to make it, so relax and have fun with it. Find people with backgrounds in the topic and strong opinions, and carefully write down or record their responses for accuracy. Let the interviewees know that you will be quoting them.
Parts of a News Article
Before you write your first draft, you should be aware of the parts that make up a news story:
Headline or title
The headline of your article should be catchy and to the point. You should punctuate your title using Associated Press style guidelines unless your publication specifies something else. Other members of the publication staff frequently write the headlines, but this will help focus your thoughts and maybe save those other staffers some time.
- "Lost dog finds his way home"
- "Debate tonight in Jasper Hall"
- "Panel chooses 3 essay winners"
The byline is the name of the writer—your name, in this case.
Lead (sometimes written "lede")
The lead is the first sentence or paragraph, written to provide a preview of the entire article. It summarizes the story and includes many of the basic facts. The lead will help readers decide if they want to read the rest of the news article or if they are satisfied knowing these details.
Once you’ve set the stage with a good lead, follow up with a well-written story that contains facts from your research and quotes from people you’ve interviewed. The article should not contain your opinions. Detail any events in chronological order. Use the active voice —not passive voice —when possible, and write in clear, short, direct sentences.
In a news article, you should use the inverted pyramid format—putting the most critical information in the early paragraphs and following with supporting information. This ensures that the reader sees the important details first. Hopefully they'll be intrigued enough to continue to the end.
Include your sources in the body with the information and quotes they provide. This is different from academic papers, where you would add these at the end of the piece.
Your conclusion can be your last bit of information, a summary, or a carefully chosen quote to leave the reader with a strong sense of your story.
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Tips for Writing in a Newspaper
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Whether you're studying journalism or just have a news story to write, the prospect of writing in a newspaper can be daunting. Don't despair! We've collected all the tips, tricks and fundamentals you need to write a clear, easy-to-read, informative story.
News Writing Is NICE
There are four core elements that must appear in every news story. They are neatly summed up by the acronym NICE:
- News: Be sure to include strictly relevant and definitive data. This consists of the who, what, when, where, how, and why of the story.
- Impact: Clearly indicate the meaning of the news and who may be affected by it. Why should readers care about this story?
- Context: Provide relevant background and related information pertaining to the news and impact. How does this story fit into the bigger picture?
- Emotion: Relay the emotional elements that show the human side of the story. This further solidifies the impact and context of the story, helping readers to understand and relate to it.
Keeping your story NICE means keeping it focused. Including those four elements is vital in the creation of a tight, meaningful story that will engage a reader's attention and leave them with a thorough understanding of the story's subject.
Types of News Writing
If you're studying journalism, you've probably heard about "hard news" and "soft news." We're here to correct some common misconceptions about those terms.
"Hard news" focuses on hard facts, emphasizing the "News" and "Impact" aspects of the story and generally downplaying "Context" and "Emotion." A good hard news story deals in provable facts and direct quotes. If it draws any conclusions, those conclusions must be deductive , provable from the facts provided in the story.
In a student newspaper, a hard news story might relay details regarding an upcoming fundraiser for band camp.
"Soft news" isn't less important or less rigorous than "hard news." It just focuses more on the "Context" and "Emotion" aspects of the story, deemphasizing "News" and "Impact." Obviously, to be a news story at all, even the "softest" story must have some facts. Good soft news allows for more induction and reflection on the part of the writer, and prioritizes presenting a story that connects with the reader.
Using a similar context as the hard news example above, a soft news story may discuss why band camp is so important to one student in particular.
Writing Leads for Newspaper Stories
A lead, sometimes spelled lede , is simply the first part of a news story. Generally, it's limited to the first sentence (or the first few sentences). In news writing, everything depends on the lead. Readers may be patient when they sit down to read a book, but when they open newspapers or click on their favorite blogs, they expect to be informed, fast.
This article from NPR delves into the many ways to approach the lead. Every good lead has something in common: it tells the reader what the story is, why it's interesting, and why it's important.
Here are some basic tips for writing news leads:
- Focus on one main idea: You've got the whole story to talk about your subject in detail. Keep your first sentence tight.
- Be clear what the story is about: Suspense has no place in news writing. Think of your lead as the article's thesis statement : here's what happened, and here's why it matters.
- Grab their attention: Incorporate an intellectual or emotional hook to get the reader invested early.
- Keep the language clear and jargon-free: If a reader starts your story and can't even understand the first sentence, you've already lost them.
- Surprise them: Leads should not be lifeless. They should have a conversational aspect, as if the journalist were speaking directly with the reader.
A good lead can be the salvation of a middling story. And a bad one can kill a good story outright.
Writing for a School Newspaper
As a rule, good news writing is good school newspaper writing. Keep it NICE, craft a good lead, and you should be good to go. However, some tips definitely apply to school newspaper writing in particular:
- People love to read about themselves; it's a journalistic axiom . Interview your friends about their favorite subjects. Challenge teachers to answer questions about one another's disciplines. If it gets people's names in the paper, it's guaranteed to bring in more readers.
- The best news comes from good reporting. Be on the scene for sporting events, concerts, plays and other big events at your school. Report on exciting details the audience may have missed.
- Think! It may seem simplistic. It's not. Too many people think a journalist's job is to write down objective facts. That's a scientist's job. A journalist's job is to take note of the facts, then write down their context, meaning and greater significance. Every news outlet needs a good opinion section that takes on current events. Your school deserves one too.
News Style Tips
Written news is its own prose style. News stories shouldn't be novels or academic reports. They should be concise, engaging statements of fact and opinion. When writing your story, keep these tips in mind.
- Numbers : Don't include more than three numbers in a sentence.
- Phrases : Don't put more than three prepositional phrases in one sentence.
- Sentences : These should be under 25 words and contain one idea. Don't use too many commas; follow the basic subject-verb-object structure. Lean toward shorter sentences and paragraphs that get straight to the point.
- Voice : Use an active voice . This helps to strengthen the writing and make it easier to understand.
- Words : Don't use complicated words. Reduce them to something simpler. Also, use precise words to keep your story short and clear.
The Importance of Good News
I want stories to startle and engage me within the first few sentences, and in their middle to widen or deepen or sharpen my knowledge of human activity, and to end by giving me a sensation of completed statement.
Treat John Updike's words above as a mission statement. Engage your readers with the lead, inform them by following NICE, and conclude with a meaningful summary of what your writing communicated.
To hone your writing skills for your next news story, check out our articles on sentence structure and the 5 most common grammatical errors. Both are guaranteed to make you a clearer, better writer.
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How to write newspaper articles.
While educating myself with a correspondence writing course, I wrote a number of articles for local newspapers. Although I always wanted to write fiction, the course advised starting with non-fiction and journalism. This is because it is a lot easier to sell a newspaper article than a book, especially if you're writing a piece of local interest and are approaching a local publication.
Having an article published gives you valuable experience in dealing with editors and how they edit (or, in some cases, butcher) your work to make it fit the page.
Writing a gig or theatre review makes an excellent starting point. If the gig is local and you write well, a local paper is likely to use your work. That’s how I started – I wrote a review for a band I played in. Admittedly, this was a bit cheeky, but being in the band meant I knew the music and knew no one else from the paper was there to review the gig. This allowed me to write about the band and the performance convincingly.
To write an article, you need an angle. When the smoking ban was first introduced in the UK, I decided to do a piece on it as I had a friend who ran a local pub. I interviewed him, talking about the impact it was having on his business. The editor loved the local angle and the article went straight in the next edition. A really simple idea, but it worked. By using local contacts, you can produce something unique that no one else might have thought of or be able to write.
I’ve discovered that one thing to avoid when doing this kind of freelance journalism is voicing your own opinion. No one cares what you think. Readers just want the facts so they can make up their own minds. I found editors tend to strip anything out that is opinion based rather than factual. You can describe what happened and allow an interviewee to talk and give their perspective, but your own thoughts are not needed. This technique seems to work well. Remaining unbiased results in a higher success rate.
I can’t really talk in any great depth about this as fiction is my first love and I simply used article writing as a stepping stone to gain experience with having work edited and published. However, the experience I gained from doing this has proved invaluable. For any kind of writer, journalism makes an excellent starting point.
Below are copies of some of the articles I’ve had published in local press; the Bristol Evening Post and the South Avon Mercury.
Bristol Evening Post - Valentine's Day Article - February 14th 2004
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Mercury - Ye Gods! Gig Review - November 11th 2004
Mercury - Smoking Ban Article - December 9th 2004
Mercury - Brain Busters - February 3rd 2005
Mercury - Valentine's Day Article - February 3rd 2005
Bristol Evening Post - Vic Du Monte - April 28th 2005
Mercury - Vic Du Monte - September 29th 2005
Bristol Evening Post - Vic Du Monte - September 29th 2005
Mercury - Ye Gods! Album Release - December 8th 2005
Mercury - Portishead Carnival Article - March 30th 2006
Mercury - Lands End to John O Groats Charity Ride - June 2007
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Stan P Hello. I'm from Pittsburgh, PA. Every time I contact a newspaper outside of Pittsburgh (National and Regional Newspapers) I get turned down because I am not local. How can I get published in other newspapers when they only accept local writers.
Chris Fielden Hi Stan. In my experience, for local papers, you have to come up with a story with a local angle. That was the only way I got into them, apart from in Bristol (where I live) because I’m a local writer. Or tie a story in with local events.
For example, I sent bacon into space once (crazy project…) and got into a Wiltshire (UK) area newspaper and on the local radio because they had an event all about locally sourced ham (Wiltshire is famous for it). Bit of an extreme example, but hopefully you see what I mean. The bacon in the project made it newsworthy for that area at that time.
Re the nationals: you’d need a really strong story to get into one of them – it’s very competitive and they often have in-house staff to contend with too. Still, if the story is strong and original and/or you have a unique interview or information or something newsworthy, most editors would still consider it.
I’ll admit, it’s been a long time since I wrote for a newspaper – about 6 or 7 years – but that was my experience of it at the time.
I hope that’s helpful.
Mani P Dear sir, I'd like you to write articles for our newly opened restaurant, in the Toronto Star or any other famous news paper in Toronto Etobicoke. Can you help me with that ?
Chris Fielden Hi Mani. I don't undertake that kind of writing anymore I'm afraid - I concentrate on fiction.
I'd recommend working with a Canadian author who understands the local publications.
Sorry I can't be of more help.
Ravi A Hello. How can send you my articles to be published in news papers? I'm a writer and want to develop my career. Can you help me to publish my articles in news papers?
Chris Fielden Hi Ravi. I'm afraid I can't publish articles for you, as I don't run a newspaper. The best way to go about submitting your articles is to buy copies of newspapers you are interested in and read them so you understand the kind of stories they publish. Then read their submission guidelines and get in touch with them directly to pitch your ideas. In my experience, that's the best way to do it.
I hope that's helpful and wish you the best of luck with your writing.
Jemma U That was useful.
Chris Fielden Thanks, Jemma :-)
Grace J Thank you for the information! I am currently a year 8 (or grade 7, if you are in America) student who is planning to make a school newspaper with friends!
Chris Fielden No problem, Grace! That's awesome news about your school newspaper. Please let me know when you get it off the ground - would love to take a look at it :-)
Penchalaiah K How do I write for an English newspaper?
Chris Fielden Hi Penchalaiah. Most newspapers have contact details on their website. Some have submission guidelines too. So the best bet it to start there :)
Amarachi P I am Amarachi from Nigeria. I have been asked to write an article for publication on a newspaper on my experience as the football captain at my last school.
Chris Fielden That's great, Amarachi.
I wish you the best of luck with writing your article - it sounds really interesting :-)
Valerie T Hi, I'm Valerie. I've been asked to write and publish an article as an assignment in school. Can you give me any advice on what topics or areas to write on?
Chris Fielden Hi Valerie. It depends where you hope to have the article published. If you're going for a local newspaper (which is a good place to start) then an article concerning something of local interest might be good. For example, when the smoking ban was implemented in the UK, I interviewed a pub landlord in the town I live in about the impact it was having on his business and a local newspaper published it.
You could also consider contacting one of your local publications, explaining your situation and asking them if they would like you to write about anything specific.
I hope that helps and wish you the best of luck with your assignment.
Chioma N I am Chioma from Nigeria. I am 16 yrs old. I really want to know more about being a journalist. Can you teach me? Thank you.
Chris Fielden Hi Chioma, thank you for your message.
I used to do a lot of writing for newspapers, but I now concentrate on fiction writing and running my blog, so I can't help you I'm afraid.
There are many online writing courses. I'd research some of them as a starting point. Try checking out your local universities - many unis run journalism courses. Or try the Open University and similar educational facilities that operate online learning options.
I hope that helps and wish you the best of luck with your writing :-)
Chioma N Thank you.
Chris Fielden You're welcome, Chioma :-)
Ejoh E I'm a content creator, writer for Cheap SEO Articles but I want to become a freelancer. I tried writing for someone once and he complained. He said it was too short and jumbled. I felt the article was fine. What can I do to make my article better?
Chris Fielden Hi Ejoh. Thank you for your message.
I'd recommend having a couple of articles critiqued. You can do that via a paid service, like the critique service I offer on my website .
Or you can look at platforms that offer free critiques. I list details of those in this resource .
I hope that's helpful and wish you the best of luck with your writing :-)
Eamonn M Good article, Chris. It came up when I googled article writing so your SEOs are working!
I used to write humorous articles for the Bristol Evening Post and was paid about £30 each for them, not bad back in the 1980s. I don't think they pay anything now but I'm thinking of article writing to keep my brain in gear. I'm giving up on short stories. Even the tiniest non-paying mag gets hundreds of submissions a month now. As for novels, there are 8 billion on Amazon and 8 billion authors tweeting at you to buy their book. I can't give mine away. Also, friends and family read articles. No one except my brother is the least bit interested in fantasy and SF.
I enjoyed your short story book and must review it on Amazon. All your advice was sound but there are so many short story writers now that even the lowest paying obscure online zines get hundreds of submissions every month. One's chance of acceptance is getting lower and of money almost zero. Not much reward for the effort.
Chris Fielden Thanks for your comment, Eamonn.
Sorry to hear you're giving up on fiction writing. You're right about the number of authors and submissions, but I find a dogged approach still works. Everyone experiences rejections, but if you keep trying, acceptances still occur. I'd urge you to keep trying.
Article writing can earn you money, depending on who your write for and what you write about. I hope that works well for you. And if you enjoy it, that's great. I find non-fiction easier to write. Well... "easier" might be the wrong word. "Quicker" might be more accurate. Fiction takes me a long time to write. Making things up requires more thought, I think. Writing a bit of fiction and non-fiction is good, though. Each inspires the other. I find the same with music. Working in different creative mediums works well for me. Maybe it will work for you too?
All the best to you.
The copyright of the stories and content published on this website remain with the author.
Christopher Fielden and all the other contributing authors published via this website have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the authors of these works.
The stories and articles on this site are provided for you to read free of charge subject to the condition that they are not, by way of trade or otherwise, copied, lent, sold, hired out, printed or otherwise circulated in any format without the author’s prior consent.
How to write a school news article.
News articles are designed to relate the news. The article is written to inform readers. It is factual, meant to present information in a quick, digestible form. The following elements of writing a newspaper article are important, so heed them well.
Research and Fact Gathering
Perhaps the #1 rule of writing a newspaper article is that you are factual. You do not want to make assumptions or fabricate information. Before you can write your article, you must have as many of the facts as you can gather. Here are some facts that you will need to find out:
- What? The specific event that took place.
- Who? The people involved.
- Where? Places.
- When? Date and time.
- Why? Reasons for the event taking place.
- How? Connecting the facts.
You will also need to gather as much detail as you can. This will involve:
- Interviewing people connected to the story.
- Gathering quotes from people (be exact…never paraphrase what they said). Cite names, unless they specifically request to remain anonymous.
- Resolving conflicting facts from individuals.
- Researching public information (always cite your sources, so write them down).
Once you have all your facts, you can begin to write your article.
The Headline or Title
For a news article, this is where you have most of your creativity. The headline must grab the attention of the reader. It needs to be catchy, emotion evoking, or creates curiosity. Be creative with it. In many instances, you will spend more time trying to come up with the perfect headline than you will in the actual writing.
The Article Body
The main news article itself is written from bottom down. In other words, the most important information comes first and each paragraph gives less and less details. Whereas a novel, for example, starts you out with little information and you must read to the end to get all of it.
In news article writing, however, you want to provide the key information right up front. You start with the 6 questions you should have already answered in your research:
Your first two paragraphs need to answer all these questions. For example:
The Varsity football team beat Smith High School last Saturday, 21 to 7, in a rematch that vindicated Coach John’s prediction of a win during Friday’s pep-rally. Our first home win this season at our very own Jane Doe Field was a morale booster to the entire student body. Quarterback, Joe Baker completed 18 out of 24 passes to cement the win.
This was only a simple example, but almost all the questions are actually answered in the first two sentences. From here you can add more inconsequential details, such as receiving yards, rushing yards, and so forth. You will at some point include quotes from people such as the coach, the quarterback, a receiver, a fan in the stands, and perhaps the principal. Although for quotes, you don’t want to include too many, but having two or three is important. By the time you get to the end of the article, you are simply expanding upon what the reader already knows from the first two paragraphs you wrote.
Don’t make your paragraphs long—two to three sentences each. Your word count will need to stay around the 500 word count or less, generally speaking.
SEE WHAT OTHER SCHOOLS ARE DOING
Below are just a few examples of what other schools are doing with their newspapers. Take a look and become inspired and find ideas.
Free Cloud Designer Templates
Our templates are 100% customizable, super user-friendly, and designed specifically to help you create outstanding school newspapers with our free Cloud Designer. Below are a few of the 100s of templates available to you. The first three show the various sizes we offer.
- Terms of Service
Who Are We?
We are a one-stop shop for all your newspaper needs. You can design and print real, actual newspapers right here. We specialize in shortrun newspapers for practically any niche or need, from schools to weddings.
MMNC Key Features
- Low Printing Prices
- Fully Integrated Cloud Designer
- Create Digital eNewspapers
- First Class, Modern Templates
- Start to Finish Guides
- Tabloid and Broadsheet Printing
- Dedicated Customer Care
- Newspaper Design Services
- Personalized Account Center
Popular Newspaper Niches
Schools - Colleges, High Schools, Middle, Elementary
Community - Income Generating, Public Service
Businesses - Marketing, Catalogs, Newsletters
Religious - Churches, Religious Organizations
More Popular Niches
Real Estate - Properties, Growth, Community
Restaurants - Menus, Reviews, Funny Pages
Political - Elections, Campaigns, Grass Roots
Personal - Birthdays , Reunions , Weddings
- A Research Guide
- Writing Guide
- Article Writing
- How to Write a Newspaper Article - Tips
How to Write a Newspaper Article – Tips
Writing is a vast domain that encapsulates various genres. Each one has different characteristics in terms of what information it aims to provide. Newspaper article, in this regard, has great significance, as it is a useful contrivance to inform masses about the current events.
Newspaper articles are an integral part of journalist writing. There is no denying that it does not only inform people but also help people shape opinions regarding various socio-political scenarios. You can approach journalistic writing in many ways, but the inverted pyramid structure is the most appropriate one.
The approach is about supplying the fundamental information first and then providing additional information at the end. This format of newspaper article depends on what a journalist deem to be most relevant. Journalist or writer structures the facts using inverted pyramid format to ensure readers get the important updates without reading the complete article. Following the inverted pyramid, the newspaper article incorporates descriptive content after the important factual information.
Besides that, objectivity is one of the important features of a newspaper article that require a journalist to present the things as they are. From incorporating factual account to covering a social event, every newspaper article must be based on the first-hand objective information.
To learn how to write a newspaper article, it is essential to follow the correct format. Plus, good research and the right organizational structure are the key constituents of writing an impactful newspaper article. Besides that, elements like interesting lead, catchy headlines, bylines and good additional information are the basic parts of a successful newspaper article.
Tips to Write A Good Newspaper Article
If you are an apprentice and looking for guidance to write a well-researched newspaper article, we have you covered. The guide has all the hands-on information you need to know about how to write a newspaper article.
Writing an impactful and informative newspaper article requires a thorough research. It is your first step and a convenient way to accumulate first-hand reliable information. You need to,
Contact Your Sources
To avoid hassles and procrastination, it is necessary that you contact the relevant sources in advance. Make appointments or fix meetings at least a week before. It will help you arrange interviews. For acquiring reliable information, choose at least 2 primary sources. Also, choose a source that is opposite to your subject and topic to perceive the issue from all angles. It will make your article well-rounded. Before choosing your sources to consider that,
- Sources must be professionals and experts in a field you have opted to write.
- Always choose certified professional or academic to use their extensive experience to validate the information in your article.
- You can use witnesses who have first –hand information on the topic, event or incident you are covering.
Conduct a Structured Interview
In-person interviews are always beneficial for writing a newspaper article. Arrange it in a decent and quiet meeting place such as office or coffee shop. Prepare structured questions and ask for an interviewee’s consensus about recording it.
- You can conduct two or three interviews if your topic is detailed and required a follow-up discussion.
- Make all the necessary arrangements to transcribe the interview to ensure you are quoting your source correctly.
Work Out Secondary Sources
You need to collect information from other important sources like public libraries or various reliable online sources. Go through all the related articles, journals, and academic reports to search for accurate and factual information on your article’s subject.
- Use the local public library, or government official website.
- Cite all the referenced sources at the end of the article to increase the credibility of the information you provided.
Counter Check All the Statistics Prior to Adding Them in the Article
If your article includes statistical information or numerical data, checking them again may save you from any undesirable situation or claims in future. The key is to trace all the statistical data to its credible sources and counter check whether it is updated and correct.
Read also: Сhoose professional custom writing service with expert writers.
Structure Your Article
Once you have gathered the information and done with your research, it is the time to structure your article.
Create an Informative and Catchy Headline
The headline can make or break your reader’s interest. If it is not interesting, engaging and creative, it is less likely to draw the attention of the reader. Not only should it be creative enough to grab the reader’s attention but also precise and concise to reflect what your article is all about.
- A good headline informs the reader about “what, when and where” in a glance.
- Keep it clear and brief, not more than five words
- You can also make the headline in the end, after you have finished writing. It will give you a better idea of what to focus on that can appropriately sum-up your article.
Create a Lead or Opening Paragraph
Lead, undeniably, is an essential part of your newspaper article. Learning ‘ how to make a lead ‘ will not only make your article engaging but also help you inform your readers in the better way. You can take the assistance of an expert or pro journalist to not only learn’ what is lead’ but also specific techniques to use them in your news article.
Lead is an opening paragraph in the article. Newspaper articles often seem banal with a multitude of sources and details. Most readers like to just skim through the first paragraph or first few sentences unless they find it interesting enough to read further.
A good Lead example tells readers important information in a concise, clear and interesting manner. Not only this, it further establishes a direction, tone, and voice of an article.
The following tips may help you create an impactful lead.
- Answer Five W’s : Before you begin writing a lead, decide the important aspects associated with the story that answers who, when, what, why and where. Emphasize these aspects in the lead of your article. Do not go into the details to explain them.
- Talk about Conflict: Highlight the point of conflict to develop the reader’s interest
- Specificity: The briefer the better. Summarize the information in lead and keep it specific to make it informative
- Conciseness: Learning how to present information in a brief yet effective manner is very important to deliver what your reader is expecting to know. Be concise and relevant about the information you are giving in the lead.
- Pertinent Vocabulary: Try using specific jargon and active verbs in lead to make it interesting, impactful and lively. Avoid passive construction as it may leave readers bewildered with incomplete reporting.
- Update Your Readers: Readers already know the breaking news due to modern media culture and technology. So if you are working for print media, try to update the information instead just regurgitating an old news.
- Honesty: This tip refers to your promise that you deliver the correct information in the article.
Things to Avoid
- Flowery And Exaggerated Language: Remember that you are writing a news article and using flowery language never makes a good news lead example. Avoid overusing unnecessary adjectives and focus on using lively verbs.
- Avoid Redundancy: Smart journalists never waste lead space with random words and unintentional redundancy. Consider this news lead example, p.m , Tuesday afternoon. Try to avoid repeated information as much as you can, come right to the point.
- Formulaic Leads: Delivering information in mechanical tone brings monotonous effect. Your readers want to be entertained so create a lead that is genuine and engaging.
- Avoid Using ‘It’ In the Beginning: Clarity is an essential element of a press release or newspaper article. Never begin your article with pronouns like ‘it’. It can disorient your readers.
Follow a Chronological Order When Writing a Lead
Beginning with a well-crafted lead, always follow a chronological order. That means to place the most important and current details first and so on. This will not only make your news article comprehensive but also help your reader skim through the beginning section. Provide updated information in the first 1-3 lines following the inverted pyramid approach.
Expand Your Article with Supporting Details
Once you created a lead, and if it is interesting enough to capture the reader’s attention and make him/her curious, he/she might want to discover more. Expanding the key details is all about telling people how something happened. Provide in-depth coverage on all the important aspects of the news story.
Summarize and reflect on the first-hand information you explored from the sources. Add a background, contextual information or any other detail related to subject matter or incident. Do not extend each paragraph more than 3 – 4 sentences to make it easy to follow along.
Include Supporting Quotations
Referring to sources in the article increases the credibility of information and adds value to your organization’s reputation. By including supporting quotation/ statement from sources, you can validate the information you are providing.
Choose pertinent, short, and brief quotations that are informative. Plus, make sure you attribute the used quotes to its source in the article.
- For example, “The baby was unconscious and had his leg broken, stated Police Chief Peter Wilborn.”
- Avoid using too many quotes as the reader may get confused.
Finish Your Article with Informative Link or Quote
To wrap up the news article, you can use an impactful quote. Including a link to a company/ organization’s website is also a good option if your article focuses on any specific organization.
For example, you can write, “the family of victim expressed a concern about his health” as they say ‘We just hope he’ll be okay won’t suffer from these symptoms”.
Alternatively, “Local police has recommended parents to accompany their children everywhere they go, website. www.ty.org
Use Appropriate Tone
Easy and clear language.
Making your news article linguistically complicated is not something your reader appreciates. Remember that your purpose is to inform the reader and if you use unintelligible language it will only distract them.
To put it simply, avoid using vague language, or the words which are not useful. Talk to your readers in lay man’s language to make it accessible to all kind of readers. Avoid constructing longer sentences or run-on sentences.
Use Active Voice
Being a journalist, your job is to inform ‘WHO’ did what. That means, including subject when writing a news article is a key to reduce obscurity. It is only possible when you use the active voice. The sentence structure becomes more vivid and informative in the active voice.
Maintain an Informative Tone
The newspaper article is for everyone and aims to inform the readers by giving them correct and updated information. That is why it is crucial to maintaining an informative tone that does not show your subjectivity. It must be based on a factual account, incident or event. Do not exaggerate the details by using hyperbolic language.
Polish Your Article
Last but not the least, once you are done with structuring your article, read it again to revise and refine it. The first draft has a lot of room to improvise. Read it from the perspective of your reader. See if it is informative, engaging and communicate what it intended to.
- Make sure leads, quotes and references are clear and intelligible
- Check it for any linguistic complexity or spelling, grammar errors
- You can show it to a peer for feedback, critique on voice and tone.
- Revise your articleand create a final draft
In conclusion, writing a newspaper article requires you to collect factual details, and data from the verified sources. Plus, catchy lead, headline, and appropriate structure are some important features you need to consider. Thus, the above-mentioned tips are very helpful to make you write a well-structured news article.
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Writing a newspaper report
To learn about the features of a newspaper and write your own newspaper article.
This lesson includes:
one video with tips on how to turn a story into a newspaper article
one video about the actions of Rosa Parks
In today’s lesson, you are going to write a newspaper article about the actions that a woman called Rosa Parks took in 1955.
But first, you’re going to revise what makes a good newspaper article.
Start by watching this clip.
Newspaper articles should:
Include facts. You can do this by answering the 5 Ws: what, when, who, where, why?
Have a short, snappy and informative headline.
Provide a summary at the start explaining what happened (but not giving everything away!).
Use paragraphs to help the reader clearly understand the information.
Provide quotes to show people’s opinions about the event.
You could also include a picture with a caption to help the reader visualise what happened and who was involved.
Your writing should also:
Be formal (written as though you’re talking to someone older than you, like a teacher)
Use third person pronouns (he, she, it, they)
Be in the past tense (because the events have already happened)
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
Read this Newsround article, called Mumbai Traffic - will clever red lights make drivers honk less?
It’s a good example so you can use it as inspiration for your own writing.
Once you’ve read the article, answer the questions below. You can write down your answers, think about them to yourself, or discuss them with someone at home.
What is the first thing at the very top of the article?
Does the first paragraph give away all the information about the story? What do we call this paragraph?
Is the article written in the third person ? Find a pronoun to prove this.
Is the article written in the past tense ? Find a verb to prove this.
There are no examples of direct quotes from people. Try writing down or thinking of two quotes that could have come from different Mumbai residents. One should be a fact and the other an opinion .
Does the article answer the 5 Ws: what, when, who, where, why?
Watch this video about the actions that a woman called Rosa Parks took in 1955. You will be reporting on her story afterwards.
Now fill in the ‘Article planner' to the right, using information from the video.
You can print it out if you like, or draw your own on a piece of paper.
In each box, make notes that show what you will include in each section of your article.
You don't need to write in full sentences when you are planning.
- Watch the video as many times as you want to make sure you’ve got all the information and facts you need for your article.
Now write your newspaper article.
Include a headline at the top of your article. Make it short and snappy. You could even use alliteration.
Use your planning sheet to help you write in full sentences.
Look back at the Learn section for inspiration. These will help you remember what to include and how to write your newspaper article.
You could start with these sentences, if you like:
On December 1st 1955, a woman called Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat up for a white person. Her actions resulted in a bus boycott across the American city of Montgomery. Here's more about what happened.
In this lesson you have revised the features of a newspaper and written your own newspaper article.
There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you improve your non-fiction writing.
What are instruction manuals?
What’s the difference between adverts and brochures?
There's more to learn
More English Guides
Take a look at our other English guides.
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Explore brilliant games from BBC Bitesize.
There's more to learn ...
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