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News: How to Write It the Easier Way

Ruby is a freelance writer from the Philippines. She teaches communication courses and enjoys gardening and reading as her other pastimes.

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To make your news writing work easier, an outline is a great help. It will guide you on how to organize your thoughts and ideas before putting them into words on paper or on your computer. Below, is an elaboration of that, and more details are provided.

News Article Outline

I. Lead sentence
Quickly seize and hold the attention of your reader. There are many types of lead to use. Which type will be used will depend upon the news story you have gathered or the content of the news type.
II. The Opening Statements
Which specifics, whether facts or numbers, will help to ground your story? You have a responsibility to inform your audience about the time and location of the events in this tale.
III. Opening quote
What information can you provide that will help the reader understand the persons who are involved and what they are thinking?
IV. Main body
What is the most important part of your narrative?
V. Closing quotation
Find a phrase or two that perfectly encapsulates the content of the piece.
Conclusion (this section is optional; the concluding quotation may serve as sufficient evidence)

Newswriting Guidelines

Organization (the Inverted Pyramid)
Chronological storytelling is common. Non-chronological newswriting. Inverted pyramids flip narrative. Inverted pyramid: large base symbolizes most noteworthy information, small tip the least. It puts the most significant information first and the remainder in descending order. In newspaper composing rooms, the inverted pyramid was used to shorten large tales without losing critical information.

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Lead

A news story's lead should be most intriguing. In a meeting report, check for the keynote speaker's major point, choices made, or record-breaking attendance. This lead may have been published months before the gathering: Society of United Literary Ambassadors of Truth had its annual meeting on Monday at the CPAC Conference Hall. Lead content goes like this: something major happened at society's gathering when and where. When a newsletter is published months after a meeting, only the month or season is needed.

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Factual attribution

Newswriting doesn't offer opinion unless sourced. We don't have to be so careful while praising Northwestern, but we should attribute disputed viewpoints. If facts aren't universally recognized, they should be credited.
On first reference, use the whole first name or both initials, not just one. The individual should be named in a way that's relevant to the content. Middle initials aren't needed in captions if they're already in the text.

Paragraphs

For punchiness and look, news paragraphs are brief. The sentences are also short and direct to the point. However, the important points or contents of the story must not be sacrificed when trying to be brief.

Person

Writing for the news is done in the third person. If you have no choice but to write in the first or second person, make sure the transitions are smooth.

Headlines

Short headlines are best. They should draw from the content and not introduce additional information. A headline concerning a past event is normally in present tense, and one regarding the future contains to (to meet, to decide, etc.) In a publishing section, don't blend titles with verbs. Headlines don't utilize articles (a, an, the).

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Other Tips for Writing School newspaper articles

School newspaper writing may be entertaining. Perhaps you'll attend school board meetings and report to your classmates. You may ask the principal about the school's new classrooms. You can tell many stories. Newspaper tales aren't like English papers or poetry. Journalistic rules exist. These tips will help your tales sparkle.
Paragraph one. The opening paragraph of a news item contains the most relevant information. In newspapers, the most significant information comes first. Following paragraphs have diminishing significance. The editor may shorten any tale by cutting from the bottom.
Who, where, when, why, and how? First paragraph: news article basics. Why? Where happened? When? Sometimes clarifying why and how helps the reader comprehend more about the relevance of the event or helps the reader relate to the tale. Imagine covering your school's basketball game last Friday. Here's the story's first paragraph.

Paragraphs show the essential facts
The Tigers beat Independence 76ers by 1 point last Friday night on the 76ers' home floor. It ended 70-74 Barnard scored 18 points.
Engage readers. In the next few paragraphs, we'll discuss how to make your tale more fascinating. First, quotations. People seek feedback on the event. Quote specialists, celebrities, or the average Joe. You might interview the coach, players, school administrator, or fans. You may also raise curiosity by describing the event's significance. In our example, you may discuss the team's rating or how this game compared to others this season.
Humbart commented after the game, "I'm proud with the team's effort." Each time the 76ers scored, they responded. Early in the season, the club struggled with consistency in maintaining pressure. Three straight wins were close. If they win three more games, they can compete in the county tournament.
Tell the narrative from a player's perspective. This generates a "human-interest" tale. People care what others think and do. Readers like stories about overcoming adversity.
Use clear language. The news should be concise. News is fast. When just the facts change, readers are bored. Choose words carefully to convey urgency and intensity. Reread the paragraph's opening sentence. The newspaper could use the same statement each time the school's team played and modify the facts. What if the press carried this every game?
Cassadaga beat Independence 67-68 on Friday.
Boring!

Use the original sample sentence.
Images help. Check whether the school photographer will attend. Otherwise, bring a camera. Take many of photos so your editor can select the best one. Action photos work best, but they must be in focus and have sufficient light-to-dark contrast. Too much gray in a photo prevents readers from seeing what's happening. Zoom in on your subject or get closer. Fill the frame. Stay focused. Take landscape and portrait photos for flexible newspaper layout.
Truthfulness. A reporter must report events accurately. Check the spelling of names, places, scores, and other plot facts. Record interviews if you can. Notepad information
Fairness. Cover both sides of contentious issues. Give those who advocate for other ideas an opportunity to clarify their position. When reporting, state the opposing viewpoints. Allow readers to form their own opinions. Journalism seeks truth and gives balanced reports.
Proofread. Before sending your content to the editor, use spell and grammar check. Further, edit your work for final choices on clarity, accuracy, etc.
Bylines. Bylines identify the story's author. Some newspapers use your name as the byline. Other newspapers have greater room to praise the author. Bylines reveal the author's skill. By Kevin Block, Sports Reporter or Lucy Witt, Piedmont Educator. Discuss bylines with your editor.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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