How to Write News Articles

By: Liz Wu (7 May 17)

There are many ways to treatment writing journalistic articles, but one of the most common is the inverted pyramid structure. Basically, what this amounts to is supplying the most significant information at the beginning of the chunk, then covering extra information by order of importance.

In such an treatment, the very first line, or lead, must convey the gist of the chunk. One should be able to read the very first paragraph of this sort of news article and know instantly what the chunk is about. The last line or paragraph is the least significant; this permits editors to lightly cut unnecessary information.

Section 1: Lead The most pertinent information, who, what, where, when, how and why.

Section 2-end: More information in order of decreasing importance.

Last section: The least essential information.

The following is an example of the inverted pyramid style:

On May 1st, a London fruit vendor was caught stealing wallets in Trafalgar Square.

James Bristle, 35, says he became desperate after the drought caused fruit prices to skyrocket.

Bristle, who is well-known in the area for his “Premium Plums and Peaches,” says he has been incapable to sell even half of his wares during the last month.

He began to pick pockets in order to buy medicine for his dying dog.

“I had no choice,” he said. “Pete’s the only friend I have. He’d have done the same for me.”

Depending on what you deem to be most pertinent, the facts can be rearranged:

On May 1st, James Bristle, a London fruit vendor, began picking pockets in an attempt to save his dying dog.

“I had no choice,” he said. “Pete’s the only friend I have.”

Bristle, 35, says he has been incapable to sell even half of his wares during the last month because of the effects of the drought on the fruit market.

He is well-known in Trafalgar Square, the area in which he was caught, for his “Premium Plums and Peaches.”

Whatever you choose to concentrate on, there are some basic guidelines to go after when writing a news story:

  • Attempt to include as much of the who, what, where, when, why, and how in your opening sentence (lead).
  • Keep sentences brief and to the point.
  • Tho’ it may be tempting to save the best for last, this is not news style. Give the juiciest bits of information up front.
  • Withhold opinions. While suitable in persuasive essays, it is considered unprofessional in news-writing.
  • Avoid making conclusions. While necessary to a strong essay, journalists present the facts and leave their readers to draw their own conclusions.

To truly get a feel for this style of news-writing, pick up a daily newspaper and attempt identifying the sections of the article. Observe what makes a good lead – what attracts your attention, and what doesn’t. Make a guess about what the chunk is about based on the very first line or two of an article and see if the rest of the chunk is consistent. Ultimately, dissect an article – the who, what, where, when, why and how – and write your own version based on the same information. Before long, you will be ready to take on assignments of you own.

Further Reading

Ask for Advice or Share Your Story.

Adeline – Your Question:

It helped me a lot. I am always interested of how to write a news article but I am having a hard time because I write more of essays and draw my opinions out or conclude something. I am more on making speeches on debates and sorts so things will be hard. Also, I am kind of love flowery words because I write novels and these tips are keeping me not to. Thank you!

You are welcome – we are glad you have found the site useful.

ExploreWriting – 1-Dec-16 @ Ten:56 AM

Adeline – 30-Nov-16 @ 1:20 PM

Truly got what it means. but how about when writing a headline, or a slug? What do we need to recall or to put in mind?

Ace – 20-Jun-12 @ Ten:56 AM

How to Write News Articles

By: Liz Wu (7 May 17)

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