Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How to write a news article

On July 6th, we learned how to write a news article. If you follow this step-by-step guide, you should produce a good news article:

1) Decide what your article will be about.

2) Research the topic of your article. Get as much background information as you can before you begin writing. This will help you better prepare yourself for your interviews.

3) Follow the inverted pyramid model to set up your story. The most important information should be at the top and the least important at the bottom.

4) The first paragraph, known as the lede, should answer these questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

5) Grab the reader’s attention by using an interesting opening sentence. You may ask a question, share an interesting fact, or write something the reader would not expect but be sure that you are reporting and not telling a story (allowed in feature articles).

6) After the lede, explain the background of the topic. These details form the nut graf of the news article. It is always a good idea to include one or two quotes from people you interview. Use action verbs so the reader feels things are really happening.

7) Be objective! A good new article is balanced in its coverage. Try to present as many sides of the story as possible.

8) Fill the rest of the article with other important details the reader needs to know.

9) The last paragraph should not summarize the article. The least important details or information should be stated in the last paragraph. You may sometimes end with a good quote.

10) Read your article and edit where needed. Make sure the article has a flow and structure that is easy to follow and understand.

11) Verify all facts. Confirm details you are unsure of. Double-check the spelling of everything—especially people’s names and places.

12) Check grammar, spelling, and other mechanics of your article before submitting to the editor.

13) Get some rest before you get your next assignment. :-)

By Sheryar Jamil

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