Writing a news article is not as difficult as many people believe. If you allow yourself to learn and practice, you can become quite good at writing news articles. Following these simple guidelines will make your efforts easier.
Remember the 5 W’s and the H
If you ever went through any formal training, you have heard this before. But in relatiity, it is the foundation of a good news article.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Your article should answer all of these basic and simple questions. It is imperative that you remember the 5 W’s and H. Always include it in any news article you write.
Let me give you a brief example. I write news stories on hockey during the season. If I am covering a game, the 5 W’s and H might be addresses as follows:
Who? – The Team I am covering. The star players and coaching staff.
What? – What league, sport and venue are they playing?
Where? – The arena in which the game is being played or maybe where the team is from.
When? – When is the game – is it an important game which the team has been preparing for a specific length of time. Are any factors with regards to time in general important to this specific game?
Why? – Why is this game important, why is it being played.
How? – How is the team’s attitude entering the game? What is the game plan to win? How much did the team prepare for this game?
Many writers use what is called the Inverted Pyramid when writing their stories. This style of writing works well in newspapers or broadcast articles. The Inverted Pyramid starts with as many important facts and as much important information as possible at the start of the article, and then works its way down. The first paragraph is the most important feature to this style of writing. The first paragraph should contain enough information to give a good idea of the entire story. The balance f the article expands and explains or supports the information expressed in the first paragraph.
When using this style of writing, imagine someone reading your article on the run. The reader can read a paragraph or two and have a good understanding of the entire article. Can this story stand alone if the body of the article is removed leaving only the first couple of paragraphs? If so, you have written a good Inverted Pyramid article.
Some other things to keep in mind when writing articles are:
Be Objective: Stay impartial in your article as much as you can. Do not use “I” or “me” in your article.
Use Quotes: Use quotes from those directly involved in the story.
Include People: News stories are about how people are involved or affected. You need to include how the people involved are affected.
Don’t go Overboard: Keep your paragraphs and sentences short and to the point. Cut to the chase and do not drag it out.