How to Write a News Article Properly?
News journalism, even with the advent of analytical journalism, is not inferior to it in relevance. The phrase “Who owns the information – owns the world” can be interpreted as “who owns the news – owns the world.” Nowadays, information is most quickly disseminated on social networks, the Internet in general, and the Internet media in particular. The news gives people the opportunity to know what is happening. Thus, the ability to create good news articles is highly valued in today’s society.
In this article, it seems appropriate to tell you how to write a news article step by step. We will focus on what a news article is, what features it has, as well as consider the process of writing.
Main Features of a News Article
The working material of the media is news. The concept of news was identical to the concept of a newspaper. Today, it means news that is interesting to the public.
From The History of News
Among the many attempts to define the concept of news, there are practice-oriented and rather theoretical, generally formulated and specific, modern, and old-fashioned definitions. There is often such a sign of news as objectivity. All attempts are equally aimed at generalizing the criteria for selecting news or strategies for their implementation. Accordingly, the news is a raw material for journalism and a genre of journalism.
All over the world, the media use the news as a raw material for journalism due to the fact that in many cultures, there is a similar type of perception. This is caused by natural human curiosity and taken into account in the selection process of news. The selection and submission of news can take place in different ways, according to the specific conditions and purpose of different media systems. There is a wide range of options in the treatment of news, but the result will not be accidental; it will depend on the concept and routine.
In Western countries, the public interest is the basis for the work of the media; in the countries of the so-called third world, the criteria for selecting news are determined by the goals of national revival and public education; in the socialist countries, there were indications on the basis of Marxism-Leninism as to what is of interest – news had to give guidelines for social and political development.
The modern type of news and the principles of its construction emerged with the rise of commercial journalism in the United States. Various factors contributed to the emergence of the news story, which was primarily associated with the economic interests of Anglo-Saxon news agencies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In the twentieth century, the development of information journalism was especially facilitated by the expansion of the information market as a result of the First World War. The business of information goods is experiencing a similar boom at the beginning of the new century. For a large part of the Western media, in particular news agencies, the principles of selection and construction of messages have not lost their relevance.
General Characteristic of News Genre
News, like any functional genre, has its own structure but is characterized by extremely stable micro-and macrostructure, a high degree of repetition, and multiple reproducibilities. News texts are characterized by a transparent structure, which makes them interesting material for studying the mechanisms of influence.
The structural composition of the news text is based on the principle of an inverted pyramid. This implies that all the most valuable and important information is reported at the beginning, the information load decreases as the text unfolds. In the beginning, there is a summary of the message, which reveals the title and introduction, then the main events, background, and finally – the least important elements – context, history, and verbal reactions or commentary. This structure facilitates the process of production and perception of the text, helps to focus and highlight the most important elements of the text.
A good news article should be objective and fully informative, i.e., answer all six questions asked by the Roman orator Quintilian – who? What? Where? When? How? Why?. The title and introduction should also contain answers to these questions. Sometimes, if the title and introduction are very large, the component ‘why?’ It can be skipped.
A news article can report not only one but also several events at once, then both the headline and the introduction must refer to these events. Another way to cover several events in a news text is to mention in the headline the most important event, or the last one that took place and has a more informative meaning, according to the concept of relevance proposed by T. van Dyck.
The described model allows for stylistic and tendentious variability among different publications and journalists. Thus, the news text can be thematically structured, for example, when less important information is placed in the headline or in the introduction, or when important information is at the end or completely released. Such structural transformations can color the message, affect the perception of the text, etc. According to T. van Dyck, the news itself is not structured; the structure is attributed to the news by the journalist. And although one of the main features of a quality news report is an objectively neutral style of presentation, the influence on the reader occurs at least at one stage: in the selection of facts, coverage of events, image creation, cultural and ideological context, stereotypes.
How to Write a News Article: Valuable Recommendations
If you really want to learn how to write a news article, study the material below, and apply this information in practice.
We will start our introduction to the subject with the headline. It is the most important part of the news. Readers decide which article to read based on the title. Moreover, in 60-80 percent of cases, the news itself is not read, but an idea of what is happening is given by the headlines. This is understandable – a medium-sized news agency issues up to two hundred messages a day on a variety of topics. In terms of text volume, this corresponds to a thick story.
No reader will open every news – he glances over the headlines. The title can be different, and there is no general opinion about which headlines are better and which ones are worse. Time also changes the concept of headline quality. Nevertheless, several decisive factors can be named: readability, attractiveness, information content, brevity.
Pay attention to the tips for writing an effective headline:
- When writing a headline, it’s important to remember that it’s all news in one sentence. You come up with the title before you write the text. If you don’t come up with it, you can write the first main paragraph and immediately pull out the heading from it;
- If you want to learn how to write a news article correctly, try to remember that the main word in the headline is the verb. The correct verb reflects what is happening in the news. “Killed”, “stolen”, “visited,” “crashed”, “invented” and so on;
- Logical stress (semantic stressed part) in the heading should be located at the beginning or end of the sentence.
The second most important thing in the text after the headline is the structure of the message. The structure of a news text is often referred to as an inverted pyramid. News text consists of 4-6 paragraphs on average. Sometimes, there is less (a message about some insignificant event without details), sometimes more (difficult news with explanations).
Let’s imagine a pyramid divided into as many pieces as we have paragraphs. Let’s turn it over. The most important thing in such a pyramid is the massive base that is at the top. This is the headline, the most important part of the news. It is logical that the first paragraph necessarily reveals the heading in more detail.
The second paragraph contains everything that did not fit in the first. This often happens – in the news, you can highlight the main thing (included in the headline) and interesting details that are included in the subheading and the second paragraph.
The third paragraph represents what is left after the first two and/or begins to describe the balance of power. The fourth gives even more space to explanations; its importance in editing is minimal.
Why is a pyramid needed? Firstly, it is easy to edit. Secondly, such news is convenient to read – after the first paragraph, the reader can move on to another text. Thirdly, it has been in use for a couple of hundred years.
Sometimes the pyramid is not turned over. It can stand on the ground. It’s like launching a vehicle. Fuel in wide tanks helps to put into orbit an important news event. It is especially convenient to use a usual pyramid, showing the amount of text falling on certain parts of the news: usually, the headline and news occasion are less than the dimensionless background.
Talking about how to write a news article, we should indicate that you must follow the format of the publication. If you write for one newspaper, the same text will be of little use for another – there are different requirements. This means that you have to be flexible, to be able to change your style without any problems, and admit errors and typos.
A person is the universal ‘combat vehicle,’ the ‘terminator’ capable of independently performing almost any task related to text processing and synthesis. But this is the ideal. Everyone makes mistakes. According to a study by American scientists, 59 percent of journalistic publications contain errors or inaccuracies. Thus, you are advised to carefully check your text for errors after writing.
One of the most important parts of the work is monitoring, tracking messages. This is the source of your materials. Your intelligence. If you specialize in certain topics, without monitoring, your news flow will not be adequate to what is happening.
In order not to get lost in the flow, one must be very responsible not even for the choice of messages but for the choice of sources. Anyone who deals with the news should follow the domestic sources much more carefully and look through foreign sources mainly by keywords of interest.
In the course of work, you have two types of monitoring: searching for fresh news in general and searching for additional versions of what is happening. In either case, you need to properly organize your work.
In this article, we told you how to write a news article, how to organize your work in order to achieve the desired goal and get new skills. Try to apply the knowledge you gain as quickly as possible. You will definitely succeed. If you require help, contact our professional writers for support. They will help solve your problem!