How to Write News

News is a story about something which has recently happened. News stories are usually about people, but they can also be about events or developments in a community, nation or the world. Traditionally, news was published in newspapers, but now it is available in many different formats, including radio and television, mobile phone texts and the internet.

The first paragraph of a news article is known as the lead, and it is written to grab reader attention and sum up the main points of the story. It should include the basics of what is happening, who it involves and why it is significant. It may use a dramatic anecdote or a surprising fact to entice readers to read on.

Using words such as ‘exclusive’, ‘breaking’ and ‘unprecedented’ can add to the appeal of an article. However, it is important to remember that news items which have already been widely reported will not be newsworthy in their own right. For example, if a man goes to work each day by bus then it is not newsworthy, but if he is driving that bus and kills someone then this will be.

It is important to think about the audience for a news article, as this will determine what information is included. For instance, a story about an unusual species of insect will be of interest to scientists but probably not to the general public. In addition, the type of jargon used in a particular field can act as a language which excludes those outside that area. Therefore it is important to try to avoid jargon when writing news.

A nut graph is a paragraph which describes the background to a story, and often gives context to the events being described. This is particularly important if the news item is about a political figure or celebrity, as it can help to explain why the event is significant. It can also help to place the news item in its historical context, and highlight any changes which have occurred since the event took place.

The final paragraph of a news item should contain any further details which are relevant. For instance, this might include a timeline of events or a list of any names which are being released in relation to the incident. It is also often a good idea to include a quotation from an eye-witness, which can add weight and credibility to the piece. Finally, the last paragraph should conclude with a restatement of the leading statement and possibly a suggestion for any future developments which could occur. This is a common structure for a news item in print publications, but online articles tend to be less structured and to rely more on a headline and bullet points.