How to Write Newsworthy Articles

News is information about current events that has not been published before, whether it is broadcast on television or radio, printed in a newspaper or posted on the Internet. The word comes from the Latin nova, meaning “new,” and has been used to describe anything that is new or different since the fourteenth century. News can be important, controversial or entertaining, but it is usually focused on a specific area of interest. For example, local news might involve a burglary or a fire in a town or city. Similarly, national or international news might discuss political turmoil or a natural disaster.

In the context of a news article, it is the journalist’s job to decide what is newsworthy and report it in a way that informs and entertains his or her audience. This is not an easy task, since there are many different factors that determine what is deemed to be of newsworthiness. These include intrinsic news values such as surprise, conflict and impact, as well as practical considerations such as the time available, resources and the workplace hierarchy, and subjective, often unconscious, influences, a mix of social, educational, ideological and cultural ones, on journalists.

Once the journalist has determined what is newsworthy, it is important to decide who the target audience for the article is. This is typically based on the kind of publication or website the journalist maintains, but can also be influenced by the subject matter. For example, a news article on a school function is likely to be read by parents of the students, while an article about zoning laws in a commercial area might be read by business owners or property developers.

Regardless of the target audience, the journalist should begin with a headline that is both interesting and informative. This is referred to as the lede and it must grab the reader’s attention by being either dramatic or surprising. The lede should then introduce the story and answer the basic questions of who, what, when, where and why. This is usually followed by a paragraph known as the nut graph, which places the news in context and explains why it’s important to readers.

The next step in writing a good news article is to provide detailed facts and quotes from the key participants. It is important for the writer to avoid adding his or her own opinion to the piece, which should be factual only. The journalist should also clearly cite any sources of information – interviews, court documents, public statements or Web sites.

Finally, the journalist should create a sense of urgency and suspense in the story. This can be done with a snappy quote from the person at the center of the story, a dramatic scene or an upcoming event. Then, the news article should be edited to meet the needs of the target audience while still maintaining its integrity. News articles are typically read by large numbers of people, so it is important to ensure that they are accurate and clear.