News is current information about events that has occurred, obtained at any moment and anywhere in the world. It is conveyed to the audience through different media – print, television or radio – and also can be delivered online through websites or mobile phones.
To write a good news article you must first know your audience. This will help dictate the voice and tone of your article as well as how much detail you include or leave out. Asking yourself questions like who is your audience, where are they located (local or national), why do they read your article and what do they want to get out of it will help you format your article.
Next, research your topic extensively. Ensure that you have all the facts about your story and quotes from people who are involved in or affected by the situation. Avoid adding your own opinions or bias to the article. If you are unsure whether you have written an objective piece ask someone else to read it over for you. Objectivity is considered one of the hallmarks of journalism and many governments impose a requirement of impartiality on broadcast news.
The main purpose of news is to inform, not entertain. Nevertheless, there is no reason why a good news story cannot contain some elements of humour. In fact, this is something that should be encouraged because it helps to make the news more accessible and interesting for audiences.
When deciding on what is a good news story, it must be new, unusual, significant or about people. It must be important to a large number of people and have the potential to influence their lives. It should be reported accurately and quickly as it happens. In the past, it took hours or even days for news to reach a town or nation but today, live news services transmit stories instantaneously from around the world via satellite communication.
When writing a newspaper story, it is vital to consider the “5 W’s”: who, what, where, when and why. It is important to put the most critical information in the early paragraphs of your story, known in journalism jargon as ‘above the fold’. This will catch the reader’s attention and entice them to keep reading. Then provide more details in subsequent paragraphs. Be sure to proofread your article for accuracy, consistency and tone as well as spelling and grammar mistakes. If possible, have someone else read it over for you before publication. They may spot errors that you have overlooked. This is especially important if you are publishing your article online.