How do you write hard news?

How do you write hard news?

The Unfavorable News Keep sentences brief in general, but vary their lengths. Check and double-check your information. Always use both a person's first and last name in the first reference, and double-check the spelling. When feasible, utilize quotes and place them near the beginning of the tale. They make for powerful lead-ins.

The Favorably Reported News Use the same basic techniques as the unfavorable news, only they tend to be a bit longer. Quotes are useful again - but this time they're used at the end of the story to bring attention to something that supports the writer's point of view.

Front-page stories are published under the headline "The Lead." The subheading is optional but often includes more specific words that help readers understand what kind of article it is. For example, "Business" or "Sports." The editor chooses one story from each section of the paper - National, Local, Opinion, etc.

Back-page articles are published on pages 7 through 21. There are no rules about how many back pages there should be, but most papers have at least a few. Back pages are usually given over to obituaries or other items of interest primarily to people who read the archives of the paper. However, in times past, some back pages were taken up with letters to the editor. These days, back pages are more commonly given over to advertising.

How can you be an effective news writer?

Writing a successful news article takes practice, but here are 12 easy guidelines to help you.

  1. Decide what the news is.
  2. Who, what, where, when, why and how?
  3. News first, background later.
  4. Be objective and stick to facts.
  5. Keep it simple and short.
  6. Acronyms.
  7. House style.
  8. Exclamation marks.

What is a short news story?

News articles are always written in the third person, never in the first or second. The initial paragraph of a news report is generally just one phrase long and contains the most essential, fascinating, or uncommon of the 5 W's and 1 H: who, what, when, where, why, and how. This is known as a lede sentence.

The remaining text then goes on to tell the reader more about the subject of the article. Often there will be a list of topics covered, followed by a conclusion stating what role the article played in its section of the newspaper.

Short news stories usually contain only one lede sentence. They may cover a single event or issue, such as "Bush signs bill into law", or they may deal with several subjects within their lengthiest sentence ("President Bush signed legislation today creating a new government agency"). In general, stories under 500 words are considered short news items; those over 1500 words are called briefs.

Often, there are more interesting or important things going on than can be told in a few hundred or thousand words. If you read another article on the same topic, you can usually determine which source was more informative by reading the bylines: if it was a magazine or journal, then it likely had more content inside its pages than could be fitted into a brief article; if it was a website or online service, then it probably had additional information available online that wasn't included in the brief version.

About Article Author

Donald Goebel

Donald Goebel is a freelance writer with decades of experience in the publishing industry. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and many other top newspapers and magazines.

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