News writing

It is a artificial way of writing, it is very hard to do well it seems easy but it is incredibly hard way to write, it is formulaic. There is a form to stick toinverted pyrimid you need to keep opinion out, it is about fact, details, stats, descriptions. It is about fact not opinion.

it is about packing in information in a short amount of writing. People have short attention span this follows the inverted pyramid.

There is a limited amount of space in newspaper subs cut out parts of your story. Need to put the facts at the beginning so that it is top loaded and relevent

There are two terms hard and soft news

Hard news: crime, politics

Soft news: celebrity

Hard news appears at the front of the newspaper with soft news featured further on in the paper. Unless you read magazines OK or Closer

You will never see a broadsheet cover soft news on the front page

News stories are instantly recognizable with the intro’s, it is descriptive more formal. News stories are instantly comprehensible with a news stories you instantly know what the story is about in the first line. News stories are simple, crisp and direct they get straight tot he point.They’re dramatic and attention grabbing you immediately want to grab the readers attention. You want to reveal the facts as you go through the story, if the story is about murder you instantly put it in the first line. News should be balanced if you are writing a story from two parties and getting a quote from one side you need to get a quote from the other side so it is balanced and equal measure. News answers the key questions who, when, why, what and where. Within the first two lines this should all be covered.

When writing a news story come back to the intro don’t always try to write the intro first time. Intros contain between 15-30 words. There is usually one sentence per paragraph. When writing you need to ask yourself “so what?” when including certain facts is it important enough

Delayed drop is a type of intro . You don’t usually get a delayed drop in hard but soft news you delay until the second or third paragraph about what the story is about.

12 point plan for intros:

1) 15-30 words

2) direct, simple,uncomplicated

3) highlights a key part of the sotry

4) concentrates on just one idea answering questions come later

5) need some identification, sequence, orientation some context for the story

6) should not be obscure, don’t assume your readers know what your talking about

7) avoid abbreviations

8) don’t start with a quote

9) don’t start with a number

10) don’t begin with a time or place

11) ban jargon

12) don’t invert, put the point of the sentence first, not passive but active voice

Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.
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