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How to Write a News Article
News articles report on current events that are relevant to the readership of a publication. These current events might take place locally, nationally, or internationally.
News writing is a skill that’s used worldwide, but this writing format—with its unique rules and structure—differs from other forms of writing . Understanding how to write a news story correctly can ensure you’re performing your journalistic duty to your audience.
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What is a news article?
A news article is a writing format that provides concise and factual information to a reader. News stories typically report on current affairs that are noteworthy—including legislation, announcements, education, discoveries or research, election results, public health, sports, and the arts.
Unlike blog and opinion posts, a strong news article doesn’t include personal opinion, speculation, or bias. Additionally, the diction and syntax should be accessible to any reader, even if they’re not deeply familiar with the topic. News stories, therefore, don’t contain jargon that you might find in a research paper or essay.
What are the rules for writing a news article?
Whether you’re learning how to write a short news story for a school assignment or want to showcase a variety of clips in your writing portfolio , the rules of news writing hold true.
There are three types of news articles:
- Local: reports on current events of a specific area or community. For example, “College Football Team Welcomes Legendary NFL Coach” or “School District Announces New Grading Policy.”
- National: reports on current affairs within a particular country. For example, “NASA’s James Webb Telescope Captures Surreal Images of the Cosmos.”
- International: reports on social issues or current affairs of one or more countries abroad. For example, “UK’s Record Heat Wave Expected to Continue Next Week.”
Regardless of the type of news article you’re writing, it should always include the facts of the story, a catchy but informative headline, a summary of events in paragraph form, and interview quotes from expert sources or of public sentiment about the event. News stories are typically written from a third-person point of view while avoiding opinion, speculation, or an informal tone.
How is a news article structured?
While many news stories are concise and straightforward, long-form or deeply investigated pieces may comprise thousands of words. On the shorter side, news articles can be about 500 words.
When it comes to how to structure a news article, use an inverted pyramid. Organizing your content this way allows you to thoughtfully structure paragraphs :
- Begin with the most important and timely information
- Follow those facts with supporting details
- Conclude with some less important—but relevant—details, interview quotes, and a summary
The first paragraph of a news article should begin with a topic sentence that concisely describes the main point of the story. Placing this sentence at the beginning of a news article hooks the reader immediately so the lede isn’t buried.
At a traditional newspaper, this practice is described as “writing above the fold,” which alludes to the biggest, most pressing news being visible at the top of a folded newspaper.
How to write a news article
There are a handful of steps to practice when writing a news story. Here’s how to approach it.
1 Gathering information
Source the five Ws about your news topic: who, what, where, when, and why. Lock down a keen understanding of the timeline of events so you can correctly summarize the incident or news to your reader. The key is to position yourself as a credible and reliable source of information by doing your due diligence as a fact gatherer.
2 Interviewing subjects
Consider who you want to interview for the new article. For example, you might choose to interview primary sources , such as a person who is directly involved in the story.
Alternatively, secondary sources might offer your readers insight from people close to or affected by the topic who have unique perspectives. This might be an expert who can offer technical commentary or analysis, or an everyday person who can share an anecdote about how the topic affected them.
When interviewing sources, always disclose that you’re a reporter and the topic that you’re writing on.
Draft an outline for your news article, keeping the inverted-pyramid structure in mind. Consider your potential readership and publication to ensure that your writing meets the audience’s expectations in terms of complexity.
For example, if this news article is for a general news publication, your readership might include a wider audience compared to a news article for a specialized publication or community.
Brainstorm a snappy headline that concisely informs readers of the news topic while seizing their interest. Gather the most important points from your research and pool them into their respective pyramid “buckets.” These buckets should be based on their order of importance.
Get to writing! The paragraphs in a news article should be short, to the point, and written in a formal tone. Make sure that any statements or opinions are attributed to a credible source that you’ve vetted.
Reread your first draft aloud. In addition to looking for obvious typos or grammar mistakes , listen for awkward transitions and jarring tense or perspective shifts. Also, consider whether your first draft successfully conveys the purpose of your news story.
Rework your writing as needed and repeat this step. Don’t forget to proofread your work.
Strong news stories are built on facts. If any statement or information is shaky or unsupported, the entire work is compromised. Before publishing a news article, double-check that all the information you’ve gathered from the beginning is accurate, and validate the information that your interview sources provided, too.
How to write a news article FAQs
What is a news article .
A news article informs readers within a community of current events that are relevant to them. It typically revolves around a topic of interest within a publication’s readership, whether the information is about local, national, or international events.
News articles are structured like an inverted pyramid. The most important or crucial information is always presented to the reader up front, followed by additional story details. A news article concludes with less important supporting information or a summation of the reporting.
The general rules for writing a news article involve accuracy and integrity. Report on the details of a story in a factual, unbiased, and straightforward way. When writing a news article, do not editorialize or sensationalize the information, and keep your content free of your opinion.
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Writing a newspaper report
Learn how to write a newspaper report.
This lesson includes:
Newspapers are designed to share important information with people about what is going on in the world.
Familiarise yourself with newspaper reports by watching this fun video.
The key features of a newspaper report
- Newspaper name
The name of the newspaper is always at the top of the page.
A headline is an eye-catching title for your story, which summarises the information in just a few words. Newspapers often use alliteration to make their headlines sound really interesting.
- Short subtitle
The subtitle is a short title that gives more information about the report.
Pictures usually have captions beneath them to explain what is being shown.
- Conclusion paragraph
The conclusion paragraph can explain what might happen next.
Complete this activity. You need to identify the key features of a newspaper report and move the labels into the correct position.
Writing style in newspaper articles
The first paragraph should contain all of the 5Ws - what, where, when, who and why.
- Clear paragraphs
Each paragraph should give more detail about the story and be presented in a clear way.
- Direct and indirect/reported speech
Can be used to show the what other people have said about the story.
Facts or statistics can be used to support your points and avoid using your own opinion.
- Formal language
Avoid chatty, friendly language in your report as it should be written to inform.
- Third person
Newspaper reports are written in the third person using the names of those involved and pronouns such as ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’.
The main part of the report should be written in the past as the event has already happened.
Watch this video to learn more about the key features of a newspaper report. Make notes if you find them helpful!
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
Check how well you understand newspaper reports by completing this quiz.
Read this news article all about an incredible eight-mile wall of prehistoric paintings . Then answer the following questions:
- What is the first thing at the very top of the page?
- Does the first paragraph give away all the information about the story? Why do you think this is?
- Is the article written in the past tense? Find a verb to prove this.
- Find an example where a quote is used in the article. Does it express a fact or an opinion?
- Does the article answer the 5 Ws: what, when, who, where, why?
- What do the following bold phrases from the article suggest? The paintings are believed to be at least 12,500 years old. It hasn’t been confirmed who made the drawings but some people think they could have been…
You can check your answers using this answer sheet .
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Now, imagine you are a journalist reporting on the same story. Write a well-structured, informative newspaper report about that story.
Remember to plan before you write!
- What is the name of your newspaper?
- What is the headline of your article?
- Plan the 5 Ws to use in your introduction
- Think about your three main paragraphs. What will the main point be in each one?
- What quotations will you include?
- How will you end your article?
In your closing paragraph, can you include a sentence that looks forward to the future?
In this lesson you have learnt how to write a newspaper report.
There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you to know more about newspaper reports:
What are the features of a newspaper?
How to write a recount
What are fiction and non-fiction?
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Part 3: the role of newspapers, perceptions of the importance of local newspapers.
The survey indicated that newspapers play a far more complex role in the civic life of communities than many Americans believe.
On the surface, most people do not feel that their local newspaper is a key source that they rely on for local information. For instance, when asked, “If your local newspaper no longer existed, would that have a major impact, a minor impact, or no impact on your ability to keep up with information and news about your local community?” a large majority of Americans, 69%, believe the death of their local newspaper would have no impact (39%) or only a minor impact (30%) on their ability to get local information.
Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. The same was true of heavier technology users: 74% of home broadband users say losing their paper would have no impact or only a minor impact on their ability to get local information.
Yet when asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites. Of the 16 specific local topics queried, newspapers ranked as the most, or tied as the most, relied upon source for 11 of the 16.
Local newspapers continue to be a key information source
Among all adults, newspapers were cited as the most relied-upon source or tied for most relied upon for crime, taxes, local government activities, schools, local politics, local jobs, community/neighborhood events, arts events, zoning information, local social services, and real estate/housing.
This dependence on newspapers for so many local topics sets it apart from all other sources of local news. The internet, which was cited as the most relied upon source for five of the 16 topics, was a distant second to newspapers in terms of widespread use and value.
The problem for newspapers is that many of these topics are followed by a relatively small percentage of the public. As noted in Part 2 of this report, just 30% of adults get information about zoning, 35% about social services, 42% about local government, and 43% about real estate. Thus, overall, the total number of Americans who rely on newspapers for the local information that matters to them is smaller than is the case for other platforms such as television.
For instance, 48% of those who get information about taxes turn to newspapers, more than double the percentage who turn to the next most popular platforms, the internet (20%) and TV news (19%). But when translated as a percentage of all citizens, just 22% of Americans rely on newspapers for tax information. Thus, while newspapers command this subject area, most people simply do not seek out information about the subject of local taxes.
This, however, also has implications about what could happen if a newspaper in town were to disappear. If television has focused on covering weather, traffic, and breaking news, and that is what people look to this platform for, will television begin to cover taxes and zoning and education if the local newspaper no longer exists? Would new digital sources emerge to cover the hole if a local newspaper cut back its coverage or vanished altogether? And would the approach of these new sources be fully journalistic in nature?
Newspapers matter less to adults under age 40 as a local information source
Generational preferences add yet another layer of complexity. For adults under age 40, newspapers do not hold nearly the same appeal. Consider this stark difference: among all adults, newspapers are the clear top source for seven local topics (and tied with the internet as the top source for four other topics). Yet, among adults under 40 newspapers are the clear top choice for one topic, taxes, are tied with TV news for another topic, crime, and tie with the internet for four other topic areas. (The specifics of these differences are spelled out in Part 5 of this report.)
For all ages, the strength of newspapers comes from aggregating an audience by offering a wide range of information, even if each subject or story has limited audience. That model may be vital from a civic standpoint, but it is traditionally expensive and it is not clear what the incentive is to replicate it if newspapers were to disappear.
- The Baltimore study refers to “How News Happens,” a study published by the Project for Excellence in Journalism on January 11, 2010. The study on news availability refers to “A Day in the Life of the Media,” published by PEJ on March 13, 2006 as part of its State of the News Media report. ↩
- “A Day in the Life of the Media,” Project for Excellence in Journalism, March 15, 2006, http://stateofthemedia.org/2006/a-day-in-the-life-of-the-media-intro/newspaper/ ↩
- Ibid. ↩
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Table of contents, key findings about the online news landscape in america, among u.s. latinos, the internet now rivals television as a source for news, americans’ online news use is closing in on tv news use, 10 facts about the changing digital news landscape, long-form reading shows signs of life in our mobile news world, most popular.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .
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Newspaper Report Writing Examples in PDF
Skillswise football newspaper article example.
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How to Write a Report on a Newspaper Article
Writing reports or reviews on newspaper articles is an important practice, mainly because it allows reviewers to discern the accuracy and credibility of a reporter's information. Reporting on a journalist's findings requires critical thinking, and the ability to consider peripheral ideas that could form an article's content. Once an article has been analyzed using a variety of references, the reviewer should have a solid idea of the article's accuracy.
Select a credible and reliable newspaper article. If your article is derived from an online source, ensure the website is not a blog, does not contain typographical errors, and is not laden with advertisements. Be sure that the article is current. As you read and re-read your article, highlight various significant points or write several notes on a separate sheet of notebook paper.
Create a short introduction to begin your report. Your introduction could include background information about the article, a potential problem with the article's content, and your proposed solution. Similar to an essay's thesis, your article's introduction should give a general blueprint for the rest of the report.
Compose a summary of the article. Columbia University suggests that you include the author's main point, purpose, intent and supporting details in your summary. The summary is where you state facts about the article, not your opinion on those facts.
Use your references and facts from the article to form an opinion and to provide critical analysis of the article. The references will help you support your opinion. Thinking critically about an article's content requires you to ask questions about the author's intentions in writing the article and the article's target audience.
Form a conclusion about the article and your findings. Do not restate what you have already mentioned, but carry the article further to express its relevance to a contemporary social issue or a future dilemma. Your conclusion will neatly wrap up your argument, and give the reader other points to consider.
- Be sure to keep your writing clear and concise. If you complete two or three drafts of your report, then you are able to limit grammatical and linguistic mistakes.
- While you can use a notebook and pen to compose your report, documenting your work on a computer allows easy retrieval, back-up of your work, and tools to ensure accuracy.
Things You'll Need
- Campus: Newspaper Article Review Rubric
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- St. Cloud State University: Strategies for Writing a Conclusion
K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.
Newspaper Sections and Terms
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Many people become interested in reading the newspaper as young adults. But younger students may be required to read the newspaper to search for current events or to research sources.
The newspaper can be daunting for beginners. These terms and tips can help readers understand the parts of a newspaper and help them decide what information might be helpful when conducting research.
The first page of a newspaper includes the title, all the publication information, the index, and the main stories that will capture the most attention. The major story of the day will be placed in the most prominent position on the front page and will contain a large, bold-faced headline. The topic could be of a national scope or it might be a local story.
The folio includes the publication information and is often located under the name of the paper. This information includes the date, page number, and, on the front page, the price of the paper.
A news article is a report on an event that has taken place. Articles may include a byline, body text, photo, and caption.
Typically, newspaper articles that appear closest to the front page or within the first section are those that editors consider to be the most important and relevant to their readers.
Feature articles report about an issue, person, or event with added depth and more background details.
A byline appears at the beginning of an article and gives the writer's name.
An editor decides what news will be included in each paper and determines where it will appear according to relevance or popularity. The editorial staff determines content policy and creates a collective voice or view.
An editorial is an article written by the editorial staff from a specific perspective. The editorial will offer the newspaper's view of an issue. Editorials should not be used as a main source of a research paper, because they are not objective reports.
Editorial cartoons have a long and fascinating history. They offer an opinion and convey a message about an important issue in an amusing, entertaining, or poignant visual depiction.
Letters to the Editor
These are letters sent from readers to a newspaper, usually in response to an article. They often include strong opinions about something the newspaper has published. Letters to the editor should not be used as objective sources for a research paper , but they could prove valuable as quotes to demonstrate a point of view.
This section contains news about other countries. It may address relationships between two or more countries, political news, information about wars, droughts, disasters, or other events that impact the world in some way.
An advertisement is a section that is purchased and designed for selling a product or idea. Some advertisements are obvious, but some can be mistaken for articles. All advertisements should be labeled, although that label might appear in small print.
This section contains business profiles and news reports about the state of commerce. You can often find reports about new inventions, innovation, and advances in technology. Stock reports also appear in the business section. This section could be a good resource for a research assignment. It will include statistics and profiles of people who have made an impact on the economy.
Entertainment or Lifestyle
The section names and traits will differ from paper to paper, but lifestyle sections typically offer interviews of popular people, interesting people, and people who make a difference in their communities. Other information found in the entertainment and lifestyle sections concern health, beauty, religion, hobbies, books, and authors.
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- 10 Places to Research Your Paper
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The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2020 was 24.3 million for weekday and 25.8 million for Sunday, each down 6% from the previous year – though with some caveats, as detailed below and in a new Decoded post. Total estimated circulation of U.S. daily newspapers Chart Data Share Embed
U.S. News & World Report: News, Rankings and Analysis on Politics, Education, Healthcare and More Politics Schumer Slams Trump’s Call for Default By Kaia Hubbard Credit Senate Majority Leader...
A news article is a writing format that provides concise and factual information to a reader. News stories typically report on current affairs that are noteworthy—including legislation, announcements, education, discoveries or research, election results, public health, sports, and the arts.
The key features of a newspaper report Newspaper name The name of the newspaper is always at the top of the page. Headline A headline is an eye-catching title for your story, which...
For instance, 48% of those who get information about taxes turn to newspapers, more than double the percentage who turn to the next most popular platforms, the internet (20%) and TV news (19%). But when translated as a percentage of all citizens, just 22% of Americans rely on newspapers for tax information.
One of the essentials of becoming a journalist is writing a newspaper report. When writing the said report in the newspaper, it is essential that your report must be able to answer these following questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. But aside from these questions, the most important one remains to be: so what?
In France the first daily, Journal de Paris, was started in 1771, and the Journal des Débats (1789), published until World War II, was founded as a daily to report on sessions of the National Assembly. Papers multiplied during the Revolution and decreased sharply after it.
Writing reports or reviews on newspaper articles is an important practice, mainly because it allows reviewers to discern the accuracy and credibility of a reporter's information. Reporting on a journalist's findings requires critical thinking, and the ability to consider peripheral ideas that could form an article's content.
News Article A news article is a report on an event that has taken place. Articles may include a byline, body text, photo, and caption. Typically, newspaper articles that appear closest to the front page or within the first section are those that editors consider to be the most important and relevant to their readers. Feature Articles