How to Write a News Article

There is an art (and a solid formula) to news writing. In this post, I will take you through the steps of writing a news article.

First, when assembling an article, remember to use the inverted pyramid style. Consider that readers are busy, so you need to catch their attention—and hold it. Put the most relevant details at the beginning, and substantiate your article with less important information at the end.

Hed & Dek

The Hed, or title, “has to be direct and actionable,” says Erica Duecy, “it can’t be obscure or joke-y.” Words in titles have to be carefully chosen key words that sum up the article.

The Dek, or sub-head, has to substantiate the hed with a little more information, but must be succinct.

Example:

East Stroudsburg University Students Hosts Teddy Bear Drive

1,000 Students Gather at Sci-Tech to Collect Donations to Support Toys for Tots

5-W’s

All journalism articles will include the 5 w’s: who, what, where, when, and why? For instance:

East Stroudsburg University will hold its annual Teddy Bear Drive at Sci-Tech to benefit Toys for Tots Thursday, May 6, 2014 at 5 pm.

Lede/Hook/Angle

Why should your reader care? Here is where you take the opportunity to prove why. Your angle will be the path you take the readers on, and your hook will be what makes your article worth reading.

Every year, students and community members make sure each child has a toy to open up for Christmas. 

Quotes

Quotes are good to add context and further improve upon an article. When writing quotes, it’s important to properly dictate what was said. Do not add in information that cannot be attributed to someone or something- shape the questions to fit your narrative instead. Lastly, always attribute things properly.

“It’s generally a good idea to use ‘says,'” says Jen Laskey. “It’s good because it’s fairly innocuous, so you can use it over and over again.”

“When I was younger, I used to get toys from Toys for Tots. I feel it’s time to give back,” says John Doe.

Kicker

A kicker will be the last impression you leave to your reader. It is a summary, revelation, or powerful remark. This can be in the form of a quote, or a final thought.

While poverty rates are increasing in the United States, at least the community unites to ensure everyone gets to smile for the holidays.

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