The Basics of Writing News


News is the information that is reported in a newspaper, magazine or television show. People often watch or read news to stay informed about current events and important issues. While the primary job of news is to inform, it can also entertain and educate readers, listeners or viewers. The news industry is constantly evolving as new outlets open up and older ones disappear. The advent of the internet has allowed a variety of websites and blogs to be created, as well as a number of online news aggregators that collect stories from a number of sources.

There are many different types of news, including hard and soft news, as well as local and international news. Hard news includes breaking stories about crime, natural disasters, war and politics. Soft news, also known as feature news, covers lifestyles, entertainment and sports. The type of news an individual chooses to follow depends on his or her interests.

The first step in writing a news story is to decide what the article will be about. This will help the writer narrow down his or her audience and target demographic. It is also helpful to write the headline of the story before completing any other aspects of the article. The headline should be catchy and include the main point of the story. This will help readers decide whether or not to continue reading the news.

Once the reporter has decided on a topic, he or she must research the facts for the story. This may involve contacting primary sources, which are individuals involved in the event or issue. For example, a reporter might interview a firefighter who saved a cat from a burning building or speak with the owner of the cat to find out more about its history and medical records. Secondary sources are pieces of information that have already been reported, such as a previous news article about the fire or the cat’s medical history.

After gathering the necessary information, the reporter must decide what to write about and what level of detail is appropriate. This can be difficult because the journalist is usually pressed for time. It is best to keep the story short, focusing on the most important information and avoiding lengthy tangents. A lengthy story can bore the reader and cause him or her to stop listening or reading.

In addition to deciding what to report, the journalist must decide how the news should be presented. This includes choosing a headline, writing the lead paragraph, using proper punctuation and composing a byline. The byline is the name of the reporter and should be written in Associated Press style unless the publication specifies something else.

Generally, the news should be reported in an objective way, with only minor bias. However, it can be impossible to completely remove bias from the news because of the nature of the business and the fact that all humans have some form of prejudice. To minimize the effects of bias, reporters should try to stay neutral and report all sides of an issue.

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