How to Write a Basic News Article

by Teronica Gaiter

Telling someone the news is one thing, but actually writing it and accurately reporting is is the key to success in journalistic writing. By learning the basics of writing a simple news article, you will be on a great pathway to a promising journalism career.

Interview at least have three key, trustworthy sources of information.

Determine the five W's that are important in any news story: who, what, when, where and why.

Write the lead. The lead is the first one or two sentences that tells the reader what the news article is about. It is used to grab the reader's attention and keep him reading. In any news article, the most important parts of the story, such as a death, gain or loss of money or community prominence, should be written or made known to the reader in the first sentence.

Write the nut graf. A nut graf is paragraph that explains the newsworthiness of the story; it tells why the story is important. The nut graf is usually in the fourth or fifth paragraph of a news article. Remember, in news writing, paragraphs are usually short (about one to four sentences long).

Use the inverted pyramid to write the news article. An inverted pyramid is a method used in journalistic writing where the broad and important information comes first in the story, and the more narrow facts follow. For example: If you are writing a story about a house fire where someone died in and their pet was injured, you would mention the death first, and then mention the injured pet later in the story.

Include direct quotes from your sources. Always attribute the quote as well. Other techniques are to use paraphrasing and attribute the thoughts to your source.

Tip

  • Gather all your notes and thoughts together and brainstorm before writing your article. Never start your article with a quote.

About the Author

Currently a full-time college student, Teronica Gaiter is an aspiring journalist, author and entrepreneur. Her passion for writing is manifested through a variety of mediums, including: newspaper and magazine articles, features, hard-news, poetry, fiction, biographies, short stories and essays. She also enjoys taking photographs, some of which can be viewed and purchased.