Newspaper Report Writing - Overview of 'How-to'
Your newspaper report should be in the following format:
The purpose of the headline is to capture the reader’s attention. It is not a summary of the report, but a brief, catchy phrase.
This is your first and most important sentence. It should tell the reader what the whole article is about. You should include as many of the 5 W's and H as you can (who, what, when, where, why, and how). It should be around 30 words.
The facts of the report go in the paragraphs that follow your lead. The following are some tips and suggestions to help you write your news reports.
a. Stay objective. No opinion or commentary should be included, unless it is quoted or attributed to someone.
b. Put the most important information first. Don't work up to your good info, use it right away. The reason why the story has made the news comes first and then the events can be told in the order they happened. For instance, the sinking of the Titanic would start with the sinking, the deaths, and the number of survivors. Then the story would be retold in the order it happened. The least important/interesting facts should be towards the end. In the Titanic case, it could be the story of the band playing as the ship sank or the cost of the ship - details that are still newsworthy but less important than what appeared earlier in the article.
c. When quoting or using information from an individual, make sure to give proper credit (e.g. Jane Smith said, "....").
d. Collect more information than you need.
e. Keep to the third person. Never use “I”, “we”, or “you” unless they are in a quotation.
f. News writing uses short sentences and paragraphs. Each paragraph should be no longer than three sentences.
g. There is no conclusion in a news report; your last paragraph will be the least important facts.