Everything you need to know about what a news story is, why it matters, and how to write one.
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What is news?
News is information about current events. Journalists provide news through many different media, based on word-of-mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, and also on their own testimony.
What are the characteristics of news?
News is anything that is intended to report on current events or to serve as a source of information on current events. It is usually presented in the form of a news story, which is a narrative that contains all of the essential elements of a news event. These elements include who, what, when, where, why, and how. In addition to presenting these facts, news stories often contain quotes from people who were involved in the event or who have something to say about it.
Types of news stories
There are different types of news stories, each with their own purpose. The most common types are breaking news stories, which report on current events as they happen; feature stories, which focus on human interest stories or profiles; and investigative stories, which seek to uncover corruption or malfeasance.
Hard news stories
Hard news stories are those that deal with facts or events and are typically written in a straightforward, objective style. They are often of national or international importance, and almost always have a time element to them. Examples of hard news stories include:
-A major earthquake hits a country
-A new law is passed by parliament
-A celebrity is arrested
Hard news stories are usually short, and often have a catchy headline that summarises the story. They also tend to be less descriptive than other types of news stories, as the focus is on conveying the facts rather than creating atmosphere.
Soft news stories
While hard news stories deal with serious topics that are usually time-sensitive, soft news stories are typically about lighter topics that are of interest to the public. These stories are often human-interest pieces or feature stories. Because they are not as time-sensitive, they can be published or aired at any time.
How to write a news story
A news story is a narrative that tells the reader about something that has happened. It has a beginning, middle, and end. A news story should be objective and impartial. It should also be newsworthy.
The inverted pyramid
The most common structure for a news story is called the inverted pyramid. This structure starts with the most important information at the top of the story and works its way down to the least important information at the bottom. The idea is that readers will stop reading at some point, so it’s best to put the most important information up front.
The inverted pyramid is especially important online, where readers can click away from a story at any time. But it’s also a good structure for print stories, because it allows editors to cut from the bottom if they need to save space.
Here’s an example of an inverted pyramid:
Three people were killed and two were injured in a car crash on Highway 101 last night.
The accident happened around 10 p.m. when a car carrying five people lost control and veered into oncoming traffic. The car was hit by two other vehicles, and three of the occupants were killed instantly.
Two people were taken to County Hospital with minor injuries.
The highway was closed for several hours while police investigated the accident.
The cause of the accident is not yet known, but authorities say speed may have been a factor.
The who, what, where, when, why and how
A news story is a piece of text, usually found in the news section of a newspaper or website, which covers events happening in the present. The main purpose of a news story is to inform readers about something that has happened recently or is happening now.
A news story should answer the following six questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. These are known as the reporters’ questions and every detail in a news story should relate to one or more of them.
Who – This can be one person, a group of people or an organization. In some cases, it might be a general question such as “who voted for Brexit?”.
What – This is what has happened. It might be an event such as a fire or theft, or it could be something that someone has said or done.
Where – This is where the event took place. It could be a specific location such as a building or street, or it could be a more general area such as a country or continent.
When – This is when the event took place. It might be given as an exact date and time, or it could be more general such as “yesterday” or “last week”.
Why – This is why the event happened. In some cases this might not be known, but if it is then it should be included in the story. For example, if there has been a fire then the reasons for this might not be known straight away but if an investigation later discovers that it was caused by an electrical fault then this should be reported.
How – This explains how the event happened. For example, if there has been a car accident then details such as how fast the cars were going and whether anyone was injured should be included.