News articles are written about events that happened recently, or are still happening. They are usually a combination of hard news (what actually happened), and soft news (how it affects people). Regardless of what type of news you’re writing about, it’s important to know your audience. This will help you tailor the content to suit their needs.
A story’s newsworthiness is determined by the balance of six values: impact, interest, timeliness, novelty, significance and conflict. Impact refers to the extent to which the story affects a large number of people. For example, a story about an earthquake that kills many people is more newsworthy than one that only affects a few. Interest is how much the subject matters to your reader. For example, a story about the death of a celebrity is more interesting to readers than a story about the passing of an obscure politician. Novelty refers to how unusual or significant the event is. A story about a celebrity’s marriage is more novel than one about the death of an old politician. Conflict is the most difficult element to define. For example, an act of violence may be newsworthy, but a murder is not. In general, however, a story about an unusual, significant or violent event is more likely to be newsworthy than one about a mundane or routine matter.
Writing a news article starts with researching the topic extensively. If you’re covering a local event, this should include interviewing people who were directly involved. Obtaining quotes from people who have strong opinions on the subject also makes for good news articles. It’s essential to make sure that the quotes you’re using are factual and credited properly.
Once you have all the information you need, start by writing a catchy headline. This is known as the “lede” in journalism jargon, and it should be placed at the top of the piece so that it’s the first thing your readers see. This is especially important when writing for the Web, as it ensures that your reader gets all of the key points without scrolling down the page.
Next, write an exciting lead. This is the paragraph that introduces your news story and entices the reader to keep reading. The lead should include all of the important facts (who, what, where, when, why and how) so that even if your reader doesn’t read the entire article, they will leave knowing all of the major details. Finally, make sure to include at least one image with your news article. This is the best practice for any Web news content and it helps to grab attention and draw the reader in. Always proofread your article for errors before submitting it for publication. It’s nearly impossible to spot your own mistakes, so having a second set of eyes look over it is a must. This will guarantee that your piece is accurate and compelling.