Basic News Writing

By: Bill Parks, Adjunct Instructor - Journalism Department - Ohlone College

The ABCs of News Writing

The ABCs of news writing are Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. The first and most important is accu...

The Gatekeeper

THE GATEKEEPER Who decides what stories will be printed in the Monitor? Who picks the stories fo...

The Five W's

Every news story must cover the "Five W's:" Who, What, When, Where, Why and sometimes How and So ...

News Values

What is news? The cliche is, when dog bites man, it's not news. When man bites dog, that's news....

Objectivity and Fairness

  The reporter's job is to find out the truth and tell it, regardless of who might be made uncom...

The Lead / The Lede

The lead (or lede) is usually the toughest part of writing a story. The lead is the first word, s...

The Nut Graph

Every story needs a "nut graph" that answers the question: Why am I writing this, and why do I th...

Quotes

  Quotes bring a story to life. Let your sources tell the story. The reporter's voice in the sto...

Transitions

Each paragraph in your story should flow naturally from the one before it. If you have gathered...

Endings

Although the news writing style tries to put the most important information in the beginning, in ...

Other Stuff

Avoid one-source stories. Talk to as many people as possible in the time you have for reporting....

How To Write A News Lead

  Condense story into one or two words. Put those words as close to the beginning of the first ...

What Never To Do In A News Lead

  Don't make the lead too complicated. Don't load it down with too many names, figures or detai...

Elements Of Good Writing

  Precision. Use the right word. Say exactly what you mean. Be specific. Avoid sexism in your wr...

A Ten Point Checklist

  Accuracy Brevity Clarity Be specific Get to the point Put things in order Get quotes ri...

Story Organization

What do I want to say? Where do I put it? The lead. Material that explains and amplifies the l...

Avoid Logical Fallacies

Hasty generalization — a conclusion based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence.Deaths fro...

Active Voice, Passive Voice

  Voice is that inflection of a verb that shows whether its subject is the doer of the action in...

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