News is information about current events that are either happening right now or have just happened. It can be transmitted through many different means, including word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting and electronic communication.
The main purpose of a news report is to provide timely accounts of important developments in society. It can be about a specific event, a particular group of people, or a larger trend. Its content is usually based on facts and opinions, but the opinion should not dominate. Traditionally, news reports were written in the first person, but it is increasingly common to write them in third person.
Writing a news story starts with choosing a topic that is likely to be of interest to the reader. It is also necessary to consider how the story can be presented in a way that will engage and encourage the reader to keep reading. Whether the article is written for print or on the web it is essential to get the most important information in the first few paragraphs. This is known as “putting the nut graph up front”. The nut graph answers the questions – who, what, when, where, why and how.
Once the subject has been chosen it is important to research the topic thoroughly, in order to write a well balanced and accurate account of what has happened. A good way of doing this is to interview the relevant people. This can be done by phone or in person and should include both positive and negative aspects of the event. It is also necessary to look at other sources of information, for example websites such as snopes and fact checker, which can provide independent confirmation of facts.
As with any type of report it is essential that the writer does not put their own bias into the piece. It is not only unethical, but it can also make the report dull and uninteresting to the reader. It is also not helpful to use words such as “brilliant”, “amazing” and “fantastic” in a news report, as they are too subjective. Instead, a more objective and informative language should be used, such as:
The most interesting information in a news article should be placed at the top of the page. This is because in newspapers the stories that are deemed to be the most important are placed above the fold. The term fold refers to the crease on the newspaper where it gets folded in half. This ensures that the most important information is seen by as many readers as possible. This approach should be adopted when writing for the web, as most people do not read all of the articles they start with. It is also a good idea to have a contact name and telephone number for the source of the information, as this can be used by the reader to contact the person in question for further details. This can be especially useful when writing about controversial or emotive subjects.