How to Write Good News

News is information that is relevant to the lives of people and the way in which they live. It is the reason we watch TV and listen to radio, it is why we buy newspapers and magazines. Often, the news we read is of great importance, but other times it is of little interest. It is the responsibility of a news writer to be accurate and informative and to make sure the facts are correct.

The best source of information for a news article is a primary source. This could be an expert in the field who can offer technical commentary or analysis, or it could be someone who has personal experience with the subject of the news, such as a resident or an employee at a company involved in the story. If the primary source cannot be interviewed, secondary sources should be consulted. Secondary sources should be able to provide a broad overview of the topic and give context and background as necessary.

A good news story is new, interesting, significant and about people. It is also a story that has the potential to change people’s lives. The story should be able to hold the reader’s attention and the reader should be able to form an opinion about the event.

When writing a news story, consider the readership of the publication you are writing for and try to focus on the most important points first. This is called “writing above the fold.” In a newspaper this refers to the area of the paper that can be seen without having to scroll down. In an online story this means that the most important information should be placed at the top of the page so that it is easily accessible.

The most important element of a news story is the lead paragraph. It needs to sum up the dominant point of the story, be clear and engaging, and provide a good reason why it is important. A lead that does not meet these criteria is likely to be ignored.

An effective news article also includes supporting details and a concluding statement that reiterates the leading paragraph or provides potential future developments. It is important to include this in order to give readers a full picture of the story and ensure that they understand all aspects of it. It is helpful to read other news articles to get a sense of how this is done, or to watch a news station or show to see how they wrap up their stories.

Most journalists do not like math, but it is a fundamental part of their job. Reporters must interpret polling data, calculate percentage changes, and divine all sorts of other numbers from government reports and municipal bids. Assignment: Have students find an example of a news story that uses data and bring it to class for analysis. They should examine how the story presents this data, whether it is clear or cluttered, and what questions it leaves unanswered.