News is information about events which are new, unusual, interesting, significant or of concern to people. It can be hard to define what is and is not news, however there are some basic rules. It must be brief so that readers will read it, clear enough that they will understand it, picturesquely presented so that they will remember it and above all it must be accurate, otherwise it is not news. Traditionally a newspaper was the medium through which most news was disseminated, however in recent times audiences are selecting and disseminating their own stories, and this has been found to influence journalists’ news selection decisions (Galtung and Ruge 1984).
When deciding on what to write about it is essential to know your audience. Most newspapers and online news sites are geared toward specific demographics, this can be easily identified by looking at the locations of the site’s visitors or by reading the titles of past articles. For example a story on a school function will most likely be read by parents of students, whereas a piece discussing zoning laws would most likely be read by property owners and business men.
If you know your audience then you can begin to research your topic. It is important to research the subject thoroughly in order to create a well written and credible article. While researching your topic it is helpful to jot down notes and ideas, this will help you to stay on track and ensure that your article is well organized.
The final step is to write your news article. To start with you will need to decide what type of article you are writing. You can write an article about a particular event or development, a breaking news story or even a review.
Before starting to write you should outline your article. An outline is a way to organize your ideas and make sure that you include everything you need in your article. When writing an outline you should include a title, the main idea of your article, supporting details and finally a conclusion. It is a good idea to read your article out loud after you have finished writing, this will help with sentence structure and phrasing, and also allow you to check that the information you have included in your article is correct.
Once you have your outline you can begin to fill in the details of your article. It is important to keep in mind that a news article is different from a feature, so you will need to provide more details about the event or development than what is required for a feature. It is also important to remember that a news article should be timely, so don’t write about something that happened a week ago. Your readership will have already moved on, they will be looking for the latest updates and information about what is happening now.
Lastly it is important to remember that only certain types of events are newsworthy, this is because some events have more impact than others. For example a murder is always newsworthy but a car accident or sports match may not be. It is also important to consider the reaction of the public to the event, this is often a factor in whether an event becomes newsworthy.