Monday, September 25, 2017

Starting with the Basics

Writing News Stories

Whether you are writing for newspaper, radio or television, there are some basic guidelines that most journalists follow when reporting news. Click on this link to get a very concise formula for a well-written news article.

Notice the basics:
  • Who, what, when, where, and why
  • Try to catch the reader's attention (the news lead and/or hook)
  • Use quotes (sources)
  • Strive to be objective (remember our code of ethics)
  • Tell the interesting information first
Now let's take some of this basic information and add to it.

Check out this link to see information about the inverted pyramid and writing news. The inverted pyramid is a writing style used by journalist to remind them to tell the most important and interesting information first.

Watch this video to view some tips on how to write a lead or hook (the first paragraph of a news article).


Today's blog assignment is very basic, but it is important because you are deconstructing the style of newspaper writing. You need to understand the style in order to do it yourself.

You will find two news stories online (consider sites like CBC, Vice News CanadaThe Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail). Read each story and in your blog entry describe the basics. Do not use Q and A (question and answer) format, write your findings as a summary.

Include the following for each news article:
  • Who, what, when, where, and why
  • Is the lead effective? Give reasons why you think it is or isn't.
  • Identify one quote and who/what is the source.
  • Is the most important/interesting information told first? What was it?
  • Does the story have a good ending? Explain why/why not.
  • Create a link to each news article you analyze.
You will be graded on the following (5 pts each, value: 20 pts)
  • The entry effectively addresses the points outlined in the assignment. 
  • The entry shows evidence of an understanding of the style and format used in newspaper writing.
  • The entry includes two examples and provides two links.
  • The entry was completed on time with less than three grammatical or sentence structure errors. 
Deadline is next Monday, October 02

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