The Basics of News Writing
How do you write a news story? News writing follows a basic formula; there are key elements every news story follows. While styles can diverge more dramatically depending on the kind of story -- a feature story may look and sound very different than a hard news one -- all news stories are cut from the same mold. The first element of news writing is, of course, to deliver the news.
Most people have heard of the 5 W’s, even if they’ve never taken a journalism class. The W’s in question, as you probably know, refer to the Who, What, When, Where and Why that every story should address. Depending on what the story is, how and when you answer those W’s may change. If, for example, you’re reporting on a drive-by shooting in a city, you’ll likely start with where the crime happenedand who was involved.
Figuring out what details to give a reader, and when, is key in constructing a story. The answer, of course, depends on the facts. If you’re working on the above story, and the murder happens to be one of a string of similar crimes, that may be the point you open the story with. If, however, the above story revolved around someone of note being shot, that might be what you start your piece with.