Do you need help learning how to write a newspaper article?
Writing a newspaper article is not a task that can be just rushed out without thought. Many journalists will spend years studying and learning their art before they are allowed to provide copy for their local or even national papers and other publications. But with a little thought, capstone project ideas and hard work it is possible to learn the basics of how to write a newspaper article and be able to write interesting and engaging stories yourself.
How to write a newspaper article; where do you start?
A news story is one that people will actually want to know about and read. If it is not newsworthy then you should not be writing about it. The first stage of your learning how to write a newspaper article is to firstly select the story that you want to write about. Will you write about an event that is going to happen? Will you do your own in depth investigation into local corruption? Or maybe you want to write about something that has just occurred. Whatever you decide to write about it needs to be something that the readers of the paper are actually going to want to know about.
Do your research and gather your information
Before you start to write you need to get the information that you will need to do the actual writing. The better you are prepared the better the likely results will be when you actually write your newspaper story. This means you need to:
- Prepare; if you are going to do an interview make sure that you think about what people will want to know and prepare questions in advance. The same goes for events, list what will people really want to know?
- Take notes, no matter if it is an interview or attending an event make sure that you take notes of what is said and what happens
- If possible supplement your note taking with recordings; especially if you are a novice
- Make sure that you get the correct spellings for people’s names
Writing your newspaper article
This is where many would be reporters would jump to when learning how to write a newspaper article. Without the preparation and thought up front however it would be very hard to write a successful article. When you do start to write you must ensure that you do the following:
- Create an attention grabbing headline; make sure however that it is factual and that you are going to be able to deliver what the headline promises (often this is best done when you have written the article)
- Have a hook; the opening two to three lines need to really grab the attention of the reader so that they will want to continue to read
- Deliver what the headline promises in the first couple of paragraphs; provide the Who, What, When, Where and Why and of course How
- The main body of your news article should then provide the detail and any required quotations and so forth
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the entire article and say what will happen next
Make sure that your newspaper article is perfect
Read your newspaper article out loud to yourself to see how it flows and if it makes sense. Record yourself doing this as it is far easier to listen to yourself after. If it does not sound quite right change it until it does. Carefully proofread what you have written and make sure also to thoroughly check any facts that you use. These simple hints and tips will help you to learn how to write a journal or a newspaper article that will grab the reader’s attention as well as having the editor want to publish.
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