How to Write a News Story

The basics of a news story covers the who, what, when, where, why and how of the subject. Reporters have the inverted pyramid to guide them, which is a style of reporting that places the most important facts in the beginning and works down from there. The introductory paragraph should give a proper summary of the entire story with an interesting lead to hook readers, while any additional paragraphs should expand upon the beginning.

The key to keeping a story cohesive is maintaining a focus or the “big picture” within the article. Constantly keep asking, “What’s the story?” to remain on track. The introduction is important, so beginning with an interesting first paragraph can give a sense of scenery. Try incorporate a “What’s next?” element to keep the reader engaged. Featuring a great quote, and emphasizing the impact on readers is another way to keep people engaged with the article.

Having good quotes in the beginning of the story help to set up the rest of the information. Utilizing the nut graph is vital to the reader element. This model emphasizes such questions like, “Why are you telling me this?”, and “Why should I care?” to get into the reader’s mindset. This emphasizes the purpose for readers to continue reading the article, and allows the reporter to constantly address these questions in the writing. Lastly, never forget to give proper credit where it is due throughout the story.

Source: “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser