News articles are publications that inform the public about a recent event or topic. They are completely factual, and purely educational. News articles are important to keep people updated with recent events and problems. It can be beneficial to write news articles for your own organization too, in hopes of educating more people on a particular topic.
Choose a recent, newsworthy event or topic
A newsworthy topic is one that would interest readers, while remaining factual. For example, covering a business (if it isn’t new or offering any particular changes) isn’t particularly newsworthy, especially if it’s always been there. But covering a new business in the area is absolutely newsworthy, and will bring the company to the attention of your readers.
It is also important to find a recent topic. Covering a topic that happened a week ago wouldn’t be considered a newsworthy topic, as it’s likely that the community had already heard about it and moved on to the next story. Always focus on the “here and now”, unless when writing a feature story.
Locality is also important. Think of your target audience. Is your organization local, or broader? Be sure to reflect that when choosing a story to report.
Establish the “Four W’s”
The Four W’s consist of “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when.”. It is important to find this information, because it is likely what readers will be looking for when reading your article. You want the reader to gain useful information from reading your article. The “why” and “how” can wait until the following paragraphs. Remember, a journalism piece should look like a pyramid. The most important information goes at the top. The rest is spread throughout the remaining column space.
Construct Your Piece
Now that you have the materials that you need to continue, start putting your piece together. Start with the necessary information, and let the rest trickle down. You will start to get a feeling for this process as you continue to write journalistically.
Make sure to double check all of your facts to ensure they are correct. It is also suggested that writers read their articles out loud before submitting to their professor or editor. It helps with sentence structure, phrasing, and the overall flow of your story.
Here is a simple news article template.