How to Write a News Article

News is important information that affects our lives, whether it is broadcast on TV, published in newspapers, posted online or yelled across a classroom. It can be about politics, war, business, crime or weather. It is often considered to be the oxygen of democracy – we all need to know what’s happening in our country and around the world in order to make informed decisions and hold government and business accountable. News can also be a way to entertain, but this should not be the main purpose of the news media; it should inform and educate.

The first step in writing a news article is to find the information you need. This is usually done through research, which includes reading news articles, interviewing sources and looking at official documents. It is important to take detailed notes and record the sources of your information. It is also a good idea to read other articles on similar topics, to see how the writer has structured their piece and what information they have included.

Once you have all your research ready, it’s time to start putting your article together. You will need to write a headline, which should be short and snappy, and cite any sources of quotes used. The headline will determine whether your article is picked up by a newspaper or magazine and read, so it’s important to spend time crafting it. It may also be useful to think about the audience you are writing for – is your story going to appeal to a general or specialized interest group? This can help you decide what information to include or exclude from your article.

You will then need to create a “nut graph” – the opening paragraph that sums up the main points of your story. It is often a dramatic anecdote, a surprising fact or a brief explanation of why the story is significant. It will answer the questions who, what, where, when and why.

The last step is to include any other relevant information, such as background, context and a timeline of events. It is important to use accurate facts and avoid using opinion, speculation or bias in your article. The journalist should also be careful about using first names or initials when referring to people, as this can jar the reader and appear unprofessional. It is also a good idea to avoid using too many adjectives in your article, as this can be overpowering and obnoxious to the reader.

Finally, remember that the job of the news media is to inform and educate. It is not to entertain, but this can be achieved through other areas of the news media – music and drama on radio; cartoons and crosswords in newspapers. If the news is not entertaining, it is probably not newsworthy.