News Reporting is a way of providing the basic facts about something that is currently happening or that has just happened. Writing a news report is easy if you can gather all of the relevant information, write in a clear and concise manner, and include quotes from individuals who have knowledge of the event. A good news report should be free from personal bias and provide facts rather than opinions.
To start, decide what you want to report on. The topic should be current and of interest to the public. For example, a news report about an ongoing crime investigation would be of great interest to readers. Another type of news report is a feature story. A feature story is more in-depth and research oriented than straight reporting. For instance, a news feature on a fire that occurred in a residential home would require extensive research and interviews with those involved. A feature story should be factual and unbiased, but still allow for the writer’s own opinion and perspective.
Once you have decided what you want to report, gather all of the relevant information. Make sure to ask the 5 W’s and H questions, which stand for Who, What, Where, When and Why. Then, organize the information into an inverted pyramid structure. This format puts the most important information at the beginning of your article, so that anyone who is interested in your subject will read on. This is an old-fashioned journalistic technique, dating back to when articles were written for print. Typesetters could only fit so much on a page, and the most important information had to be at the front of the story.
In the age of 24-hour news stations and social media, people are bombarded with a lot of information. As a result, they may have trouble keeping up with it all. Long, winding stories that ramble on can cause them to tune out. Hence the importance of the inverted pyramid structure. A well-written news story will keep the reader engaged and focused on the important information.
Writing coaches Roy Peter Clark and Chip Scanlan define effective news writing as “the point at which civic clarity, the information citizens need to function, meets literary grace, which is a reporter’s storytelling skill set.” As citizens encounter an ever-greater flow of data, they have more need – not less – for suppliers who can filter, verify, explain and present it in context.
Once your news report is complete, have it proofread. An extra set of eyes can catch a number of mistakes that you might have overlooked. Also, a trusted editor can help you to clarify confusing sentences and cut out any unnecessary words. Finally, a news editor can also make sure that your article follows the style guidelines of the publication you’re writing for. Many publications follow the Associated Press style guide, but you can check with your editor to see what they prefer. If you can, have your editor read it out loud. This can help you to spot any grammatical or punctuation errors that you might have missed during the editing process.