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Steps to Writing an Effective News Story

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What are the steps in writing a news story?

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Solution Summary

What are the eight steps in writing a news story?

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Plan your news story by answering the questions below:

1. This story is about ____________.

2. This story is important because

·It is about something that is happening now.
·It is about something unusual.
·It is about an important person.

3. Who is the story about? What happened? When did this happen? Where did this happen? Why is this important? How did this happen?

4. Write some notes about details in your story.

5. Write the lead or opening sentence (who, what, when, where):

6. Finish your opening paragraph (why, how):

7. Complete the first draft of your story. Exchange with a partner and check each other's stories to be sure all the questions have been answered.

8. Create a headline for your story.

Other News Story Ideas:

A) News stories can be written from fairy tales, nursery rhymes, tall tales, short stories, chapters from novels, and acts of drama. Choose a piece of literature and write a journalistic account of the literature. You may choose to write the news story from the perspective of a reporter during that time period.

B) Pictures provide wonderful ideas for news stories. Clip pictures from the newspaper; remove the cutlines, or captions. Exchange your pictures with others and write the news story you think is shown in the picture.

C) After studying a chapter in a specific subject area, i.e. world history, physics, etc., write a news story about the unit. This is a great way to review basic information.

D) Choose a headline from the Star Tribune or other newspaper and write the accompanying news story.

EXAMPLE: Writing a News Story
Young People's Press

1. What can I write about? What is news?

On the surface, defining news is a simple task. News is an account of what is happening around us. It may involve current events, new initiatives or ongoing projects or issues. But a newspaper does not only print news of the day. It also prints background analysis, opinions, and human interest stories.

Choosing what's news can be harder.

The reporter chooses stories from the flood of information and events happening in the world and in their community. Stories are normally selected because of their importance, emotion, impact, timeliness and interest. Note: all these factors do NOT have to coincide in each and every story!

2. Identify what kind of a story it is

Hard news (+/- 600 words): This is how journalists refer to news of the day. It is a chronicle of current events/incidents and is the most common news style on the front page of your typical newspaper.

It starts with a summary lead. What happened? Where? When? To/by whom? Why? (The journalist's 5 W's). It must be kept brief and simple, because the purpose of the rest of the story will be to elaborate on this lead.

Keep the writing clean and uncluttered. Most ...

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