How to write a news article

So, I promised to give advice on how to write good and well, here goes nothing. I love writing and generally like to sit at my keyboard and type without think like I am doing write now. Sorry for the pun. Well, in this "little" blog post, I am officially giving you tips on how to write (my advice, my opinions, my ideas) but remember, you are okay to disagree because these are my preferences and my way of writing and writing techniques can vary.

Eye-catching title:


The words "free" and "scam" are eye-catchers because they have a big impact on people's lives. But the thing is, you cannot just add the word that does not even relate to your article. Remember, content is key but an eye-catching title will reel in readers to view the content. I personally like to say what comes to my mind but you can come up with a cool and easy to read title that does not use the word pterodactyl or something similar. An eye-catching title or headline requires a cool font, something that stands out from the rest of the posts you have. I like to use WordPress' default font because it is easy to read and catches my readers' attention and do not use anything below size 18 for titles or else they are too hard to read. In order to reel in readers, try to make the title general and not too specific because you will need to get a tiny bit more specific in the hook. For example, "Blackberry leaving the smartphone market?". This is  an example of a good title. Not too specific and gives a sense of uncertainty so that readers can think and since Blackberry is a really popular phone company, people will gain an interest on why they are leaving.

Hook:

 On any news outlet, a hook is what gets the ball rolling and readers to actually read the article. What I've noticed is that a hook technically is a short preview or a short summary that talks a little bit about the key events of the article so that it hooks the reader into reading the rest of the article. A hook cannot be too long and has to be a maximum of 3 sentences if I were to write. A hook is just to captivate the reader, not to give them the skimmed down story so that they can leave and spend less time caring about what it talks about. I normally use a hook as a way to quickly ask a question or to get people's minds jogging into thinking of the topic. If I were to continue and write a hook for Blackberry's smartphone thingy, it would probably be something talking about how the CEO or somebody important stated a goal they have to meet or question them about the topic such as Blackberry's company plan.

Content:

 Content is king and finally I can talk all about it. There are severa types of news articles, an interview, breaking news, follow-ups and the original news article. All of these must be drafted differently though but all must have a hook, or lead in order to grab the reader's attention or else you might not get any pageviews. 


First thing on the list is interviews. These tend to be a little more time consuming to read but cover more content and are more clear since you don't need to paraphrase or insert quotes with really awkward context that might not be as clear. First off, start off with a great hook that talks about what topic you are writing about and who you are interviewing. For interviews, I prefer to do them over skype or email so that I can just copy and paste the full message into a post without missing any important words. Once I was doing a really, really short interview with a Toronto-based business known as Decentral. I just used email because the interview was too short for it to actually benefit anyone. 

For my really short interviews, I usually send around 5-10 questions only for people to answer and they can take as much time as they want. Interviews just need to be well organized and should stay on topic. Do not start off talking about food and suddenly change the subject to how many laps you can run around the track and then back to the food. If you are engaging in a call, try not to add any unnecessary small talk into it because honestly, I do not wish to read an interview about how many laps you can run.

Breaking news is more intriguing because you have a small amount of time to beat the competition on getting the news out first. Since breaking news should probably be labelled "breaking news" in big letters and use really eye-catching words such as "scam" or "shutdown" or "released" which might affect a user. Oh, and try to add a company or add a small part of the breaking news in the headline. Breaking news does not need the usual 300 word minimum that I set for myself but can use a 100 word minimum so that a reader can get a nice amount of information and then, you can do a follow-up article to expand on the breaking news. 

Normally, for breaking news, I freak out and accidentally type the headline in all caps, which you can do to catch readers' attentions. Anything can be added, random quotes on the breaking news or images that can help convey the news to your readers. Also, add links and numbers. People like to see numbers and it also grabs their attention. Try to add some numbers or some facts that relate to the breaking news. For example: "According to Adventure Bitcoin, 590 doge has been added to Potato-Bank". 

Another type of article is the follow-up article. The subjects of these are based off of previous articles that require more recent information or there has been something big that changed and can influence the subject. Normally, you should have a more simple lead and not worry about catching readers but remember to add a link to your original post so that readers know what is going on. Follow-ups are straight forward and do not require as much time as regular news articles. Just add a good amount of follow-up information such as quotes from a company blog post or parts of a press release. If something has been added, maybe you can even include the change-logs and several images that compare the old version of the original subject and the new version, such as a new change in a website's design. Follow-up articles tend to be a good thing for other posts because you can link them to any posts that relate to the original subject of the follow-up.

Finally, the typical news article that talks about actual news. As usual, a lead, make it general and go from general to more specific and then end with a discussion question or something that does not leave the readers blank minded.  Remember that you must answer the 5 Ws, that is the foundation of the article and then slowly add on to create something cool. I normally start off by writing or typing the who, what, where, when, why and how on a white board or word document and then build on top of it. If I need more information, I do my research and grab quotes or paraphrase text on websites and interviews. Just do not forget to source EVERYTHING you get from your resources or else no one will know if they should trust it. If I need additional information, I would ask for a quick interview or just send the questions I need answered directly, this is time consuming but works... most of the time.

 Another thing to include is pictures. The saying "A picture is a thousand words" is true, a picture will make your article look good (unlike the one you are reading right now) and should be relevant to your topic. You can also use a picture to get ideas on what to write. Normally, you do not need to overload your article with images because a) It slows down the loading speed so much and b) is that a picture of bacon!? Try to keep it direct and on topic. 

Length is something that everyone wonders about. Honestly, as long as it is not too short, there is no maximum for length but an article that is half of a short story might be a little too much. Remember, you are not writing an essay so APA and MLA do not need to be used (normally) unless you really want to. I normally aim for around 300 words or more because I want to add good content but you should be careful about time. The average reader will spend maybe a good minute or so to scan over your article and if they find it too short, they will not gain an interest because they learned everything but if you have a little longer of an article, naturally, they will take the time to read carefully. I once wrote something that was around 1000 words but still, people read it because it stayed on topic and was actually interesting. It is the same thing as an essay, you should not try to cram every single thing that makes almost no sense into it but should go simple and on topic. I read an essay a few months ago, it was too short and did not really stay on topic. That was weird so I strive for the utmost quantity, not quality, quantity when I draft an article because I love writing and I know my quality of writing is decent.

Well, there are some basics on how to write. Remember, lead, subject and quotes. Those are my main things that I find are important in a good article. Also, if you really want, you can even add your personal opinion or thoughts to an article to get the reader thinking. Alright, I think this is the end of this post so, if you like these, I might post some more, otherwise, I might stop.




How to write a news article How to write a news article Reviewed by Angus Leung on 10:40:00 Rating: 5

No comments:

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

TIK Technology Is Key. Powered by Blogger.