Writing a News Report
by CamilleBoutin on March 24, 2017 - 2:49pm
Writing a News Report
A news report is a journalistic text which contains facts only. It informs the reader of what is happening in his town. It is very important because it is a neutral source of information and it contains verified facts only. The following text is a process description of how to write a news report. The first part is about the main components of the text, then will be a step by step explanation and some important advices.
A good news report includes at least; a headline, a byline, a lead and a minimum of three body paragraphs. The headline is a title which is attractive. It is the first element the reader will see when he will look at the article. Under the headline is the byline. It is the journalist’s signature; his name, his localization and his title. The next part is the most significant part of the text. The lead is the text introduction that is catchy and answers the 5 w’s. At this part of the news report, the reader will choose to continue or stop his reading, depending on his interest. The 5 w’s are the five questions (who, what, where, when and why) the journalist must answer in the lead. It summarizes the most significant information. Finally, body paragraphs are written with all other interesting information linked to the subject. To define the structure of his text, the journalist uses the inverted pyramid technique. It helps him to organize his paragraphs from the most to the least important. The following image is an example of a good inverted pyramid.
Image 1: The Inverted Pyramid
Now that the main components of the text have been explained, the steps will be described.
Part One: Before the Writing
When the news editor gives a subject to the journalist, he has to collect a certain amount of information. He can ask for interviews, he can use internet or he can go on the ground if it is possible.
- Selecting and Organizing
With the inverted pyramid technique, the journalist will choose the most important details and organize them in order of importance.
Part Two: Writing and Revising
- Writing a Lead
The lead as to be as catchy as possible. It is a two sentence summary of the news. It is clear, simple and it answers the 5 w’s.
- Writing the Body
The body contains only important information. It is organized in a logical way (most to least significant). The journalist prefers short sentences and adds some quotes. It gives him credibility. He writes facts only. He uses simple present or past tense.
The journalist corrects his grammar, his structure and his punctuation. He reads his news report to make sure it is interesting from the beginning to the end, clear and easy to read.
- Writing a Headline and a Byline
The journalist writes the headline when his news report is done. It is easier for him to create the perfect headline because he knows exactly what is in his text.
Finally, here are three piece of advice the journalist must always remember. First, the third person is his best friend. He never writes from the first person because it would reveal his opinion. Since the news report is about facts only, it would not be correct. Second, in his text, the journalist always refers to verified sources of information. He has to be sure his information is true. The last advice is the following: Keep it simple. The journalist has to write short and catchy sentences. He must remember to include only one idea per sentence.
In conclusion, a news report is an excellent way to find a lot of factual information. To write this type of text, the journalist has to start with a research process, then he can write the lead, the body and the headline. With a good news report, the reader is able to form an opinion, which is why it is so important. In order to deliver the best news report, the journalist must remember to stay neutral, to be brief and interesting.