How to Write a Newspaper Article
Learning how to write a newspaper article can be a rewarding experience because you are sharing information with a potential audience of thousands or more. If your articles are good enough, you may even be able to make a living as a reporter.
Come up with a good story idea. This can be as simple as covering a local event, or as complex as an in-depth investigation of a political scandal.
Gather a notebook, pen, and a voice recorder if possible. Venture to the location where you will be gathering your facts or conducting your interview.
Begin your research for the story. Write down possible questions. Then attend the event, or schedule and perform your interview.
Come up with a good introduction of one or two sentences that will interest the reader and give them an idea of what the article will be about.
Begin writing the meat of your story. Be sure to cover the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the subject. Most news articles are between 200 and 500 words. However, newspapers typically quantify the amount of writing in terms of inches, so ask your editor how many inches he or she requires, and how many words that equates to approximately.
Edit your article and come up with a suggested headline. Send these to the editor for review.
- Use quotes to enhance the article. Make sure that your quotes, or any descriptive background information, are relevant and factual.
- Most paragraphs in news articles contain a maximum of three sentences.
- Thank anyone you interview and be sure you get the correct spelling of their name and title.
- For beginning reporters, it is good to use your voice recorder while taking manual notes. This will allow you to accurately quote an individual, and give you practice of taking good notes.
- Newspaper articles should be written without bias. You should report the facts objectively. Steer clear of giving personal opinions in your article. This is not a review or critique.
- Do not write in the first person.
- Don't use a lot of flowery descriptive language. Get to the point.