How to Write a News Story

Updated July 12, 2018

A news story's purpose is to inform readers about events and facts. News writers must be objective and not include their opinion on the subject matter they are covering. News stories are not essays or creative writing pieces. There are a number of journalistic guidelines to follow when writing a news story.

Answer the "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How" questions. Include the details that relate to each of these questions.

Craft short sentences and paragraphs. Limit each paragraph to three sentences or less and use only the most relevant words. Write in the third person.

Accuracy and objectivity are extremely important. Verify your information and write your news story using only the facts presented; this is not an editorial.

Relate the most important facts first. You need to grab and hold the reader's attention. Reveal the most important information right away. The least-important stuff goes toward the end of a news story.

Talk to relevant people who can contribute to your story. Before you conduct an interview, prepare your questions regarding the subject at hand.

Credit your news sources. When including a direct quote, make sure you correctly cite the person who said it.

Gather as much information as you can. When you write a news story incorporate only what is needed to give the reader a full accounting of the newsworthy subject matter.

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