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News Writing Structure And Newsworthiness Essay

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News writing has its own structure. It’s called the inverted pyramid. This upside down triangle serves as a guide for how you include information in the story. Using the inverted pyramid means starting with the most important information, then putting the next most important info and so on. It can also serve as a guide for writing each paragraph in the story. Start with the most important point, then the next most important and so on.

Another way to think of the inverted pyramid is that you start with the facts and then add the background. So, how do you know what background to add? It’s easy. You can use the 6Ws. Strictly speaking, there aren’t six Ws, there are actually 5Ws and 1H, but the formula seems to work. That mnemonic reminds us to include the who, where, what, why, when and how of a story Add a picture! Pictures help people visualize what has happened. Quote people-awesome quotes

facts, observations, quotes. Do not start writing until you have a plan. Read through all your notes, marking the most important pieces of information and the quotes you want to use.. You need to decide what is more important, what is less important, to establish a hierarchy of pieces of information. And this is where you must think about your audience. Not necessarily what interests you most, but what will interest them. It may not be the same thing, and this is where knowing, having a feeling for, understanding your audience is so important. reader of the Sun. But do not, as a writer, show off your extensive vocabulary. It is never better, wherever you are writing, to prefer the less familiar word - "wordy" is always better than "prolix". Nobody is impressed by the use of a word they do not understand or would not use in everyday speech. The danger of talking down to the audience - assuming vocabulary as well as knowledge - is that it insults readers, makes them feel inadequate. And that turns them off and, worse, turns them away. They do not read on, and you have not communicated with them. The best writing for popular journalism is some of the best writing in journalism, and is hard to do. It is readily understandable, instantly readable and, if it is done well, makes you want to read on. Space is always the most precious commodity in a newspaper. Long words and sentences take up more space. Self-indulgent writing pleases nobody except perhaps the writer. So the overriding message in journalistic writing is: Keep It Simple. Every word must be understood by the ordinary reader, every sentence must be clear at one glance, and every story must say something about people. There must never be a doubt about its relevance to our daily life. There must be no abstractions." The intro

This is the start of the story, the opening paragraph. The traditional news introductory paragraph, still the dominant form, has two related purposes: to engage the reader instantly and to summarise what the story is all about. The structure is known as the "inverted pyramid" News stories always have to be cut because reporters write them too long, and the (imperfect) theory was that a well structured story could always be cut from the bottom so that in extremis (do not use - see later) if the intro was the only paragraph left it still made sense. The good intro depends on your judgment and decisiveness. It declares why the story is being published, what is the newest, most interesting, most important, most significant, most attention-grabbing aspect of the story. It is not a summary of everything yet to come. The best intro will contain a maximum of two or three facts, maybe only one. The worst intro will be uncertain of what the story is all about and will contain several ideas. The best intro will demand that you read on. The worst will make it likely that you will move on. Rest of the story

Once you've got the intro right, the second paragraph will be the most important you write. And so on. Holding the reader's interest does not stop until he or she has read to the end. You have already planned your structure, the hierarchy of information. After the intro you are amplifying the story, adding new, if subordinate, information, providing detail, explanation and quotes. And doing all this so that the story reads smoothly and seamlessly. News stories are about providing information, and there is nothing more frustrating for the reader that finishing a story with unanswered questions still hanging. Journalism students are taught about the five Ws: who, what, when, where and why. They are a useful tool to check you have covered all the bases, though not all will always apply. It is always difficult to detach yourself from your own prose when you read it through, but try. Try to put yourself in the place of the reader coming cold to the story, interested in it and asking the questions that will make it clear. Have you dealt with them? The subeditor, or text editor, will soon tell you if you haven't. There is always a problem over how much knowledge to assume, particularly with a running story of which today's is another episode. You cannot always start from the beginning for the benefit of reader recently arrived from Mars, but you can include sufficient to ensure it is not meaningless. It is a matter of judgement. Active not passive

Always prefer the active tense in news writing, and particularly in intros. The active tense is faster and more immediate; it also uses fewer words. "Arsenal were beaten by Manchester United last night ... " is slower than "Manchester United beat Arsenal ... ",...

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