How to Write a Newspaper Article – Tips

Writing is a vast domain that encapsulates various genres. Each one has different characteristics in terms of what information it aims to provide. Newspaper article, in this regard, has great significance, as it is a useful contrivance to inform masses about the current events.

Newspaper articles are an integral part of journalist writing. There is no denying that it does not only inform people but also help people shape opinions regarding various socio-political scenarios. You can approach journalistic writing in many ways, but the inverted pyramid structure is the most appropriate one.

The approach is about supplying the fundamental information first and then providing additional information at the end. This format of newspaper article depends on what a journalist deem to be most relevant. Journalist or writer structures the facts using inverted pyramid format to ensure readers get the important updates without reading the complete article. Following the inverted pyramid, the newspaper article incorporates descriptive content after the important factual information.

Besides that, objectivity is one of the important features of a newspaper article that require a journalist to present the things as they are. From incorporating factual account to covering a social event, every newspaper article must be based on the first-hand objective information.

To learn how to write a newspaper article, it is essential to follow the correct format. Plus, good research and the right organizational structure are the key constituents of writing an impactful newspaper article. Besides that, elements like interesting lead, catchy headlines, bylines and good additional information are the basic parts of a successful newspaper article.

Tips to Write A Good Newspaper Article

If you are an apprentice and looking for guidance to write a well-researched newspaper article, we have you covered. The guide has all the hands-on information you need to know about how to write a newspaper article.

Conduct Research

Writing an impactful and informative newspaper article requires a thorough research. It is your first step and a convenient way to accumulate first-hand reliable information. You need to,

 Contact Your Sources

To avoid hassles and procrastination, it is necessary that you contact the relevant sources in advance. Make appointments or fix meetings at least a week before. It will help you arrange interviews. For acquiring reliable information, choose at least 2 primary sources. Also, choose a source that is opposite to your subject and topic to perceive the issue from all angles. It will make your article well-rounded. Before choosing your sources to consider that,

  • Sources must be professionals and experts in a field you have opted to write.
  • Always choose certified professional or academic to use their extensive experience to validate the information in your article.
  • You can use witnesses who have first –hand information on the topic, event or incident you are covering.

Conduct a Structured Interview

In-person interviews are always beneficial for writing a newspaper article. Arrange it in a decent and quiet meeting place such as office or coffee shop. Prepare structured questions and ask for an interviewee’s consensus about recording it.

  • You can conduct two or three interviews if your topic is detailed and required a follow-up discussion.
  • Make all the necessary arrangements to transcribe the interview to ensure you are quoting your source correctly.

Work Out Secondary Sources

You need to collect information from other important sources like public libraries or various reliable online sources. Go through all the related articles, journals, and academic reports to search for accurate and factual information on your article’s subject.

  • Use the local public library, or government official website.
  • Cite all the referenced sources at the end of the article to increase the credibility of the information you provided.

Counter Check All the Statistics Prior to Adding Them in the Article

If your article includes statistical information or numerical data, checking them again may save you from any undesirable situation or claims in future. The key is to trace all the statistical data to its credible sources and counter check whether it is updated and correct.

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Structure Your Article

Once you have gathered the information and done with your research, it is the time to structure your article.

Create an Informative and Catchy Headline

The headline can make or break your reader’s interest. If it is not interesting, engaging and creative, it is less likely to draw the attention of the reader. Not only should it be creative enough to grab the reader’s attention but also precise and concise to reflect what your article is all about.

  • A good headline informs the reader about “what, when and where” in a glance.
  • Keep it clear and brief, not more than five words
  • You can also make the headline in the end, after you have finished writing. It will give you a better idea of what to focus on that can appropriately sum-up your article.

Create a Lead or Opening Paragraph

Lead, undeniably, is an essential part of your newspaper article. Learning ‘ how to make a lead ‘  will not only make your article engaging but also help you inform your readers in the better way. You can take the assistance of an expert or pro journalist to not only learn’ what is lead’ but also specific techniques to use them in your news article.

Lead is an opening paragraph in the article. Newspaper articles often seem banal with a multitude of sources and details. Most readers like to just skim through the first paragraph or first few sentences unless they find it interesting enough to read further.

A good Lead example tells readers important information in a concise, clear and interesting manner. Not only this, it further establishes a direction, tone, and voice of an article.

The following tips may help you create an impactful lead.

  1. Answer Five W’s: Before you begin writing a lead, decide the important aspects associated with the story that answers who, when, what, why and where. Emphasize these aspects in the lead of your article. Do not go into the details to explain them.
  2. Talk about Conflict: Highlight the point of conflict  to develop the reader’s interest
  3. Specificity: The briefer the better. Summarize the information in lead  and keep it specific to  make it informative
  4. Conciseness: Learning how to present information in a brief yet effective manner is very important to deliver what your reader is expecting to know. Be concise and relevant about the information you are giving in the lead.
  5. Pertinent Vocabulary: Try using specific jargon and active verbs in lead to make it interesting, impactful and lively. Avoid passive construction as it may leave readers bewildered with incomplete reporting.
  6. Update Your Readers: Readers already know the breaking news due to modern media culture and technology. So if you are working for print media, try to update the information instead just regurgitating an old news.
  7. Honesty: This tip refers to your promise that you deliver the correct information in the article.

Things to Avoid

  1. Flowery And Exaggerated Language: Remember that you are writing a news article and using flowery language never makes a good news lead example. Avoid overusing unnecessary adjectives and focus on using lively verbs.
  2. Avoid Redundancy: Smart journalists never waste lead space with random words and unintentional redundancy. Consider this news lead example, p.m, Tuesday afternoon. Try to avoid repeated information as much as you can, come right to the point.
  3. Formulaic Leads: Delivering information in mechanical tone brings monotonous effect. Your readers want to be entertained so create a lead that is genuine and engaging.
  4. Avoid Using ‘It’ In the Beginning: Clarity is an essential element of a press release or newspaper article. Never begin your article with pronouns like ‘it’. It can disorient your readers.

Follow a Chronological Order When Writing a Lead

Beginning with a well-crafted lead, always follow a chronological order. That means to place the most important and current details first and so on. This will not only make your news article comprehensive but also help your reader skim through the beginning section. Provide updated information in the first 1-3 lines following the inverted pyramid approach.

Expand Your Article with Supporting Details

Once you created a lead, and if it is interesting enough to capture the reader’s attention and make him/her curious, he/she might want to discover more. Expanding the key details is all about telling people how something happened. Provide in-depth coverage on all the important aspects of the news story.

Summarize and reflect on the first-hand information you explored from the sources. Add a background, contextual information or any other detail related to subject matter or incident. Do not extend each paragraph more than   3 – 4 sentences to make it easy to follow along.

Include Supporting Quotations

Referring to sources in the article increases the credibility of information and adds value to your organization’s reputation. By including supporting quotation/ statement from sources, you can validate the information you are providing.

Choose pertinent, short, and brief quotations that are informative. Plus, make sure you attribute the used quotes to its source in the article.

  • For example, “The baby was unconscious and had his leg broken, stated Police Chief Peter Wilborn.”
  • Avoid using too many quotes as the reader may get confused.

Finish Your Article with Informative Link or Quote

To wrap up the news article, you can use an impactful quote. Including a link to a company/ organization’s website is also a good option if your article focuses on any specific organization.

For example, you can write, “the family of victim expressed a concern about his health” as they say ‘We just hope he’ll be okay won’t suffer from these symptoms”.

Alternatively, “Local police has recommended parents to accompany their children everywhere they go, website.

Use Appropriate Tone

Easy and Clear Language

Making your news article linguistically complicated is not something your reader appreciates. Remember that your purpose is to inform the reader and if you use unintelligible language it will only distract them.

To put it simply, avoid using vague language, or the words which are not useful. Talk to your readers in lay man’s language to make it accessible to all kind of readers. Avoid constructing longer sentences or run-on sentences.

Use Active Voice

Being a journalist, your job is to inform ‘WHO’ did what. That means, including subject when writing a news article is a key to reduce obscurity. It is only possible when you use the active voice. The sentence structure becomes more vivid and informative in the active voice.

Maintain an Informative Tone

The newspaper article is for everyone and aims to inform the readers by giving them correct and updated information. That is why it is crucial to maintaining an informative tone that does not show your subjectivity. It must be based on a factual account, incident or event. Do not exaggerate the details by using hyperbolic language.

Polish Your Article

Last but not the least, once you are done with structuring your article, read it again to revise and refine it. The first draft has a lot of room to improvise. Read it from the perspective of your reader. See if it is informative, engaging and communicate what it intended to.

  • Make sure leads, quotes and references are clear and intelligible
  • Check it for any linguistic complexity or spelling, grammar errors
  • You can show it to a peer for feedback, critique on voice and tone.
  • Revise your articleand create a final draft

Bottom Line

In conclusion, writing a newspaper article requires you to collect factual details, and data from the verified sources. Plus, catchy lead, headline, and appropriate structure are some important features you need to consider. Thus, the above-mentioned tips are very helpful to make you write a well-structured news article.