News Writing

News writing is a process of writing the news according the the journalistic styles directly addressing to the audience. According to the writer Joseph Cornard, “the task of a writer is by the power of the written word , to make you hear, to make you feel,to make see. news should be well balanced, accurate and trustworthy but other most important things is grammatically correct and up to the point. News should be in its high journalistic format but with it comes the responsibility to make the readers clearly understand about the topic. News writers don’t make the articles full of jargon but there job is to simplify those jargon and provide readers more information about it.

Writing is different is print media and broadcasting media. The final and edited version of the program is known as script in broadcasting media. For the print media, the medium to reach to audience is through words. So it can be elaborative and detail based but in broadcast there are other supporting proof such as videos and sounds. News should be understood by everyone. That’s why it should simple and in a format. News should be like stories, captures the attention, tells the event and convey the message and aware the people. it should be like story based on real events and factual information. The popular theory of news writing is KISS. Keep it short and simple. Short doesn’t mean here giving limited information. It mainly implies on sentences, write the main point rather than exaggerating it. Voice is also necessary. Write news in tone of conveying message to the reader. Always put the active voice which will have impact impact on people.

Some scholars have cast light upon the things to consider while writing news:-

Melvin Mencher regards ten keys for good writing:

  • Begin to write only after you know what to say.
  • wWrite the way you talk.
  • Use the s-v-o sentence structure for most sentence.
  • avoid adjectives and adverb.
  • Keep sentence short.
  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Good quotes up high.
  • Use words you are familiar with.
  • Never turn in story you think you can improve.

Robert Gunning presents the idea  for news gathering and writing:

  • Short sentences.
  • Simple sentences.
  • Colloquial words.
  • Avoid unnecessary words.
  • Function oriented sentence.
  • Conventional style.
  • Presentation that matches the reader’s interest.
  • Use of diversity.
  • Write to express; not to impress.

J.Edward Murray presents important points for reporting:

  • Accuray
  • Double checking
  • Fairness
  • To get facts.
  • Direct quotation for controversial matter.
  • Responsible and balanced news presentation.
  • Beware of conflict of interest.

Common traits of good writers, as described by Peter Clark are given below:

  • Good writers see society as a journalism laboratory.
  • They prefer to discover and develop their own ideas.
  • They are voracious collector of information.
  • They spend too much time and creative energy working on their leads.
  • They talk about immersing themselves in the story.
  • Mot are bleeders than speeders.
  • They understand that an important part of writing is the mechanical drudgery  of organizing the material.
  • They rewrite.
  • In judging their work writers tend to trust their  ears and their feelings more than their eyes.
  • They love to tell stories.
  • They write primarily to please themselve and to meet their own exacting standards
  • They are life long readers.
  • They want the readers to read every words.

Rules for good writing as suggested by Buck and O’donell:

  • Use sentence structure to emphasize what is important.
  • Use passive voice only when necessary.
  • Don’t turn verbs into nouns or adjective.
  • Use parallel construction.
  • Keep subjects near verbs and modifies near words that modify.
  • Avoid –ize verb.
  • Use contractions properly.
  • Try to keep one idea to one sentence.
  • Use short word over a long word when no meaning is lost.
  • Don’t split infinitives  unless absolutely necessary.
  • Tighten by making clauses into the phrases, phrases into words.

News Structure

Balance and organized writing need to be molded in the perfect news structure. News structure is important in shaping the story in a proper order. Without order and format, everything will fall from its place apart. We cannot just give the information without stating headline. Headline is heading that can make the news or break the news. The importance of news also can be identified   according to the placement of news and presentation of Headline. Good writer will always focus on making best headline and lead. There are structures that follows to bring the best output in writing:

Inverted Pyramid:

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Inverted pyramid is based on the order of the importance of news. The significant information is revealed in lead. Then the supporting information and detail is presented then other general information. This structure is helpful when you have to shorten the news according to the space. You could just eliminate the less important information by shortening fro the last.

Chronological order: This structure is based on the order of time. it presents the news in the hierarchy according to the time. It doesn’t focus on the importance of news but the importance of happening moment.

Hourglass: It is the combination of both chronological and inverted pyramid. The lead of this structure is from inverted pyramid and gives the background and proof according to chronological order.