News is a medium of communication that conveys current events to the people. It can be in the form of radio, television, internet and newspapers. These reports are made by journalists and the information is verified and confirmed before it goes for publication. News has a great impact on the people as it makes them aware of what is happening around them and what should be done to protect them. It also guides them in many ways like providing weather forecasts, train timings etc. It also has educational value as it tells people about different educational courses and job opportunities.
In order to write a good news article you need to know your audience. This will dictate the voice and tone of your article and what should be included. Ask yourself questions like what age group am I writing for, who are they, where are they located – local or national and why are they reading this story? This will help you find a unique angle and keep your readers interested.
Basically any event or piece of information that affects the daily lives of people is newsworthy. These include, but are not limited to:
Crime: Road traffic accidents, burglaries and robberies, murders and other violent crimes are of interest, as are cases of forgery and fraud. Money: Stories about fortunes being made and lost, school fees, taxes, property valuations, the Budget and food prices are interesting. Food: Food shortages and surpluses, new recipes, the launch of a new food product or a restaurant review are all newsworthy.
Religion: The views of religious leaders and the decisions that they make regarding ecclesiastical affairs are interesting to people. Education: News articles about developments in music, dance, theatre and cinema are of interest to the general public. Science: The discovery or invention of something that is of significant scientific or technological interest makes good news.
The key to a good news article is to write clearly and concisely so that it can be understood by the reader. The title should be short, snappy and catchy to grab the attention of the reader. The main facts must be placed in the first paragraph with an increasing level of detail in subsequent paragraphs. This is known as the ‘inverted pyramid’ model and it is a key principle taught in journalism schools.
The last step is to check for accuracy and fairness. This is important because if the news report is not true it will damage the reputation of the newspaper and could lead to prosecution. Journalists must ensure that all facts are checked and no opinions or biases are expressed. They should be free from any personal or political influence and must access all sides of a story before making their final decision. This is a very difficult task and requires a lot of skill and training. Ideally, a newspaper should be impartial and objective and this is the basis of any democracy. It is also important that the paper does not give the impression that it is a vehicle for advertising.