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Writing a newspaper article about an event

Writing a newspaper article about an event When you

Collect information. Once you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, gather the information you’ll need to write the article. Presenting a story to readers who may otherwise have no knowledge of the subject is a big responsibility, and you will want to collect as much well-researched and firsthand information as possible.

  • Read up on the story’s background so that you’re able to present it in the right context. For example, if you’re writing a story about the passage of a new law protecting a forest from getting cut down, find out what the law stated before, why it was passed, who led the movement to get it passed, who opposed it, and so on.
  • If you’re writing about an event, attend it, whether it’s a senate hearing, a baseball game or a presidential campaign stop. Take thorough notes while you’re there so that you remember what happened later.

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Conduct interviews. News stories are enhanced by accounts from firsthand witnesses and people with expert opinions. Identify the main players in the story and ask them short, specific questions so that their answers supplement the information you present in your news article.

  • Make an appointment with the person or people you want to interview. You can interview them in person or over the phone.
  • Use the interview as a way to verify facts you have collected. For example, if you’re covering a tornado that caused damage in a small town and you want to know how many homes were damaged, interview the sheriff. If you want an account from someone who saw the tornado, interview a witness from the town.
  • Don’t use the interviewee’s words out of context. The people you interview for news articles are doing you a favor. If you’re going to publish someone’s words, make sure you stay true to their original meaning.

Writing a newspaper article about an event re writing about an

Perform a fact check. When you write a news article, you have a responsibility to your readers to present completely accurate information. Getting a fact wrong may seem insignificant, but it has consequences; aside from trouble that could be caused by misinforming the public, your reliability as a journalist could come into question.

  • Check numbers and other hard data with an expert source. If you’re writing a story about a heat wave, call the National Weather Service to verify the temperatures.
  • Verify information based on hearsay with more than one source.
  • Check the spellings of names and other proper nouns. Make especially certain that you have the correct spellings of the names of people you interview.

Stay objective. Objectivity has long been a fundamental requirement for newspaper journalism. While it’s impossible to be completely objective – after all, everything about the story, from its topic to your vocabulary choices, is coming from you – you should try your best to present a complete picture so readers have the chance to form their own opinions.

  • Don’t let your personal biases show in your story. If you’re writing about two political candidates running against each other in an election, for example, present both candidates in an equal light, rather than making your preferences clear.
  • Don’t use loaded words that may influence readers’ opinions of your subject. Avoid stereotypes and politically incorrect terms.
  • Don’t hyperbolize events, actions or other aspects of a story. Your job is to tell what actually happened, not an exaggerated version of reality.

Make it readable. Write with a sentence structure and word choices that communicate information clearly, rather than causing confusion. The point of a news article is to quickly convey information, not to impress or entertain people (although you certainly don’t want the article to be boring). Newspapers are read by people from all walks of life, so your writing has to appeal to a diverse readership.

  • Use active, rather than passive, language. It’s easier to read, and it gets directly to the point. For example, write “Senator Thompson held a press conference Tuesday,” not “A press conference will be held by Senator Thompson on Tuesday.”
  • Identify your interviewees clearly. Is he or she a doctor who has done research on a scientific breakthrough? A government official? The mother of a man on trial for murder? The person’s role should be clear to your readers.
  • Don’t muddle your writing with unnecessary words. Using uncommon vocabulary serves only to distract and confuse your readers. Choose words that enhance your article’s accuracy, rather than the biggest and most impressive words you can find.

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