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Writing a newspaper article samples

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Creating your own a newspaper is the dream of journalists worldwide. Controlling your message, seeing your name in print, and exposing injustices other publications have yet to write about are just a few of the benefits to writing your own paper, but it will not come easily. You need staff, time, money, and dedication to your message to survive in the competitive media market, but you’ll be halfway there if you follow these steps.

Steps Edit

Method One of Four:
Starting Your Newspaper Edit

Determine you newspaper’s niche. There are a lot of papers, blogs, and media outlets covering a lot of different topics, but thinking that you can immediately compete with the scope and content of The New York Times will lead to failure. Search for a topic or perspective that currently isn’t being offered in your area and try to fill it. [1]

  • Small town news, events, and politics are frequently under-reported by major papers, and immediately appeal to everyone who lives in that town..
  • The more specific your niche the more you will stand out to potential readers, but if you think of something too specific you may alienate readers. For example, try writing about “Central New York High School Sports” instead of “Tompkins Country Soccer.”
  • Do you have expertise in a certain industry that might appeal to a wider audience? For example, if you are knowledgeable about a nearby music scene your paper could interview bands and review new CDs to bring them to a larger audience.

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Choose a good name. Your name should, in some way, illustrate to potential viewers what your paper is about.

Writing a newspaper article samples 11-point font

This can be easy if you are starting a small town reporter (The Lansing Sun, The Petaluma Dispatch-Herald), but is a little harder with niche papers. Find something succinct, but not limiting.

  • Try something that lets you write a lot of different types of articles. Instead of “The Southside Chicago Beekeepers Chronicle,” try something a little broader like “Windy City Bees Beekeepers.”
  • Always note the date and edition of the paper underneath the title.
  • Be sure to put your contact information or website near the title as well.

Choose between a paper or online newspaper. While traditional newspapers are printed and distributed physically, you can often reach a wider audience and cut printing costs by publishing online. That said, some papers are more successful in print because they can be placed in strategic locations and promoted by local businesses.

  • Online newspapers tend to attract a diverse readership and can be easily marketed through social media and word of mouth. They are also cheaper and easier to manage on the fly, as you can respond to users and publish to new stories instantly. However, you will be competing with millions of other small papers for the same readers and online plagiarism is rampant. A great, interactive website can also get expensive.
  • Print newspapers are easier to charge money for, and many consumers still like the physical experience of reading. But the physical experience costs a lot more time, money, and energy to bring to the world, and other than “letters to the editor” you will get minimal feedback on your writing and who is reading it. [2]
  • While there is nothing stopping you from being both online and in print, you should choose one or the other when you’re starting out.

Develop a news staff. Whether in print or online, starting a newspaper is tough work for one person. Between writing, editing, designing, photographing, publishing, marketing, and accounting, there are a lot of different skills that go into creating a newspaper. While more and more jobs are needed as your paper grows, you must fill at least the following roles to get started:

  • Reporter: Writes stories, covers events, and pitches new ideas to the paper. Reporters are out in the field interviewing, collecting data, and researching the next big article to write, and produce all of your newspaper’s content.
  • Editor: Helps the reporter hone the story into the right length, tone, and angle for the newspaper. Often they oversee several reporters in their section (business, sports, politics, etc.) and work as the middleman between the reporters and the editor-in-chief.
  • Editor-in-Chief: The head of newspaper, she/he has the final decision on whether or not a story gets printed, what stories go where, and the direction of the paper. In smaller papers they edit and critique stories while giving reporters guidance and advice.
  • Copy Editor: Proofreads articles before they are published, looking for grammatical, syntactical, or factual errors. Sometimes they do basic research for stories as well.
  • Photographer: Accompanies a reporter on stories to capture images that complement the article. Increasingly, web-based newspapers are requesting video and sound teams as well.
  • Graphic Designer: Responsible for the look and layout of your newspaper or website as well as creating graphs, tables, and illustrations for stories.
  • Sometimes these roles will overlap, and sometimes you will need multiple people covering the same job. Be flexible and recognize what your paper needs– a newspaper about art, for example, might need an entire team of graphic designers to make a beautiful paper. [3]

Choose the most relevant or compelling stories for the front page. Just like the lead line draws people into your article, the front page story needs to draw people into your paper. Choose a story that is relevant, timely, or especially unique and make sure you have a quality picture accompanying it.

  • Think about what story will grab the most people’s attention. It may be a dramatic sporting event, or a piece of breaking-news, but no matter what it needs to have wide appeal.

Craft attention-grabbing headlines. Usually the editors, not the reporters, write headlines. The goal is to give the reader a brief, catchy hint at what the story is about without giving away the entire article. The best headlines are short and eye-catching and promises the reader new information, or force them to ask a question they want answered.

  • Use numbers whenever possible. They communicate a lot of information without a lot of space.
  • Use active language, interesting adjectives, and expressive verbs. Ex. “Rouge Deer Smashes into Deli Window.” [11]

Create different sections to help the reader navigate. This is crucial the bigger the paper gets. No matter how good your stories, some people only pick up a paper to read sports, or check out the opinion pages, or do the puzzles. Group similar articles together in a format that works for you, and remain consistent in every issue so your readers become comfortable.

  • Put a small table of contents on the first page or your homepage to help people search.
  • Order your paper so that your most compelling sections come near the front. [12]

Find advertisers willing to pay for ads. Whether online or in print, having paid advertisements is essential if you ever want to turn a profit on your newspaper — subscriptions and sales are too small of a market to rely on completely. Once you determine how much space you want to devote to ads, ask friends and local businesses if they want to take out an ad, or if they know anyone who does.

  • Give potential buyers options at different price ranges: small, black and white ads are cheap, but full page color advertisements are going to cost a lot extra.
  • Many blogs and websites allow you to sign up for already designed advertising programs, where you get paid per advertisement clicked. Check your website host or use Google AdSense to find advertisers for free. [13]

Understand the basic principles of newspaper layout. Once you’ve chosen your stories and ads, you need to decide where they all go. Also know as paste-up, laying out your newspaper is a full-time job requiring journalism, design, and computer skills. Today, desktop software such as Scribus (free), Serif PagePlus (cheap) or Adobe InDesign provides templates and tools to create any layout you can imagine. In general, newspaper layout has only a few hard and fast rules:

  • Remember, clarity before everything else. If it is difficult to read or find articles then you need a new design.
  • Edit, cut, or change stories to make them fit if you need.
  • Bold and center your headlines so they stand out.
  • Never use anything smaller than an 11-point font.
  • Use no more than two fonts to prevent confusion and clutter.
  • Be sure to set your computers to a CMYK color scheme instead of the default RGB, as ink printers refer to CMYK when printing.
  • Fill up any remaining space with ads, puzzles, comics, or miscellaneous stories. [14]
  • Look up some of your favorite designs, or research some award winning newspaper layouts for ideas if you’re stuck.

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How to Write a Newspaper (for Kids)

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