Journalism is a broad field. One type of journalism is print journalism and at the heart of the print journalism is the news story. How are they written? What are the basic building blocks of a news story?
Building Blocks of Print News Story (Hard News Story)
- Headline (required)
- What is the story about? The topic?
- Usually written by editor.
- Secondary headlines
- Authors name
- Lead (required)
- Entices reader
- Contain the 5 W’s & H
- AKA Summary Lead
- Backup for the Lead (required)
- Lead should be supported with facts, quotes, etc. that substantiate the lead.
- Lead Quote (optional, but helps)
- The first quote that backs up the lead.
- Helps to use strongest quote available.
- Impact (almost always, in some form)
- How does this affect readers?
- Sometimes earlier in story.
- Also as a separate paragraph later.
- Background (needed in most)
- Additional background info may be needed.
- Elaboration (required, if space allows)
- Multiple sources. Other points of view.
- Ending (required)
- Further elaboration.
- Statement or quote that summarizes, but does not repeat previous info.
- Future action.
A story should also include attribution.
- Where did you get the information?
- Who told you the facts?
- "According to ..."
A story may also be accompanied by visuals.
- Photographs, Pull Quotes, etc.
You may also want to check a local paper or a national paper to see if you spot the basic building blocks in their news stories.
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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.