Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SocietyMassCom: How to Write a News Story (W9-P3) Fa17

Let’s say you are working for the Associated Press.  You’ve been assigned your beat.  And, now have to write some news.  You have to help fill that news hole.

How to write that story?  What are the parts of a typical hard news story?
 What are the basic building blocks of a news story?

Building Blocks of Print News Story (Hard News Story)
  1. Headline (required)
    1. What is the story about?  The topic?
    2. Usually written by editor. 
    3. Secondary headlines
  2. Byline 
    1. Author's name
  3. Lead (required)
    1. Entices reader  
    2. Contain the 5 W’s & H    
    3. AKA Summary Lead  
  4. Backup for the Lead (required)
    1. Lead should be supported with facts, quotes, etc. that substantiate the lead.
    2. Lead Quote (optional, but helps)
      1. The first quote that backs up the lead.  
      2. Helps to use strongest quote available.
  5. Impact (almost always, in some form)
    1. How does this affect readers?
    2. Sometimes earlier in story.
    3. Also as a separate paragraph later.
  6. Background (needed in most)
    1. Additional background info may be needed. 
  7. Elaboration (required, if space allows)
    1. Multiple sources.  Other points of view.
  8. Ending (required)
    1. Further elaboration.
    2. Statement or quote that summarizes, but does not repeat previous info.
    3. Future action.

See if you spot some of the building blocks in the following story.

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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