In a recent session, we learned the basics to what makes a newsworthy story and how we can set the tones for the stories at hand. We also had an introduction into how to write the first couple of paragraphs of a news story. I found this challenging however at the same time enjoyable. This is the type of things I needed to learn to help me to become a sports writer.
The basic rules that are essentially for writing high professional standard introductions for print (Newspapers) are to make sure they are written in the format for that style of newspaper. Making sure the tone is right and matches the type of story that is being written. If it’s a serious story, make sure this is portrayed thoughts the words used. Also making sure it is short, snappy straight to the point by using the 5W, H techniques, I learnt that you don’t often see all of them within an introduction but it is best to get as much in. As I am doing a project that requires me to write for Hull Daily Mail ‘Your News supplement’ I need to use as many of the 5W’s, without giving to much away. This is so that it makes the reader more likely to read on after the first paragraph. Also I will also make sure that all spellings are correct and accurate as this is important and helps to keep that professional standard. For instance, spellings of places and names. Only using names if the person is well known in the public domain, not otherwise till further down the story.
From having a news editor (Charlotte Richardson) as a client in my last course she was very specific about using the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ this means that the most newsworthy parts of a story should be situated at the top and the more irrelevant information further down the article/story. This means that the reader is more likely to be attracted into reading. Generally, people who read news stories read the first couple of paragraphs so by having the most important information at the top means there not missing out. In the image below it shows the structure that a news story should follow in order for it to be written in the correct way.
At first I found it a bit confusing and difficult to get to grips with it, however, by having these skills will allow me to become a better practitioner of my work and to appear to be of that professional standard. It is also vital to make sure your story is of public interest or something that you believe is important for them to gain knowledge of.
When doing my first news story for the Your news supplement, I found it really difficult in the sense that I promoted certain things and I should have done it in the ways that it didn’t promote. Newspaper stories need to be none biased. You shouldn’t give opinions. This was a really good learning curve for me, this means I will try and make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice.