Home > Assignments, COM466 > Writing news: reviewing what we’ve covered in class

Writing news: reviewing what we’ve covered in class

Credit: Samantha Lai

Looking for tips on how to write a basic news story? Here’s a nice review of a lot of what we’ve covered so far in class from a website named Daily Writing Tips.

The article starts out with the inverted pyramid approach, meaning you need to get all the important stuff out of the way first. Next up are the 5 W’s (and the H). Journalists need to cover as many of these as possible, and it’s preferable to fit as many as you can into your nut graph. What’s a nut graph? Check out Poynter.

In terms of personal experience, I remember writing my first news story for The Daily (our student newspaper here at the UW) about a year and a half ago. The story was looking into what might happen if the “big one” struck Seattle (this was just after the major earthquake that hit in Haiti). My primary source was Paul Bodin (pictured above), a professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences and the network manager of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

Once I had conducted that interview and several others, I laid out what the most important points of my news story would be before writing the actual article (see: inverted pyramid). Looking back, my first article could use plenty of improving, but it’s also interesting to think about that first time I wrote an article for a publication. Something that felt so foreign the first time I did it feels so much more ingrained in me now.

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