How to write a news story, basic four elements you need to know.

So, this blog is about journalism, so here we go to get our hands on!

The very first things I learned in my introductory journalism classes was the format of a news story.

  1. The headline
    • The headline must not be longer than 5 to 6 words. You may ask, how can you reduce a 200 to 500 words story to one sentence? Well the answer is simple, people don’t click on stories that don’t catch their attention with the headline. If your headline is too long it may be confusing for the reader to understand what the story is about. If you still have doubts about headline writing, I recommend this website to get more familiar with it.
  2. The lead
    • The lead is the paragraph in a news story that serves to introduce the main topic or focus of the story. There are several types and they all serve for different types of stories.
      • The summary, which is exactly what is sounds like, a quick¬†introduction of what the story if about
      • The “you” lead, which is more informal and presents an issue than can affect the reader.
      • Anecdotal lead, is a more personal and even emotional approach to hook the reader and invite them to read more. It usually presents the perspective of someone involved in the issue the story is about.
      • Contrasts lead, which presents more than one idea or situation that are included in the story.
  3. The body
    • The body of the story is usually unfolded in pyramid style, which is from most to least important information
Image credit to Vanseo Design

This is a basic breakdown of what composes a story. If you want to challenge yourself and go for it then put this in practice and start writing!


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