All well-written new stories have most of the parts listed below.
Most basic news stories should have:
- A headline
- A lead (sometimes written lede)
- A backup quote
- A "nut graph"
- An ending
1. The Headline. The headline is a one or two line summary of the contents of the news story, in larger type, that tells readers what the story is about . Headlines act as an index of the contents of the newspaper, and a summary of the information in its stories.
2. The Lead. The lead is usually defined as the first sentence of a news story, sometimes as the first few sentences. The lead is the beginning of a story. The lead on a hard news story is often called a summary lead. Lead should contain the most important facts of the story - at least some of the Five Ws. Most agree that the ideal lead is short - no more than 25 or 30 words. Leads should be "tight" - that is, written with economy. A news story with a strong lead is more likely to be read.
Ironic leads, Great-quote leads, Person-centred leads, Contrast leads, Play-on-word leads, Situational leads , Nightmare leads -
3.The Backup Quote. Most news stories, except the briefest of briefs, should have a backup quote placed soon after the lead. Ideally, the backup quote - attributed to comprehensible and entertaining way.
Attribution. All news stories require attribution . Attribution is the explanation of the source of the information in the news story. Attribution allows the reader to judge for herself whether the facts set out in the story have merit. The best stories contain lots of quotes - and all quotes have attribution. A news story without attribution is worthless.
Reaction. All news stories that contain controversial statements, should have reaction - the comments of someone who is familiar with the situation, or of someone with an alternative view of the main thesis of the story. A representative of the government should have the opportunity to respond. Fairness requires reaction.
The Nut Graph. A nut graph informs readers of the focus of the story. The lead will serve the same purpose as the nut graph. A nut graph is essential to set out for the reader what is going on.
Background. Most stories need some background for the reader to understand what's going on.. The more complicated the story, the more pressing the need for background. Background helps explain the action.
The Ending. Sometimes writers end a story with a reference to future action that is expected.
Active Voice Versus Passive Voice
Most journalists, and most journalism textbooks, say that news stories should be written in the active voice.The active voice describes the action. The passive voice describes the recipient of the action.The active voice delivers a clear, strong statement of what happened. The passive voice can make an exciting event dull.
- Journalists are usually encouraged to write in the active voice.
- The active voice describes the action, the passive voice describes the recipient of the action.
- A simple way to remember how to write in the active voice is to memorize the order of subject, verb and object - SVO.
- Sometimes, however, the passive voice is better because it doesn't indicate who was the author of an action.