Basic Newswriting Tips
- Who is your audience?
- What sources of information can I use to better understand my audience?
- What is their prior knowledge of my topic?
- How can I make the story accessible to a wide audience?
Story structure: The “Inverted Pyramid”
Getting started: Writing the “lead” and “nut graph”
- 5 W’s and H – Who, What, Where, When, Why and How
- So What? (The “hook”)
- Tips for writing leads:
- Be brief
- Don’t bury the lead
- Use active voice
- “Researchers conducted experiments…” (Active)
- “Experiments were conducted by researchers…” (Passive)
- Use subject-verb-object format
- Balance breadth and specificity
- Avoid jargon, unnecessary words, and “it”
- Arnold, C. & Cook, T. (2010). “How to Write a Lead.” OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab.
- Blake, K. “Six Rules for Writing Straight News Leads.”
And his annotated pdf of his example from yahoo news.