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How to Write a News Article: What Is News?

Basic guidelines for creating news articles in print, photos, and video.

What is News?

We're surrounded by a wealth of stories everyday. The Information Age is frequently referred to as 'Information Overload,' so how do you decide which story to tell?

News has 3 important criteria:

  • It's timely - Occasionally we'll review an event that happened in the past on an important anniversary, but for the most part, news is what's happening today.
  • It's important -The event has an impact on the community at large or it's something that the community needs to know.
  • It's interesting - The joke is Man Bites Dog, not Dog Bites Man. One is unusual, the other is ordinary. Is there something about the story that makes it stand out?

Deciding the answers to these 3 criteria is determined by your audience. What one group of readers finds important and interesting will differ from another group.

Don't confine yourself to what you know. A good reporter deliberately looks outside of his or her comfort zone.

Find out what's going on, why it matters, and who it matters to. Then interview the opposing side too and get the whole story!