News is the broadcast or publication of newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events. Often, it will be of major significance to the community and may have a significant influence on public opinion or policy.
A news story should always be written with the aim of informing readers and influencing public opinion, rather than entertaining them. A well-written news article should provide factual information, be written in the active voice and be clearly presented. It should also avoid using cliches and should not have an editorial slant.
The first step in writing a good news article is researching the topic thoroughly. Generally, the most important information will come from interviews with people who were directly involved in an event or who have knowledge of it. These facts are then used to build a story which is as accurate as possible.
It is essential to have a good lead, which will catch the reader’s attention and provide them with a preview of the article. The traditional news introductory paragraph, still the dominant form of this, serves two related purposes: to engage the reader instantly and to summarise what the story is about.
An effective headline should be short and clear. It should be based on the Associated Press style guidelines, unless the publication has specific requirements. A good headline is the key to attracting the attention of a potential reader, so it is important to spend time crafting it carefully.
In a news article, the use of the active voice is preferred, as it is more engaging and uses fewer words. The active tense is also more suitable for a news article, as it is less formal and sounds more immediate. For example, “Manchester United beat Arsenal” is much more appropriate for a newspaper article than “Arsenal were defeated by Manchester United.”
Feature articles are stories about particular issues or topics of interest to the community. These can include weather, food and drink, the arts and entertainment or money. A lot of these stories will focus on people because, in most societies, it is the things that people do which make news. This can be anything from a girl going to university to a man marrying his fifth wife, to a crime or a natural disaster.
To write a successful feature, it is necessary to identify the most interesting aspects of an issue or topic and then find a way to highlight these in the article. It is also essential to keep in touch with journalists who have featured you, as they will be more likely to cover your business again. You can do this by following them on social media, commenting on their articles and sharing leads that you think they will find interesting. You can also try to build a personal relationship with them, which will make it easier for you to pitch future stories. A good way to do this is to create a list of journalists from the publications you target, and check their Twitter feeds daily.