How to Write a News Report

If you find yourself reading the newspaper and wondering how to write a news report yourself, look no further!

A news report gives factual evidence of an event that took place locally or internationally. It can be an easy piece of writing to carry out, but it requires clear and concise writing. Additionally, it will require you to answer some key questions, which will guide the framework of your story.

Follow the tips below if you want to know how to write your own news report.

Collect information

In order to write a great news report, you should include information that will help your readers get a factual account of the news-worthy event that happened. A lot of journalists do this by looking at a variety of sources such as government documents, old articles, or by being a witness to the event firsthand. A news story can also have a powerful effect on its readers, so writing about recent events or stories close to home can be the most impactful.

Include relevant pictures

Before putting pen to paper, find a picture that perfectly captures the event in your story. Why? This helps readers connect the picture to the headline, which we’ll discuss in detail soon. It helps them visualize what’s happening in the story, so they can understand it better. As they read the rest of your news report, that picture might also assist in telling the story much clearer. It gives readers that “at the scene” feeling as well.

Write a headline and byline

Many great pieces of writing have titles that captivate, so you should include the same when writing your news article. In a news article, however, a title is called a headline. Make sure to write a headline that captures you reader’s interest and sums up the story well. As you are the author of your news report, you will also need to include your full name so you are credited. This information will be included in the byline.

Follow The Inverted Pyramid format

As you write your report, make sure the reader is receiving the most important information first. Unlike other pieces of writing, news articles are supposed to explain the major facts of the event as soon as possible. Therefore, the best format to use is called ‘The Inverted Pyramid’.

Diagram

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Using the inverted pyramid, you will first be giving the reader an enticing lead (or introduction) that captures the main points and answers the 5Ws and 1H. You will explain who the news article is about, what happened, when it took place, where it took place, and why it happened. By providing these details, you will give your reader the complete story. You can also explain how the event happened if that information is given to you. If it’s still a developing news story, explaining the how is something you can leave out. The middle of your inverted pyramid will outline the supporting details pertinent to the audience. Lastly, the end will include the less essential details such as general background information.

Be mindful of your style of writing

Since news reports are distributed to a general audience, make sure it’s written in a formal tone and in 3rd person. Your writing should also be clear and concise. Ensure that your facts are accurate and are from reliable sources. This will help strengthen your main idea and your credibility as a journalist. One way you can do this is by using direct quotes from a source or witness at the scene. To keep your readers glued, you should also write shorter sentences and limit each paragraph to about 3-4 sentences. Finally, make sure to edit your news report for sentence structure, tone, spelling, and grammar.

There you have it – some tips to help you write news reports like the journalists you see on TV or whose stories you read in newspapers. Think of these tips as you write your own report, and if you need more information, I encourage you to check out the resources in the references section below. As always, good luck!

REFERENCES

Purdue University. (2020). The Inverted Pyramid. Purdue Writing Lab. Retrieved on April 2nd, 2021 via https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/journalism_and_journalistic_writing/the_inverted_pyramid.html 

Quigley, Alex. (2016). The Inverted Pyramid. The Confident Teacher. Retrieved on April 6th, 2021 via https://www.theconfidentteacher.com/2013/05/explanations-top-ten-teaching-tips/inverted-pyramid-550/ 

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The Literary Tutor

We are English tutors helping students ignite their imagination through reading and discover their unique voice through writing.

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