How to Write Newsworthy Stories
News is information about current events. It is widely distributed via word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting and electronic communication. It is often filtered through journalistic judgement guidelines. This filtering can include tone, objectivity, commercial value, reader impact, tabloid sensationalism, etc.
A news story should aim to be as up-to-date and accurate as possible. The best way to achieve this is to gather primary sources – people who have experienced the event or have knowledge of it. Ideally, the primary source should be able to offer insight that is specific and detailed (e.g. ‘Dr Jones used this equipment to study malaria’ rather than a simple fact such as ‘malaria was studied’).
The most important elements of a news story are that it is new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. It should also be clear and concise. This is especially important if it is being written for a newspaper, where the stories are usually limited to a certain number of words and must be read above the fold. This means that the most important information is given at the top of the article before the less important details are added below.
A good source of news is a well-established and unbiased organisation such as the BBC or Associated Press. However, it is also worth reading opinionated sources such as blogs and the opinion sections of newspapers and magazines. In addition, setting up Google alerts for a particular subject can be useful so that you receive updates as soon as they are available.