How to Write Newsworthy Articles

News is information about an event, development or issue that has recently occurred. It is typically released via a newspaper, magazine, radio or television and informs and educates its audience. News also provides entertainment, though this is often obtained through other means – music or drama on the radio; news quizzes or crossword puzzles in newspapers.

News must be accurate and unbiased. It should not be influenced by an individual’s opinion and it must use third-person pronouns (such as ‘he, she or it’) rather than first-person (such as ‘I’). Unless otherwise specified, a news article will not include an individual’s opinions and should avoid using jargon, which alienates the general readership.

The five criteria for a good news story are timeliness, unusualness, significance, human interest and relevance to society. The time factor is obvious – a story that is new is more likely to be of interest than one that has already happened. Unusualness is also important – the classic example of “dog bites man” is not newsworthy, but a person being attacked by a bear would be. Significantness is determined by the impact on a person’s life, society or country; for instance, a coup d’etat in another country is much more newsworthy than an ordinary domestic affair. Human interest is usually a key factor; people are interested in other people’s lives and what they get up to. This is why celebrity gossip is so popular.

Relevance to society can be a major factor; it is why the death of an important figure is usually big news. It is also why many local events are newsworthy – for instance, when a famous person visits a town or when a sporting event takes place there. People are also interested in their own health, so stories about hospitals and clinics, diseases, exercise and diet are of interest to them. Finally, all societies are interested in sex, and so stories about sex that go against society’s generally accepted norms make the news.

A good headline for a news article should be snappy and clearly state what the story is about. It should capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to read the article. It is also crucial to find out the background to a story so that it can be presented in context.

Creating news articles can be challenging, but it is a vital part of any media organisation. News articles can entertain, inspire or educate a large audience; ensuring that they are factually correct and free from jargon is essential. It is also important to consider the impact of an article – will it affect one group of readers more than another? This will influence the tone and content of the piece. Finally, it is crucial to do the research – not only into the subject matter but also into the people involved. This ensures that the news article is sourced from a trusted source and will be informative to the audience.