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How to Write A Newspaper Story

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Andrea Kopitz

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of How to Write A Newspaper Story

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
How to Write A Newspaper Story
The Anatomy of a Story
What to Cover

The Three Basic Types of Stories
How to Start
Topic 5
Topic 6
1. A News Story
2. A Feature Story
3. An Editorial
Find an angle
Prepare for your interview
The lead consists of the who, what, where, when, and why. The body of the story focuses on the why and how. Start with the most important to the least important at the end.
Feature stories are human-interest stories that focus on particular people, places, or events. They're typically longer and more in-depth than news stories.
An editorial is an article that presents the newspaper's opinion on an issue. It is our chance to influence our peers, promote critical thinking, and inspire change. Aren't we amazing?

Be conversational. Your questions are meant to guide the discussion, but improvise and follow up with spontaneous questions. Let the subject open up. You may find a new angle after the interview; the story may not be what you thought it was and that's ok! In fact, it's better!
Make eye contact. Record the interview so you can catch everything, and it makes the interviewee feel like you're listening to them.
Remember to choose boys, girls, students from different grades, teachers, family members, community members, etc.
The Five W's + How:
Gather as much background knowledge before going in. Write down open-ended questions ahead of time.
Tip 1
Make sure your subject is comfortable. Maybe they want to sit. Ask how they are. Just be friendly :)
Tip 2
Be conversational.
Tip 3
Make eye contact. Record the interview so you can catch everything, and it makes the interviewee feel like you're listening to them.
Tip 4
Tip 5
Interview diverse subjects to represent different perspectives.
Your job is simple: state the facts and be impartial. Avoid bias by covering ALL sides of the issue and including attributions for all quotes.
Inverted Pyramid
After a quote, write the subject's name followed by the word "said."

EX: "Newspaper rocks," Metwally said.
Avoid the obvious.
You want a unique angle.
For example, if you're covering the release of a new iPhone, a possible angle could be: How do experts predict it will change the cell phone market?
This boring story has the potential to be INTERESTING! It is what YOU make of it!
Keep your sentences short and simple.

Paragraphs should be only a few sentences. Try to stay around three or four.

Live and breathe AP style.
Remember the Inverted Pyramid?
In a hard news story, the reporter makes the point in the first paragraph. For a feature story, you have creative license to develop the story how you'd like! Instead of an objective tone, you can be more personal and develop any tone you'd like.

The lead is not just the 5 W's. You can set the scene, paint a picture, use an anecdote, etc.
Feature Leads
AP style still applies.
Step 1
Lead with an objective background of the issue. Include the 5 W's and you can pull in outside research.
Step 2
After the introduction, present your opposition's viewpoint. Be objective and state the other side's argument. By mentioning the other side, you show the audience you're rational and you're a good reporter.
THEN, crush their argument!
Step 3
Transition into your viewpoint. Use facts, research, and credible sources to validate your argument. Directly refute the opposition's beliefs you mentioned before.
Step 4
Conclusion: Offer solutions to the problem or simply challenge the reader to be informed. End with a punch. The reader should not be able to stop thinking about your argument.
You know how we keep bugging you about AP style?
Well, now it's as simple as a glance at the back of the room!
Any questions?
Talk to me anytime! :) I'm always here!
Yay Pubs!
The Cover Story
A cover story can be any topic or issue with enough variety that it can be covered extensively and in-depth across several pages of the publication.

In our newsmagazine, a cover story should have the potential to cover four full pages, using a variety of angles and alternative story forms.

These stories can generally fit into all three of the other story categories at the same time. A topic that can be covered as news, feature and opinion.
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