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5- Newswriting: Putting together the ingredients

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Alyssa Myers

on 15 August 2018

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Transcript of 5- Newswriting: Putting together the ingredients

Putting together the Ingredients
Step 1:
Write using Inverted Pyramid
Step 2:
Start with the Lead
News Story
5 W's + H
Open & Closed Questions
Gathered information
Now what do we do?
First few sentences
Should give overview of story
5 Ws and H
Don’t start a sentence with the person and/or title of a person or agency. Put the action first (what is actually happening), THEN tell who or what is doing it.

TIP #1
BAD: The head of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Kenneth Johnson today announced that he will be the first man to walk on Mars.

GOOD: To be the first person to walk on Mars, Kenneth Johnson will have to learn how to live for days in a space suit. As the head of blah, blah, blah, he will have plenty of opportunity.

Don’t start a lead with a day, date, or time, especially if that day, date, or time is NOT the current day, date, or time. It makes your story look old.
TIP #2
BAD: On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
GOOD: America’s involvement in World War II began with the sound of airplane engines. When Japanese fighter planes swooped down on unsuspecting Americans in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, U.S. citizens went to war.
Step 3:
Find the Angle
Something interesting or unusual
Remember the Human Interest element
all-girls Team tackles national championships
Students give back with help of animals
Boy earns $1M selling lemonade
What's the angle here?
Step 4:
Find supporting points and rank them
Main points should support lead
Rank in order of which are most newsworthy?
- Is it unusual?
- Is it interesting or significant?
- Is it about people?

News Values
Step 5:
Meaningful quotes
2-3 quotes per story
Sprinkle in quotes
Step 6:
End with a concluding thought
Step 7:
Practice writing leads
Keep it simple
Don't assume
Be active
Be objective
Short sentences, short paragraphs (2-3 sentences), 500-words
or less

Not every reader will know something about the topic
PASSIVE- The exam was failed by more than half the class ACTIVE- More than half the class failed the exam
Cover all sides to the story

Two car collision in front of the school this morning making students late for class. Lots of traffic.

Over the weekend, a computer lab was broken into and six computers were stolen. This was the second time this happened.

An article appeared today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article concerns the dangers of hot dogs. The hot dogs are so dangerous that every five days, it is estimated, someone, somewhere in the United States, chokes to death on them.

Different Types of Leads:

Strong, active verbs
Starts by asking an attention-getting question
Draws in reader by using descriptive adjectives and adverbs
Full transcript