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  How to be a Successful News Writer  

Writing news stories is different than other types of writing. Let’s have a look at how to be a successful news writer.

1. The 5 W’s – All worthy news stories must include a who, what when, where, and why. Make sure you emphasize the 5 W’s in your story, explaining less important aspects a little later.
2. The 1 H – Let’s not forget the how In a good news story.
3. Conflict – Good stories always have conflict and so do good news stories.
4. Brevity – Readers need to know why the story matters to them and they aren’t going to stick around long to find out, so make sure you tell them why early. This should be at least 25 words but no more than 40 words. It is important that this is clear and concise.
5. Specificity – News stories are for the most part a summary of events and so it is important that stay specific otherwise your news story is going to become overwhelming to the reader, and they will leave.
6. Audience – When writing your story consider what it is your reader is already aware of. If you are writing a breaking story your reader is going to know less than if you are writing a print story about something that has occurred in the past week.
7. Active Sentence Structure – The use of strong verbs will make your reading more interesting. Passive reading can be dull and the reader is likely to move on.
8. Honesty – Your writing needs to deliver what you promise it will.

Things to Avoid

1. It – the word it is highly overused. Run word find to ensure you are not overusing this one little word “it.”
2. Needless Words and Phrases – Watch for redundancy. Your space in your news story is limited so don’t waste it with needless words/phases. Avoid any clutter.
3. Flowery Language – This is a common mistake of new writers. Use strong nouns and verbs, and fewer adjectives and adverbs.

Media Ethics

1. Identify your sources whenever you can
2. Quote your sources accurately
3. Avoid being biased – distinguish advertising from news
4. Avoid stereotyping
5. Ensure your information is accurate
6. Do not distort the facts
7. Never plagiarize
8. Rely on the most current information and research to write your story
9. Never alter videos or photos
There you have it – these guidelines will help you to write successful news stories that will get read!

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