Writing news stories (august 18, 2011)


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Good material for learning how to write news.

Writing news stories (august 18, 2011)

  1. 1. News/Feature Writing <ul><li>Generally, media are uninformed scientifically and are headline-oriented. Thus, only sensational stories get reported, while highly technical works are ignored. Scientists must get down from their ivory towers and clearly explain to media what they are doing. </li></ul><ul><li>  --- J. D. Drilon, Jr. --- </li></ul>
  2. 2. News Writing <ul><li>Scientists must be helped to explain their work, both to policymakers and to farmers. This is a communication task, best summed up in the newspaper executive pitch for advertising: “If you don’t advertise, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark. You may know what you are doing but nobody else does.” </li></ul><ul><li>  --- D. L. Umali --- </li></ul>
  3. 3. News Writing <ul><li>NEWS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>News is an oral or written report of a past, present, or </li></ul><ul><li>future event. It is the account of something that has </li></ul><ul><li>happened or is about to happen. </li></ul>
  4. 4. News Writing <ul><li>Bases of News </li></ul><ul><li>Facts </li></ul><ul><li>News is always based on facts, but not all things that </li></ul><ul><li>are based on facts may be considered as news.In </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism. </li></ul>
  5. 5. News Writing <ul><li>Bases of News </li></ul><ul><li>Readers and interest </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance is a key factor in determining what is </li></ul><ul><li>news. But news reporters and editors have to decide </li></ul><ul><li>what is relevant on behalf of their readers and </li></ul><ul><li>listeners. That is why it is also part of the job of </li></ul><ul><li>reporters and editors to think about the needs of their </li></ul><ul><li>audience. </li></ul>
  6. 6. News Writing <ul><li>News values </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict— may involve physical or mental struggle; it </li></ul><ul><li>may be a story of man versus man, man versus animal, man versus nature, or man versus himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy or timeliness-- emphasizes the newest angle of the story. The more recent the event the more interesting it is for the readers. </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity or Nearness-- This may refer to geographical nearness as well as the nearness of interest. </li></ul>
  7. 7. News Writing <ul><li>Consequence— refers to importance and breadth of appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Names-- Important names make important news.   </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion -- Appeals to the emotion and tries to get a response from the readers </li></ul><ul><li>Drama -- This adds color to the story.The more picturesque the background and the more dramatic the actions are, the more appealing the story is to the readers. </li></ul><ul><li>Oddity or unusualness -- Refers to strange or unnatural events, objects, persons, and places. </li></ul>
  8. 8. News Writing <ul><li>The Lead </li></ul><ul><li>The lead refers to the introduction of the news story. It may be a word, a phrase, a clause, a brief sentence, an entire paragraph, or a series of paragraphs. It is the first and most important paragraph of any news story. It attracts the reader and-states the important   facts   first. In writing a lead for a straight news story, the writer must answer six basic questions about the event: who, what, when, why   and how. </li></ul>
  9. 9. News Writing <ul><li>Kinds of Leads </li></ul><ul><li>Conventional or Summary Lead - this kind of lead used in straight news, answers right away all or any of the 5 Ws and/or the H. </li></ul>
  10. 10. News Writing Over crowded lead To showcase the output in food processing and preservation of the students, the Department of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship of the Capiz State University (CapSU) Poblacion Mambusao Campus, in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT), Inc. Rho Chapter, launched the first-ever Food Expo 2011 on February 14, 2011 at the Covered Gym of CapSU Poblacion, Mabusao, Capiz.
  11. 11. News Writing Over crowded lead PCARRD Executive Director (ED) Patricio S. Faylon presented the Council’s R&D program for the agriculture sector during the Farmers Forum and Consultation in Aid of Legislation last February 24, 2011, at the Cultural Center, Provincial Capitol Compound, Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
  12. 12. News Writing <ul><li>Anatomy of a News Story </li></ul><ul><li>Lead - the opening paragraph/paragraphs of a news story. </li></ul><ul><li>Lead support - paragraph/s containing details that support the lead; complements the lead </li></ul><ul><li>Details - provides realism and credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Backgrounding - provides background of the story </li></ul>
  13. 13. News Writing <ul><li>Advantages of the pyramid style </li></ul><ul><li>The  inverted  pyramid  style  offers  several  distinct advantages in news writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Presents Pertinent Facts First. The inverted pyramid structure arouses the reader’s interest and allows the reader to swiftly skim important facts. In other words, spill the whole story in the first paragraph. The reader can decide whether to continue reading the details or to go on to something else. But even if the reader stops there, the inverted pyramid form of writing has provided the essential facts. </li></ul>
  14. 14. News Writing <ul><li>Facilitates Page Layout . If the story has been written in inverted pyramid form, it becomes a simple matter  of  cutting lines of type from the bottom of the story until it fits the available space or “jumping” (continuing) the story on another page all without damage  to  the  important facts that appear at the top. </li></ul>
  15. 15. News Writing <ul><li>Facilitates Headline Writing. Headlines for news stories should tell the main facts in the most brief form. If a story is written in the proper inverted pyramid style, the copyreader (who writes the headline) can find these facts in the first paragraph. The copyreader will not have to search the entire story for headline material. </li></ul>
  16. 16. News Writing <ul><ul><li>Types of lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What, Who, When, Where, Why, How lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What Lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The newly passed Technology Transfer Act of the Philippines, otherwise known as RA 10055 will soon facilitate the transfer of technology-based products and processes from the laboratory to the market. (What lead) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. News Writing <ul><li>Who Lead </li></ul><ul><li>Congressman Angelo Palmones, a veteran science and technology broadcaster turned lawmaker, claims yesterday that the state of research in the government will soon be brighter with the passage of the Technology Transfer Act. </li></ul>
  18. 18. News Writing <ul><ul><li>When lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oct. 17, 2009, the day giving birth to the country’s first legislation on state generated technology will surely be a red letter day for the thousands of government scientists and researchers. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. News Writing <ul><li>Where Lead </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratories of state colleges and universities and other government research institutions are apt to be more inspiring for a greater number of government scientists and researchers with the recent passage of the Technology Transfer Act. </li></ul>
  20. 20. News Writing <ul><li>Why Lead </li></ul><ul><li>To inspire state colleges and universities to generate more meaningful researches with commercial potentials, the legislature recently gave the Technology Transfer Bill a nod. </li></ul>
  21. 21. News Writing <ul><li>How lead </li></ul><ul><li>After more than three years of study and dialogues with stakeholders in the science community, Congress finally gave the Technology Transfer Bill a nod yesterday. </li></ul>
  22. 22. News Writing <ul><li>Novelty leads </li></ul><ul><li>Although the summary lead is the simplest, safest and strongest of all leads used in straight news writing, most media like to add a little variety when leading into a story. Novelty leads are a vital part of newspaper writing. The feature lead permits you to d transform the news into  a  story  that captures the interest and empathy of the readers. </li></ul>
  23. 23. News Writing <ul><li>Novelty leads (Continuation) </li></ul><ul><li>Novelty  leads  differ  from  summary  leads  in that they make no attempt to answer all of the five Ws and the H. As the name implies, novelty leads are novel. They use different writing approaches to </li></ul><ul><li>present different news situations to attract readers’ attention and  arouse  curiosity. </li></ul>
  24. 24. News Writing <ul><li>Direct-address lead </li></ul><ul><li>The writer communicates directly with the reader by using the word you in the lead. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>If you think government research is boring and unprofitable, chances are you are wrong. A recent piece of legislation proves to have a lot of good promises for the thousand of scientists and researchers in the government. </li></ul>
  25. 25. News Writing <ul><li>Question lead </li></ul><ul><li>While editors complain that writers use them as a crutch, when they can't decide what their main point is, this approach can effectively tease the reader, and combines easily with direct address. </li></ul><ul><li>Example : </li></ul><ul><li>Who says that government research is sheer sacrifice, boring and unproductive? With the Technology Transfer Act, government research has metamorphosed from a mere public welfare endeavor to an income generating scheme not only for government researchers but also for their institutions. </li></ul>
  26. 26. News Writing <ul><li>Staccato lead </li></ul><ul><li>This short burst of phrases is meant to tease readers and set the mood. Like the narrative lead (but in a different way) the intention is to draw the reader’s interest into the news. </li></ul><ul><li>Example : </li></ul><ul><li>Dreary laboratories. Dull research activities. Unhappy government research workers. These anathema usually associated with government research activities will soon be a thing of the past with the passage of the Technology Transfer Act. </li></ul>
  27. 27. News Writing <ul><li>Contrast lead </li></ul><ul><li>This approach compares or contrasts new & old, then & now, small & large, etc. Usually the first sentence deals with what your release is not about; the second introduces the point of your release. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>The proverbial servant of the people as alluded to government employees may no longer totally hold true for government researchers and scientists. The Technology Transfer Act has unleashed government workers from the bonds of being lowly servants of the people to potential government business partners. </li></ul>
  28. 28. News Writing <ul><li>Descriptive lead </li></ul><ul><li>May describe a place, a person, an event, or a thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) conference room ordinarily used for small meetings has seen its biggest number of occupants this morning as the agency’s researchers and scientists nationwide gathered here to tackle the Department newest challenge—benefiting from the gains of the Technology Transfer Act. </li></ul>
  29. 29. News Writing <ul><li>Grammatical beginning lead </li></ul><ul><li>Causal clause - consists of a dependent clause beginning with because or since </li></ul><ul><li>Conditional clause -consists of a dependent clause beginning with if, unless, provided </li></ul><ul><li>Concessive clause -consists of a dependent clause beginning with though or although </li></ul>
  30. 30. News Writing <ul><li>Temporal clause - consists of a dependent clause beginning with while, after, before, since, as, as soon as. </li></ul><ul><li>Infinitive phrase - consists of a phrase beginning with an infinitive </li></ul><ul><li>Participial phrase - consists of a phrase beginning with a participle. </li></ul>
  31. 31. News Writing <ul><li>Prepositional phrase- consists of a phrase beginning with a preposition. </li></ul><ul><li>Noun clause- consists of a dependent clause used as the subject of the verb in the independent clause and begins with what, how, why, whether, and when. </li></ul><ul><li>Gerund phrase - consists of a verb noun used as the subject of the the sentence. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Headline Writing
  33. 33. Headline Writing <ul><li>Headline refers to the title of a news story </li></ul><ul><li>B. Functions of the headline </li></ul><ul><li>• To give the gist of the news </li></ul><ul><li>• To present the news for rapid survey reading </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To give a pleasing appearance to the page </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Headline Writing <ul><li>Headlines according to purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Headline designed to inform </li></ul><ul><li>Headline designed to intrigue </li></ul>
  35. 35. Headline Writing <ul><li>Rules in writing headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Use easy to read headlines. </li></ul><ul><li>Write nothing in the headline that is not in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid repeating key words. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use names of persons unless well known </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific, avoid generalities </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t editorialize </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use labels </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using a negative verb </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid obvious alliteration </li></ul>
  36. 36. Headline Writing <ul><li>Use present tense for past tense </li></ul><ul><li>Use infinitive group for future events </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t begin a headline with a verb. </li></ul><ul><li>Use forceful dynamic verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Omit the articles a, an, the and all forms of the verb to be unless needed to make the meaning clear </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid screaming headline- a headline that is big and bold while the story is not important </li></ul><ul><li>Use short familiar words </li></ul>
  37. 37. Headline Writing <ul><li>Substitute the italicized words in each of the headlines with conventional headline terms </li></ul><ul><li>    </li></ul><ul><li>     Enrollment decreases </li></ul><ul><li>     Secret alliance on coup disclosed </li></ul><ul><li>     Drive against dirty literature going on </li></ul><ul><li>     Enrollment reaches 5,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>     Student writers prepare for journalism contest </li></ul><ul><li>     GMA orders investigation </li></ul><ul><li>     BIR plans disapproved </li></ul><ul><li>D onors increased fund </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court decides on impeachment </li></ul>
  38. 38. Headline Writing <ul><ul><li>Senate approves budget proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Border dispute starts war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>President ended up diplomatic tour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PGH lessens flu fears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DOST supports science seminar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slay suspect questioned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peru removes martial law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notorious pickpocket arrested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laborer goes berserk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cabinet revamp expected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PNP captures dope pusher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examination schedule released </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics disregarded in slay rap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Police Chief dismissed five cops </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Headline Writing <ul><ul><li>Improve each of the following headlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barangay election Must Go On According to Experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>House Approved Budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Juan Cruz Sought Asylum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PCARRD Performed Well in 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medallists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2011 Election Wont be Held </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pinay Beauty Joined and Won Asia Pacific Beauty Contest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purefoods beats Ginebra </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fernandez is next Press Secretary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress next Session Will Be Held In Cebu </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Feature Writing What is a feature? It differs from straight news in one respect — its intent. A news story provides information about an event, idea or situation. The feature does a bit more. It also may interpret or add depth and color to the news; instruct; or entertain.
  41. 41. Feature Writing Characteristics of a Feature Stories The Lead A feature lead doesn't have to have the who, what, where, when and why in the very first paragraph, the way a hard-news lead does. Instead, a feature lead can use description or an anecdote to set up the story. A feature lead can run for several paragraphs instead of just one.
  42. 42. Feature Writing Phase   Feature stories often employ a more leisurely phase than news stories. Features take time to tell a story, instead of rushing through it the way news stories often seem to do.
  43. 43. Feature Writing Length   Taking more time to tell a story means using more space, which is why features are usually, though not always, longer than hard news articles.
  44. 44. Feature Writing Focus If news stories tend to focus on events, features tend to focus more on people. Features are designed to bring the human element into the picture, which is why many editors call features &quot;people stories.&quot;
  45. 45. Feature Writing Kinds of Feature   The Profile A profile is an article about an individual. Profiles can be done on just about anyone who's interesting and newsworthy.
  46. 46. Feature Writing Human interest stories A human interest story is written to show a subject’s oddity or its practical, emotional, or entertainment value.
  47. 47. Feature Writing Backgrounders A backgrounder--also called an analysis piece--adds meaning to current issues in the news by explaining them further. These articles bring an audience up-to-date, explaining how this country, this organization, this person happens to be where it is now.
  48. 48. Feature Writing The News Feature The news feature is just what it sounds like - a feature article that focuses on a topic of interest in the news. News features often cover the same subjects as deadline hard-news stories, but do so in greater depth and detail.
  49. 49. Feature Writing The Spot Feature   Spot features are feature stories produced on deadline that focus on a breaking news event. Often news features are used as sidebars to the mainbar.
  50. 50. Feature Writing Trend Stories Trend stories take the pulse of the culture at the moment, looking at what's new, fresh and exciting in the world of art, fashion, film, music, high-technology and so on.
  51. 51. Feature Writing The Live-In The live-in is an in-depth, often magazine-length article that paints a picture of a particular place and the people who work or live there.
  52. 52. Feature Writing <ul><li>Structure of a feature story </li></ul><ul><li>Title & Headline </li></ul><ul><li>The headline performs two important functions. An effective headline: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grabs the reader's attention and persuades them to read the article </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlights the main idea of the article. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes keywords (for online articles). </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Feature Writing The lead The introduction is the most important part -entice your reader, hook them in. Use drama, emotion, quotations, questions, descriptions.
  54. 54. Feature Writing <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>The first paragraph outlines the subject or theme of the article, it may also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provoke the reader's interest by making an unusual statement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide any necessary background information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite the reader to take sides by making a controversial statement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heighten the drama of an event or incident to intensify its appeal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish the writer's tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a relationship between the writer and the reader. </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Feature Writing The body The body of the article needs to keep any promises or answer any questions raised in the introduction - try and maintain an &quot;atmosphere&quot; throughout the writing·
  56. 56. Feature Writing The Nutgraph The nutgraph is where the feature writer lays out for the reader exactly what the story is all about. It usually follows the first few paragraphs of the scene-setting or story-telling the writer has done. A nutgraph can be a single paragraph or more.
  57. 57. Feature Writing <ul><li>Details (The Main Article) </li></ul><ul><li>The middle section consists of a number of paragraphs that expand the main topic of the article into subtopics. The usual components are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subheadings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facts and statistics which support the writer's opinion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal viewpoints. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinions from authorities and experts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotes and interviews. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anecdotes and stories. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific names, places and dates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs, tables, diagrams and graphs. </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. Feature Writing The conclusion The conclusion should be written to help the reader remember the story. Use a strong punchline
  59. 59. Feature Writing <ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>The concluding paragraph should leave a lasting impression by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminding the reader of the article's main idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggesting an appropriate course of action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraging a change of attitude or opinion. </li></ul></ul>
  60. 60. Feature Writing <ul><li>Pointers in feature writing </li></ul><ul><li>Know your readers </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid providing too many information in the </li></ul><ul><li>lead </li></ul><ul><li>Use a thread </li></ul><ul><li>Use transition </li></ul><ul><li>Write clear concise statements </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid lengthy, complex paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>Use dialogues if applicable </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain tenses </li></ul>
  61. 61. Feature Writing <ul><li>Pointers in feature writing </li></ul><ul><li>Check your spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Write in the active voice </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid clichés </li></ul><ul><li>Select proper words </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a voice </li></ul><ul><li>Never plagiarize </li></ul>
  62. 62. Thank you !