Story Elements


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Story Elements and Types

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Story Elements

  1. 1. When we are talking about journalism, we are really talking about the story, the written text and/or visual components that “tell” the story to the audience. Elements of a Story Journalism
  2. 2. When you see a journalistic story in any medium, you will usually find all or most of the following story elements. Headline : Gets reader’s attention and indicates topic, purpose Byline : Identifies author Lead : First paragraph that “leads” into the story Quotes : Direct and indirect quotes attributed to sources relevant to the story Visual(STD) : a visual that supports the story, usually a photo, but can be a chart, table, or sidebar; often has a title. Caption : A written description of the visual. Credit : Identifies creator/producer/source of the visual. Elements of a Story Journalism
  3. 3. While there are many sections to a traditional newspaper, most of the stories can be classified as one of three types: news, feature, and opinion. These three story types have a lot in common in terms of structure, but are defined by their own unique characteristics. What’s the Story? Journalism
  4. 4. Hard News Purpose: Traditional reporting of newsworthy events (hard news values) written objectively for the primary purpose of conveying information. Content: Emphasize factual, complete, well-rounded reporting in a timely fashion with as little bias or propaganda as possible; emphasis on content more than structure. Lead: Usually display clear and well-defined leads, emphasizing the 5 W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why, how). What’s the Story? Journalism
  5. 5. Features Purpose: Factual reporting providing in-depth coverage of a variety of subjects for a variety of purposes. Emphasizes clear angle/focus and deep research. Content: Emphasize high-interest content and human interest values, and are often entertaining with a greater focus on story structure (clear beginning, middle, and end). Lead: Lead meant to get the reader’s attention and draw reader into story. What’s the Story? Journalism
  6. 6. Opinions (Columns and Editorials) Purpose: Subjective stories written from a particular and defined point of view meant to persuade, explain, or entertain. Content: Style can integrate more elements of literary writing, but should include a clear statement of position, use of persuasive techniques, arguments supported by factual evidence, and often a call to action. Lead: Lead meant to hook reader into story, but should indicate writer’s topic, position, and purpose. What’s the Story? Journalism