Monday, December 07, 2009

Formula for a Well-Written News Article

About 90% of the newspaper articles I come across in the Armenian media do not comply with the rules of a well written article. At some point I simply give up and skip to the next one. Even though I'm not a reporter, I'm guilty of similar sloppy style of writing on this blog. Below are some tips I need to keep in mind for the future.

1.  First paragraph
The first one or two sentences should tell who, what, when, where, and why. Try to hook the reader by beginning with a funny, clever, or surprising statement.

2.  Second/Third/Fourth paragraphs
These should give the reader the details. Include one or two quotes from people that were  interviewed. Write in the third person (he, she, it, they). Be objective -- never state your opinion. Use quotes to express others' opinions!

3. Last paragraph
Wrap it up somehow ( don't leave the reader hanging. Please don't say...."In conclusion" or "To finish..."  Try ending with a quote or a catchy phrase.

Key items to remember:
    * Use active words (verbs that show what's really happening.)
    * Take notes when you interview. Write down quotes!
    * Tell the really interesting info first!

1 comment:

Ani said...

Good advice! Searching for those news nuggets is hard work and those guidelines really aren't that tough to follow. Shouldn't have to be like this: