How to write a news article

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All the top tips you need to turn your story into a newspaper article!

In this article you can find out:

  • How to write a news article
  • How to use facts

This resource is suitable for informative writing for P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7 (First and Second Level Curriculum for Excellence).

Watch this video to learn how to write a news article.

All the top tips you need to turn your story into a newspaper article!

Where to begin

News can be:

Type of newsDefinitionExample
LocalSomething relating to particular region or neighbourhoodA newspaper that reports on and stories events in the local community, like Paisley Daily Express, Kilmarnock Standard or Dumfries & Galloway Standard
NationalSomething relating to a single nationA UK newspaper, like the Times or the Guardian.
InternationalSomething relating to the whole worldLarge news outlets, such as BBC or CNN, that cover news around the world for a global audience.

Where to begin when you’re writing a news article?

First you need some news!

Most news articles are about an interesting, exciting or shocking event or story.

For example

There has been a break-in at a house in the woods. The only witnesses are the family. The burglar has eaten their food and destroyed some furniture.

Can you think of an interesting or exciting story or event that you could write your report on?

Have any interesting events taking place at your school or in your local community?

Get the facts

A good reporter will start by finding out the facts. Once you have found an interesting or exciting story, start to write up some notes outlining the key facts.

Think of the five 'W' questions to help you with your fact-finding.

  • What happened? For example, a burglary or a marathon event.
  • When did the event take place? For example, in the morning or in the summer.
  • Who was involved? For example, the burglar or runners.
  • Where did it happen? For example, a house in the woods or in a busy city.
  • Why did it happen? For example, someone was hungry or holding an event for charity.

Once you have sorted all your notes and organised the facts, you’re ready to write the article.

How to structure a news article

Headline

  • Every good news article needs an attention grabbing headline.
  • This is the heading or title at the top of an article in a newspaper, magazine or online article.
  • Your headline should be short and snappy and make the reader want to find out more.
  • One trick for writing a good headline is using .

Bears blame blonde for burglary

Subheading

  • Your article should have a subheading to provide a bit more detail about the story.
  • Subheadings are smaller than a headline and are used to break up a piece of writing into different sections.

'Burglar steals porridge and destroys house in ransacking rampage.'

First sentence

  • Your first sentence should and describe what happened as accurately as possible.
  • For example: In the early hours of this morning, a burglar broke into the home of The Three Bears in rural Bearwick. Police are looking for a blonde-haired suspect.

Paragraphs

  • Paragraphs are a collection of sentences.
  • They are used in writing to introduce new sections of a story, characters or pieces of information.
  • Paragraphs help readers to enjoy what has been written because they break text up into easy-to-read sections.
  • Use your fact-finding notes to give your reader more detail about what happened.

Quotes

Tone

  • You should write in a way.
  • You should use third-person , like 'he', 'she', 'it' or 'they', not first-person pronouns like 'I'.

Layout

  • Print newspapers and magazines usually have a traditional layout for news article called columns.
  • If your news article is online, you won’t need columns but you will still need to write in .
  • You can include images to show what happened, places or people involved.

Don’t forget to add your name to the article but leave out your personal opinions.

Summary

What? When? Who? Where? Why?

Gather facts

A good reporter will start by finding out the facts. Once you have found an interesting or exciting story, start to write up some notes outlining the key facts.

1 of 6
  • A well-written article will help people understand what happened in an event or story.
  • Stick to the facts (what, when, who, where and why) so that the article that you write can be just right.
  • A good news article is structured with headings, subheadings and paragraphs.
  • You will need to think about where your article is being published too. A newspaper? Magazine? Online?

  • listennational – For example: 'When he won the tennis match he became a national hero.'
  • listeninternational – For example: 'The football team had four international players.'
  • listenaccurately – For example: 'The shopkeeper accurately counted out the change.'
  • listensuspect – For example: 'The suspect has dark hair, brown eyes and wears red glasses.'
  • listenwitnesses – For example: 'We asked who saw the car chase and three witnesses have come forward.'
  • listenopinion – For example: 'The opinion of the class was that salt and vinegar was the tastiest crisp.'

Test your knowledge

Write your own news article

The film at the top of the page was about Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

Can you use another story you know to write a news article? You could also write about something that actually happened.

Remember:

  • Start with the facts and think about: What? When? Who? Where? Why?
  • If you are writing about a real event, interview people as witnesses and add their quotes. If you are writing about a fictional story, you can be creative and make these up!
  • Have fun using alliteration for your headline. For example: The Ghostly Girl Glided or The Boy Brought Bananas.