Anna McKane's News Writing is a pioneering book dealing exclusively with the all-important craft of writing news stories. The ability to write a good news story is the starting point for all young journalists' careers.
The book deals fully with all aspects of writing news, including how to write a good intro, or first paragraph; how to order the information and assemble a winning story; and what language to use. It provides a step-by-step guide to constructing a story, with good and bad examples, and a detailed analysis of style, language, and grammar. There are checklists to help inexperienced writers to measure their work.
The book is written in a clear and practical way and provides guidance for students and trainee journalists to enable them to write everything from a snappy short agency-style news story to a more reflective piece appropriate for a quirky news item. It will be invaluable for trainee and student journalists at every level from first year undergraduate to graduate courses. It is also likely to be of benefit to the many amateur journalists writing local or society newsletters.
The first sentence of a news story is known as the intro, short for introduction. It is almost always written as a paragraph on its own. In news stories the paragraphs almost never follow the rules for paragraphs in essay-writing. Because most news stories, even in magazines, are laid out in fairly narrow columns, paragraphs are usually made up of one or two sentences. Short paragraphs are easier to read quickly, and speed is what it is all about. It is worth getting into the habit of breaking your story up into very short paragraphs. It is best to do this partly because the copy will have to be broken up when it goes into a page in a magazine or newspaper, ...