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.

Structure Part 1: The Inverted Pyramid

Structure Part 1: The Inverted Pyramid

Structure part 1: The inverted pyramid

There are two main ways of telling a story. One is the chronological approach, starting at or before the beginning of a series of events, and working through to the end. The other is to start ‘in medias res’ – in the middle of things. This phrase comes from the Latin poet Horace, who advised young poets that when writing an epic they should begin in the middle of things, at a dramatic moment. He might have been, indeed to a certain extent he was, teaching news writing, since epic poetry is about big newsworthy events.

In the 1970s, the Sunday Times serialized Jan Morris's book Conundrum, about her sex change. The book begins with ...

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