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 2: The News Story as Answers

Structure Part 2: The News Story as Answers

Structure part 2: The news story as answers

Another way of looking at how to structure a news story, which can be seen in parallel to the inverted pyramid principle, is by considering it as a set of answers.

The news story should be one half of a dialogue with the reader. You begin by telling her the most interesting piece of information you have. Imagine her taking that in, and then asking: ‘Good heavens, so why was that?’ Or: ‘How dreadful, were many people hurt?’ Or: ‘Does this mean the prime minister will have to resign?’ Or maybe, if the story seemed very farfetched: ‘Are you sure?’

The best news story will be one where the second paragraph answers ...

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