An example of a News artcile In this Web Skills module on writing news articles you will find out what news is, what is news worthy, learn how to structure a news story and how we can help you.

You can find lots of examples of good news articles on the main College News site.

Writing news menu

1. What is news?

A good news story, with good news value,s has one or all of the following:

  • Human Interest – this matters to someone I know.
  • New – we didn’t know this before.
  • Timely – why are you telling me now?
  • Quirky or surprising – doesn’t happen all the time.
  • Controversial - causes debate.

2. The five ‘W’s of a news story

All your news articles should include:
  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?

3. The inverse pyramid of news

Think about the structure of your story:
 
  • Overall length of the article and page layout.
  • Paragraph and sentence length.
  • Plan your teaser and summary
  • Constructing the story - what looks good, will you use; pull quotes, subheadings, the side bar content for background info, additional photos or multimedia, slideshows, and links?

Do's

  • Write your story in a word document first
  • Quote an named person.
  • Use pictures of something or someone.
  • Use plain English.
  • Stay active. Active - Dr Jones is using this equipment to study malariaPassive - 'Malaria was studied using this equipment' or 'This equipment was used to study malaria'.
  • Stay positive - say what you’re doing, not what you’re not doing!
  • Someone in unconscious , not that someone is not conscience.
  • Link to external sites.
  • Link to related Imperial stories.

Don't

  • Go on too long.
  • Use heavy graphs and charts.
  • Use Jargonand abbreviations (TLAs)!
  • Too many adjectives. Avoid using brilliant, excellent, etc. Use the quotes and facts in your reported text to demonstrate to the reader what is excellent about it – let them reach their own conclusion.

Contact the News team if you would like a news pro-forma for your potential stories.

4. What if it’s not very newsworthy?

This is a legitimate question and it is OK to turn things down, otherwise news writing becomes overwhelming.
 
Ask yourself the question - Does it meet one or more of the news values? If you don’t know, ask the person who brought you the news and If they don’t know, you can safely turn it down.
 
Some stories you just have to write, even though they’re not that newsworthy. So, instead, of writing a non-news story, make it more exciting?
Seek more facts, e.g. Is it an impressive amount of money? Has someone important announced it, or is connected to a project?
 
And if all else fail add an attractive picture or video!

5. Uploading news

You can find out how to upload news by following the instructions on the Uploading News Web Skills module.

6. Need more help?