HOW TO WRITE A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: RULES AND EXAMPLES

You have to write an article with 5 W but you don’t know how? Do you have to create a buttonhole for the newspaper? Are you looking for a scheme, an example, a structure? Here is what you need for an article.

How many times have I published ideas and information to write online? Many, however, sometimes I leave the boundaries of the profession and I dedicate myself to the first love: the printed paper. So, the question arises: how to write a newspaper article?

It is not easy to focus on this field: writing a piece of newspaper is an art. And this applies to the web, to the work of copywriters and bloggers, but also to the press.

Professional journalists and publicists (the purgatory in which you stay for years) have one goal: to communicate clearly to provide a quality service to the public. Someone does it on television, others with the radio or with articles.

My interest reaches online and offline journalism. How to write a newspaper article? Are there any differences for work or study, for example when you graduate from high school? And the lineup of the news article? Here are the answers to get started.

What is a newspaper article: definition

It is an informative update and described, in textual form and with the support of multimedia content such as photos or videos, which is published on a newspaper.

This text is written by the journalist who collects the information and writes the content. Other people work with him to complete the article, that is the photographer who takes care of the images and the proofreader. This figure takes care of the rereading and ensures that there are no errors.

There is also the titolist who only takes care of writing headlines to attract readers, and which often becomes the key to an entire headline as is the case with Il Manifesto, famous for its rich titles with two meanings (see also the worst titles of Libero ).

Analysis of the newspaper article: how to do it

Point that opens the door to good writing. To write a newspaper article, an article worthy of the name, you must prepare yourself. So you have to be competent and lucid, able to manage information in the best possible way.

Superficiality is not enough, you have to go deeper. And you have to do it in relation to the type of content. There is a structure to follow to write a newspaper article:

  • Opening or lead.
  • Who.
  • Thing.
  • Such as.
  • When
  • Why.
  • Central body.
  • Closing.

To accompany everything, of course, there is the title that can be composed of a headline that summarizes the topic, an eyelet that is positioned above the title and introduces. Immediately below, instead, is the summary which gives a further introduction. You can write about:

  • Chronicle.
  • Policy.
  • Culture.
  • Black.
  • Rose.

Maybe you want to write a sports article, in the style of Gazzetta, or a theme for maturity. Each sector has its own characteristics, but you have to go beyond the categories.

You need to know the base and the details, the foundation of the topic and the insights. Because an article on paper does not change, it cannot be changed, it remains as a testimony of your competence.

Check and point to the objectivity of writing

How to write an effective newspaper article? Start with the principles of your profession: the document you will deliver to the press must be well written.

This means free of typing and grammar errors. But above all it must be based on verified information, on a clear basis. Because you have to be a flywheel of truth.

Even if you are carrying out the task of maturity. Your article must be a point of reference for the reader. A reader who has to rely on you, so checking the news becomes an indispensable step. And you must always mention the sources clearly. The second step to write a newspaper article: objectivity.

Tell the facts, let the news catch the reader’s attention. You must not put your style aside, you must not mortify your soul as a writer and journalist. You don’t have to, period. But at the same time it is a professional obligation.

What is fact checking when you write an article

It is literally the verification of the facts. In journalism, fact checking is crucial, the passage that allows the journalist to check the sources. Indeed, I would say that it is an obligation but also a right. It is an operation that can engage a lot.

Not always who packages the article is able (or has the time) to operate in the best possible way. But it must be done to protect the reader.

Inverted (inverted) pyramid and journalism

In journalism there is a structure to write a good article. Of course, I’m not talking about sculpted rules, but the indications are clear: to package content for publication in a newspaper, you have to follow a lineup.

Here is the diagram of the inverted pyramid. The article begins with the most important news, with clear indications to show readers what they can read.

Then there is the development of the work and, finally, the closure with details and information. The idea is this: follow an order of importance, starting from the beginning to the end.

Advantages of the scheme for the newspaper article

In this way the reader can immediately learn the main data. This does not mean omitting the final part, but becoming aware of the fact that attention is diminishing. And that people don’t read the whole article. And maybe in the layout the article is cut. This is why closure should be expendable.

The inverted pyramid model, however, is not unique and alone. In fact there are other types of journalism that foresee a different development of the article. What you see above, for example, is a suggested model for articles dedicated to the most important trends, with the support of statistical data and external contributions from experts.

ABC Model: accuracy, brevity, clarity

This is the basis for those who want to write a newspaper article: focus on the ABC model. That is to say the starting point for journalists of the printed paper.

But also radio and television. ABC is the acronym of accuracy, brevity and clarity. This means that your message must respect these terms:

  • Care for sources and accuracy.
  • Summary and speed of information.
  • No rounds of words and double meanings.

Communication when writing a newspaper article must be crystal clear. The inverted pyramid and all that derives from this presupposition: journalistic communication is based on the ABC model. Then comes the rest.

Attack (lead): 5W rule and journalism

The 5W rule respects the inverted pyramid: giving all the information useful to the reader, indicating the facts. Nothing more and nothing less. The protagonists, time, the place of development: in this way everything is clear. The five W’s stand for:

  • Who: who? Here you find the person who has done the deed.
  • What: what? The element that happened, the key to everything.
  • When: when? The time you have to give a job.
  • Where: where? The place, another distinctive element.
  • Why: why? Reasons that led to this.

Where does this structure come into being to create an effective attack? In reality the scheme derives from the work carried out by St. Thomas Aquinas in the work Summa Theologiae.

In the work of the philosopher, however, other elements are mentioned that are not found in the 5W rule. And that could complete the attack by adding useful concepts to writing: how much, how, with what means.

How to write newspaper article: example of an attack

Here are the elements: how much, how, with what means. They are not nuances present in all the news, but it is right to be aware of these aspects when writing a piece. I leave you an example, a crime story related to a heinous murder:

  • Who: name of the murderer.
  • When: yesterday.
  • What he did: he killed his wife.
  • How: with cruelty.
  • By what means: with a knife.
  • Where: at his home.
  • Why: to take the inheritance.

Now the news is complete. Focusing on the 5W rule is a good start. But how to write a newspaper article? You have to respect a style, a writing attentive to the different directions required by the theme to make good online and offline journalism.

Conclusion and closure of the newspaper article

Closing an article depends a lot on the work you are doing. If you focus on the criterion of objectivity, a piece must not end with a judgment or the author’s point of view. Are you signing an article of criticism, maybe a political piece where your opinion is required? Or maybe a piece of news?

Things change. You can end the article with a rhetorical question, with a curiosity, with an anecdote of color and particularly amusing. But I repeat: the real difference lies in whether or not you can leave your opinion.

Language and writing styles in journalism

The journalistic writing style? It all depends on the type of article you are writing. The starting point is this: point to the essence. Journalistic writing does not need frills and tricks, it is based on clear and effective communication. But not trivial. The modes of expression are different and change according to the article

In any case, you should always put the reader first. Use short sentences and simple words, avoid foreign terms and little-known acronyms, take away what you don’t need.

Pay attention to adjectives and adverbs. You must ensure that the article is read as quickly as possible. And that is understood by all thanks to the use of captions, anecdotes, exposition of facts and quotations from reliable sources. Which can be verified.

Difference between news and opinion article

Everything depends on the article. A piece of crime news will be oriented towards the news, one of opinion will be close to a personal communication. And a cultural article will allow itself to go to some high-profile reference. Just as sports pieces will use terms that are dear to followers of an industry like football or Formula One.

Difference between basic and editorial article

An important point to emphasize. Looking at the structure of the first page of a newspaper you can understand the importance of the piece. The opening article is the one that starts the newspaper, is in the center of the section and tells the story.

The background article gives the opinion of a famous person with respect to an important topic. There is no difference with the editorial, both express the line of the newspaper. The shoulder article is similar, second in importance to the basic one. All this must be agreed with the newspaper’s editorial plan.

Example of newspaper article with lineup

How to write a newspaper article? I have listed a series of essential steps to put a good piece on paper. Because the basis is clear: you must aim for clarity, a dry style based on verification. But there are other elements.

Many ask for an example of a newspaper article to have a reference during the graduation exam, not just for work. Who has this need to buy a newspaper and read a lot. Maybe peering at the foreign press. Here is a diagram.

Often American and English journalism can give hints that are lacking in Italy. In any case, it may be useful to have a map of the main elements that you can find in a newspaper article. Here is a clear list:

  • Title.
  • Eyelet.
  • Headline.
  • Summary.
  • Bolt.
  • Owl.
  • Opening.
  • Body.
  • Closing.
  • Photo.

Above you will find an example, an explanation of useful fields. Around the article there are elements to optimize communication. There is a title that captures the reader’s attention, a subtitle that introduces the topic, a photo story that enriches the content, a buttonhole and a bolt that extrapolate essential elements.

In the big newsrooms the journalist does not have to deal with all this. For example there are the titolists who choose the headline of an article, but these are the points to know. Even if it’s not your job, you need to be able to choose a good photo and an effective title. To learn more: can a journalist be a blogger?

Interview: write a piece of newspaper online

How do you write a newspaper article? How do you draft a news article, how do you do an article on bullying, how do you create a piece following a ladder, structure, scheme? But we also ask ourselves how to write an article for an online newspaper?

Writing for the web is different from working for print media. Carrying out a newspaper article on the internet is a different job, as starting an online newspaper article is different from the newspaper you buy on newsstands. For this reason I asked a journalist for explanations: Cristina Maccarrone.

Cristina collaborates with various online newspapers, and as a journalist she writes articles for the web to be published on online newspapers. In this video he explains some differences and similarities between online and offline work, pointing also to some features of the old-fashioned journalist who works on the web.

Structure and outline of the newspaper article

When you write a newspaper article for high school, for the editorial staff or for the client, you must follow a scheme. There must be precise elements. What am I talking about exactly? Here is a summary of a front page piece.

Title

The most important and visible element. There may be hot (engaging and emotional) titles and cold (detached and informative) titles based on the nature of the news and the politics of the newspaper. The headline is surrounded by other elements of communication.

In addition, there are also owls, ie framed titles that draw attention to topics covered within. So they attract the reader’s curiosity.

Eyelet

Text string located above the headline. It gives information that allows the reader to contextualize the news, they are useful for adding important details. In the image above you will find an example of an eyelet in a newspaper article.

Summary

It is located below the title and has a task: to summarize the news. I have to read the summary and have an idea of ​​the fact, it’s a kind of meta description tag.

Bolt

Usually the bolt of a newspaper article is below these elements and adds information. Useful if the topic is complex and to attract attention.

Types of newspaper articles (even invented)

The article has an internal scheme. It depends on the type of piece you have to write, and its purpose. But there is always this sequence: the lead, or the attack, which gives the news and summarizes the essential points. Then there is development and finally the conclusion.

In any case, these rules must be contextualized. There are different types of newspapers that concern two broad categories: information and opinion pieces. This means modeling the outline of the article based on needs.

Hot and cold titles of an article: examples

The titles of the newspapers deserve a separate chapter. You know that the headline can do so much and that it gains the space known as above the fold. That is the face of the newspaper that, once folded, is shown to the public offline and online.

How does skiing write an effective headline? You must be informative and attentive to the ability to report a summary of the fact, but it is not so simple: there are hot and cold titles, different solutions to obtain good results based on needs.

The hot titles focus on emotion and communicate the news with force, striking the reader’s attention with force and creating great curiosity.

Example: Odyssey on the highway, record queues. The cold titles, instead, work on information and communication of the news. Example: Gas leak in Rome, zone EUR. Crolla palace. As you can see, the features are different.

How to write a newspaper article?

It is not an impossible task to complete. How to write a newspaper article? Think about the theoretical points, put the news in the foreground, then work on clarity. And on the inverted pyramid, a starting point for never making mistakes.

But above all, make experience, try and try again. This is the best way to learn. And if you have any doubts, leave it in the comments.