How is a basic news story written? Well, like many other pieces of writing, a news story follows a basic formula that addresses pertinent information on any given topic regarding current events. While every writer possesses his or her own style, it may diverge at certain points depending on the nature of the story. Case in point, a features or opinion piece may differ greatly from the cut and dry news article. Being that news articles typically follow a general mold, that will be discussed first, leaving any future creative articles for another time.
Despite all those who have never taken a journalism class, you have probably heard of the 5 W's that make up any solid piece of writing. If answered correctly and coherently, the "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How" questions should shape your news article, creating a firm foundation that gets the news across to the reader.
There is no clear-cut order that the 5 W's must follow, rather they are subject to change based on the context of the story. For example, if you are a member of a Student Press and are writing a story on an incident involving a student pulling a firearm on another student, you will probably start your article with where on campus the incident took place and at what time, followed by who was involved. In the case that names were not mentioned, simply state notable affiliations, such as, "the perpetrator and victim were both involved in illegal drug trafficking." As your story is being written, the five W's should fall into place naturally with the "why, how and so what" coming later.
Now that we have discussed the 5 W's, we must construct the perfect lead to hook readers in to reading your news article. In most cases,