News is information about current events that may be of interest to its readers. Historically, it has been transmitted by word of mouth or through written media such as letters, newspapers and magazines. Alternatively, it can be communicated electronically, by broadcasting and on the Internet.
The most common topics for news reports include war, politics, government and the economy. However, other issues such as education, health, fashion, entertainment and sport also often make the news. Often, news articles feature a wide variety of facts, including statistics, quotes from experts and people close to the story, and anecdotes of personal experience.
While a news article is often subjective and may contain bias, it should be unbiased enough to remain factual. It is up to journalists to dictate which points are emphasized in the overall presentation of the news story. The information presented should be carefully sourced, with citations to back up statements that may be questionable.
A strong news article begins with a snappy headline that informs the reader and seizes their attention. It then moves into a “nut graph,” which is an explanation of the news item’s main point, answering the questions who, what, where, when and why. The nut graph is an essential part of the article as it provides context and places the new development in context with previous events.
Once the nut graph is established, the story should include more detailed and interesting aspects of the event or topic. This is often referred to as the “meat” of the article. The more detailed and intriguing the facts are, the more likely they will be to keep the reader’s attention and encourage them to continue reading. A strong news article is also usually balanced with some lighter news. This might include an article about a celebrity engagement, the birth of a child or a sporting event.
Whether in print or online, an effective news article should always be placed above the fold, which refers to the crease that is made by folding a newspaper. This is to ensure that the most important news items are visible to readers as soon as possible, without having to scroll down the page. Also, online news articles should be kept short to prevent them from being clogged up with unnecessary content that may discourage readers from viewing the entire piece. Lastly, a good news article should be accompanied by social media links that allow readers to share the news item and comment on it. Signing up for a few quality newsletters that provide a mix of hard-hitting and light news can be a great way to stay on top of the latest developments. Examples of such newsletters are The Economist Espresso, Next Draft, The Skimm and Flare’s Explainer series.