Writing Better News Articles

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Being a journalist today is one thing, but being able to write successful, distinguished articles is another.

So what is the different between a mediocre journalist and an extraordinary one?

There's plenty of opinions suggesting what that is, but here's five tips that won't hurt on your path to being a successful journalist.

1. Focus your important information into the beginning of your article.
One thing you need to know as a journalist is your general audience is pressed for time. Therefore getting all the most important facts down first is key to keeping the audience interested and reading. The format using this style is the inverted pyramid technique and at the end you can summarize what you wanted to accomplish in the beginning.

2. Stay fresh
When your writing an article do you write almost the same way every time? If your pattern is becoming predictable, it's time to switch it up. Change your style a little and switch up the vocabulary. Find ideas and work to be creative with your articles.

3. Receive feedback
Another great way to improve is to get constructive feedback. Try finding a good writer, editor, or someone who reads a lot. When you get intelligent and honest feedback just listen and try to understand the criticism. Accepting it will help you improve and become a better writer in general.

4. Check and recheck
One basic rule of good journalism is to check and recheck those facts. Giving false facts can lead to trouble and an untrusting audience. Checking and rechecking also applies to grammatical and contextual aspects. If your a sloppy writer then your credibility will also become sloppy. Writers do make mistakes from time to time, but checking your work will save you more times than not.

5. Write what you love
I believe this is one of the most important things for a journalist. Simply put, you need to be passionate about what you write about. When you write about things that don't interest you, it shows in your writing. The article will then become dull, disengaging, and uninformed. Stay with what interests you and it will come out into your writing. When you find your voice as a journalist just let it shine.

These aren't the only tips you need to become the successful journalist I know you're striving for, but these were the 5 I thought were most important in my opinion. Nevertheless, these and other skills will surely help you on your way to being a great and outstanding journalist.

Photo Credit: designthinkingblog.com via Creative Commons


KatieSchober March 9, 2011 at 8:45 AM  

Great tips, David! I think one of the tips you mentioned, staying fresh, isn't mentioned enough. It also contributes to your fifth tip, writing what you love. If you stay fresh, your readers are entertained--but importantly, you also stay entertained yourself. It can be blatantly obvious in writing when someone doesn't want to do what they've been doing any more and, as you pointed out, no one wants to read the work of someone whose heart isn't in it. Great tips-- I will be keeping them in mind!

Kimberly Kurimski March 20, 2011 at 5:46 PM  

Number five is a great tip. During high school I wrote things that didn't interest me. It was very hard for me to complete the writings since it didn't interest me. I think it's very important to write about something that interests you so you give your best effort.

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