Writing a Perfect News Article | Nadia Eldemerdash | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to New Writing!


    • 2.

      News Values


    • 3.

      Structure of a News Story


    • 4.

      Journalistic Conventions: Style


    • 5.

      Journalistic Conventions: Ethics


    • 6.

      Putting It All Together


    • 7.

      Applying News Writing Skills to Your Work


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About This Class

If you are a writer or aspire to be one, news writing is a great way to get started. In this class, we'll go over the basics of news writing and journalistic conventions. We'll also discuss how these techniques can help you with all kinds of writing work. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Nadia Eldemerdash

Writer, editor, and blogger


I am a professional writer, editor, and blogger. I work as a consultant on matters of public relations, content marketing, and social media management, helping agencies and clients in every industry create compelling content that establishes brands as industry leaders and streamlines the customer pipeline.

As a writer, I've written pieces on everything from politics and current events to lifestyle and entertainment, for publications such as The Tempest, Broad Street Review, Muftah, and more. 

Visit my website for more information.

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1. Welcome to New Writing!: Hello and welcome to journalism. Wanna one writing a perfect news article? My name is Nadya, and I'm going to be your instructor in this class. I'm a feelings writer, editor and blogger. I started out my career in university studying journalism, where I ran my student newspaper, and after I graduated, I worked at a large international newspaper before moving on to agency work, and I worked as a freelancer. So in this class, I'm going to pass on what I've learned about news writing through my education and experience to you. And I'm really excited about that. So you might be wondering, Is this class for me? Is this something that's going to help me out? And I think, absolutely. If you are a writer, if you want to be a writer or if you do writing as part of your job or your schoolwork, news writing is going to help you. If you're in marketing or PR, it's going to give you insight into how journalists brains work and how you can better tailor your content to fit their needs. If you're a blogger, it's going to help you. If you write research papers or reports, you're going to get benefit as well, because use writing teaches you to do three things. He teaches you to write concisely, right? Simply an established structure writing concisely. You're not using too many words to say what you need to say. If you can say it in five words, you're saying getting five and not 10. Writing simply means you're not using too many big words, too many technical terms, a lot of industry jargon. We use these terms sometimes because we think that they make us seem more knowledgeable or more professional. But what they can really do is just bogged down your writing and make it hard for your reader to follow along and then finally establishing structure. I mean, we've all been there. I'm sure we've all had that difficulty of knowing where to start, how to transition from one point to the next. Ah, and use writing is going to be a big help with that as well. So in this class we're going to learn how to put together a news article, and then you can take that structure and adapt it to whatever kind of writing you do on a on a regular basis. our class project is going to be writing the news piece about an event that happens in your community. This could be anything. It could be a lecturer that you attended school. It could be a festival, a concert or even an event that you host yourself. Ah, it's going to be under 500 words. So not more than a page long if you're using single space and it's going to include all the elements of a news article that I'm going to go over in this class. So I'm really excited. I hope you are, too. And I will see you next time when we talk about what makes news. 2. News Values: hi and welcome to our first lesson. Now, before we can start writing news, we have to decide. What are we going to write about? How do we decide what is news and what is not news? Journalists use something called news values, these air categories that helped them decide what the audience wants and needs to know. So we're going to go through them one by one. The first is impact, the more impact something has an event on issue a law. The more impact it has on people, the more newsworthy it becomes. And the more people impacts again, the more newsworthy it becomes. That's why laws are very often in the news, because laws, even if they're only written or passed by one person, they can have a huge impact on everything from economy to culture. So they're very newsworthy. Up next is timeliness, and timeliness refers to win. Did this event happened? We live in a 24 7 news cycle, so there is a short amount of time where an event can be considered news. Usually if a day or a day and 1/2 has passed on an event, it's not new. It's not considered in use anymore because the impact of it is gone. People are interested anymore and more like more than likely. Other news outlets have beaten you to it. Next, we have prominent, and this refers to the status of the people who are being reported on famous. People are reported on doing even the most trivial things. This is because people are interested in what they what they're doing. Celebrities, politicians. These are people you're going to see in the news, the law, even if they're not doing anything particularly important. Generally, people are interested in what's happening near them. So, for example, a festival in your metro area is going to be news to you. But if it's if it's in the next day over, it's probably not news. Conflict conflict makes for interesting content, and that's what journalists are out to produce. Conflict is also good because it often incorporates issues of impact in prominence, So impact we're thinking war. For example, diplomatic spats. These kinds of things can have huge impact on a large number of people, and so they're going to be reported on heavily. Prominence were thinking celebrity feuds. These things, you know, are journalism bait. People love to read about them, and so journalists love to write about them. Next up, the bizarre or unusual. So the famous example of this is dog bites. Man is not news, but man bites. Dog is news. The idea is that anything out of the ordinary is something that's going to interest people , and that's going to make news. Finally, currency. So currency is different than timeline is because currency refers to once on the collective minds of your audience in the current time period. So it's more about the public interest. So, for example, a profile that was written about Hillary Clinton from back when she was running in 2008. That's not timely because it's old, it's years old, but it is current because people are talking about Hillary Clinton right now. She's running again. It's in the news, so that's something that's on people's minds. So now that we've learned about use values, you can see why I decided to make the class project about a local event because local events are going to most easily income pass news values for you. They're gonna be timely. They're gonna be near you so proximity and depending on the kinds of events you cover it they could also incorporate impact. They could incorporate prominence. It all depends on what exactly you're going to cover now. As you can see, not all of these news values are going to be present in one single event. Sometimes news values can actually conflict with each other. Your job as the writer is to determine what constitutes news to your reader by knowing your audience. So now that we know what we're gonna write about, we can. We want to how we're going to write it. I'll see you next time where we discuss the structure of a new story. 3. Structure of a News Story: Welcome back. Today we're going to talk about the structure of a new story. Now the very first thing you want to do and you write a new story is you're going to write your by line and your Dateline. So your byline is you can see is going to be your name by Nadia by Cindy by Mark and then your Dateline. Contrary to what its name may indicate, it's not the date. It is where you're writing from. So not where the event is happening, where you are when you're writing this story. This is important because I had an old journalism professor who used to like to say that news is the first draft of history. So you are becoming the source of that information. You have to be confident putting your name on this record of something that happened and saying Yes, I wrote this. I take responsibility for this information and your location is going to give us some perspective of what's your angle? Where you writing those from? How do you know that this happened? Are you there? Are you getting this information secondhand? That's your location is going to help us do that This is also really important. If you plan to send your writing to editors, you have to have a byline and you have to have a date line as an actor myself. I can tell you if I get an article that doesn't have a byline on it, the first thing I do is I go to the top of the article and I read in big caps by and then I leave some space and I indicate to the writer You need to put your name here. This is going to help ease and editor Just keep track of the stories I have and say, OK, this is by this person. So the next thing is, how are we going to structure the story? Journalists use something called the inverted Pyramid model. In this model, we start out with the most important information first. So this is going to be a summary of the story in one sentence. Who, what, when, where the next paragraph You're going to move on, you're going to put in some of the details. Why and how did this happen? Who was involved? What are the sources for your information? Maybe some quotes from people who attended or from the people who set it up. That's going to go when the next couple of paragraphs after and then finally, if you do have room, you can add some background information about the history, for example, of the event or whatever else you think is relevant or interesting to your readers. So basically, you're moving on from most important information to least important now. To create the inverted pyramid model, we start with something called the Lean. That's that first sentence that I mentioned before. It's which include who, what, when and where. At a minimum, you can also include why and how if you can manage to fit it into one sentence, but it has to include those four elements. It's going to be one sentence and one paragraph. So this is an excerpt I took from a news article in a local newspaper here in Vegas. This is the lead of the story. The missing endangered man police were seeking this morning has been found, according to a Metro press release. So we've got who missing endangered man. He has been found. That's going to be the what Unfortunately, we don't have the where we do have when, so this morning. This is probably because the press release that she's mentioning here it hasn't included that information. So she's updating This information is she's going along. So the next paragraph she has more details. She's got 90 year old Christopher Campo. So now we know more details about who he is, but you'll notice she didn't put his name in the first paragraph. That's because the name Christopher Campell is not gonna necessarily mean anything to the audience. You want to say the leech demonstrate why you're writing this? Why is this important? He's a missing, endangered man. That's why we're concerned about him. Next step is headlines and sub heads and usually I counsel writing the headlines and the subheds. When you're done writing completely your story, this works for me. I find it easier to do it this way. You're, of course, free. Tino do do things in the way that works for you. The headline is crucial because this is what's going to generate interest in your story. People are gonna read your headline first. It's just like the title of a book, So your headline you want 7 to 10 words maximum. That's when to give a good idea about your story without giving it all away. Speaking of headlines, I'm sure a lot of you have heard of Click Bai Clickbait as being this really kind of bad thing way of tricking people into clicking on an article. Um, the important thing to remember with any headline is that you have to deliver on the headlines. Promise. So if you write, for example, nine ways to lose weight fast, you have your article has to actually be about nine ways that are going to help people lose weight quickly. It can't be about nine ways that may or may not help you lose way if you also follow a diet and exercise. That is the issue with Click May. And that's what you as a writer need to avoid, because that's going to undermine your credibility in the minds of your audience. Now I just want to give this example really quick. This is a headline from Slate, So business article. As we can see, K Mart is closing 64 stores and laying off thousands. So nine words, nice headline. It gives us a summary of the story. What is this about? Immediately. I know what's going on. But at the same time my curiosity is engaged. Why are they closing so many stores? How is that going to impact all of the people who are being laid off? How is that going to impact the local economies? House went to impact me. Those are all questions that I'm asking in my head as I read this headline, and that makes me want to go in and read the full article. So back to headlines and subheds. A subhead is really an optional part of your article, but it can be a good way to organize Europeans and give it some structure. And also, if you include it with the help line, can give a little bit more detail again to kind of bringing the reader without giving the whole thing away. I personally recommend SUBHEDS. If you are writing an article that is over 500 words long, that's not gonna be an issue in this class, obviously, because that's not part of our project. But in general, if you're writing, I'll just give you an example quickly here. So this is my block. This is a article that I wrote a few weeks ago. And as you can see, it's quite long. I believe this is about 900 or so words so very long. And when you have something this long, if you're reading it on mobile, it just looks like a block of text. And that could be very, very difficult for a reader to good through. And you don't want them to close your window just because you know there's just too much it's too overwhelming. So what I've done is I've used a couple of subheds here so kind of talk about what are we talking about in this section? And that's going to give the reader an idea of what's coming up next. It's also gonna just break it up visually so that it's not that difficult to read. You can see in this example there are no subheds. Under the headline, but actually on the home page, there was a small subhead to kind of gain the reader's interest as well. And again, this were expected with long pieces, not necessarily for short pieces like the ones that were going to be working on in this class 4. Journalistic Conventions: Style: Hi. Welcome back. Today we're going to be talking about the style of news writing. So now that we know how you get your article started, how you structure your piece, let's take a good look at the body of the peace. When you write a news article, use common terms and simple sentences. These air going to make your article easier to read. Don't use overly complicated terms. Were technical terms or a lot of industry jargon. Don't use complex sentences where it's not necessary. That doesn't make your writing Seymour professional. It just makes it harder for your reader to get through again. News writing is all about getting the information to your reader as quickly and as easily as possible. Never make the same point twice. Remember, this is writing so your reader can always go back and re read what you've written. If they're confused about something or if you forget something once you've made a point, move on to the next point, preferably in another paragraph, which we'll talk about in just a few minutes. Present times when you write a news article you want toe, always use the present tense uses about what's happening now not about what's already done and over with. So, for example, if you read articles online or in your newspaper, you'll notice a lot of times when they're quoting people they'll use the verb, says not said. Even though said would be the more correct term considering that they're referring to a quote that they've got in previously. So not the person isn't speaking right now, but in use, we try as much as possible to use the present tense. This is particularly important for headline writing. So with headlines, even if in the body of the text, you're going to be using the past tense or you feel like you need to use the past tense with headlines, the present dens is crucial. That's the first thing your reader is going to see, and you have to give them that sense of tiny limits and that sense of urgency that is a characteristic of use. Nobody wants to read about what's already happened and done and over with. They want to read about what's going on now. So if we look back at the example that I spoke about in my last class, so in this example, you see the headline is, K Mart is closing 64 stores, not Kmart has closed 64 stores or even came our clan's to close 64 stores because again there needs to be that sense of urgency. And that sense of this is what is going on right in this moment for your reader to really be attracted to the news piece and to want to read it. So again, writing is writing. The present tense establishes the timeliness and the urgency of your piece. The active voice is another distinguishing characteristic of news writing, but it's a quality that's going to help all kinds of writing that you dio because active voice is really going to help you bring those words toe life. So your average sentence structure is going to be a subject verb object. What you want to do when you're writing in the active voice is just to make sure that your subject is always the person who is performing the ver Not that you have the object in the front of the sentence. So, for example, here we have the architect designed the structure. This is active voice because the architect is the one doing the action passive voice would be. The structure was designed by the architect because of structure. Here is the subject of the sentence, but it is not what is performing the action. Another aspect of active voices writing short sentences and short paragraphs. If you've ever taken a creative writing course, or if you've ever done any creative writing, you'll probably have heard that you can use the length of your sentence is to establish pace in your story so longer. Sentences indicate a longer flow of time, a slower passage of time. But short sentences indicate a rapid passage of time and get quick action within the story . And that's how you kind of create the tone for your story with news writing. It's exactly the same except with tone. We're trying to create that kind of active, urgent tone of voice, so we really want to focus on writing short sentences and short paragraphs. If you're writing a news piece, I would suggest that you take a look at your sentences, and if you have any sentence that is two lines on your page, try and get it down to a line and 1/2. Make that line and have your maximum, really for sentences and then with paragraphs you're looking at maybe 45 lines maximum. The final point I want to talk about is writing style. So here we're not referring to the tone or your word usage or whatever. We're referring to really formatting and being consistent within your formatting style. By adopting a for mining style, you establish consistency in your writing, and that's going to make your peace easier to read this because when you read, our brain isn't looking at each individual letter or each individual world. Rather, it's looking at the piece is a hole and then understanding the peace through context that it's acquired over the course of our lives. When you have conflicting styles, especially within the same piece, it's jarring to the brain because the brain now doesn't know what to expect, and that's going to just slow your reader down. The most come style that is used by publications all over the world is AP style. AP refers to the Associated Press, and if you're not familiar with it, The Associated Press is a newswire service, and what a newswire does is they have bureaus and reporters all over the world. They're rate stories from all over the world, and then they send those stories two publications that are subscribed to that service. So if you ever read an article online or in your newspaper, and it says by has byline and then underneath it says Associated Press. That story has come from the AP newswire. The reason a lot of publications used the services because they often don't have the kind of resource is they need tohave a reporter from their own organization available in every single spot in the world. So they use AP or Reuters or another service to complement their coverage, particularly in like national or international issues. So 80 style What it does is it tells us how to use aggravations, how to use different terms correctly and in what context should be right out numbers, Or should we use the new miracles? AP has a style for that. How to write out times and locations and state names. These are all things that are gonna be covered in the A P stylebook, which is something they published every year. I have a copy. It's a few years old now, but it works just fine, and you can find a lot of information about their style guidelines online. They have a website, so it's very simple in that sense. So it's important to being consistent in your writing to make it easier for your reader to read again. This is the main point of the whole idea of having a style guideline in the first place. So when you're writing, you might look to AP as a guideline. But you also want to think about what comes naturally to you. So when you write headlines, for example, do you like to capitalize each individual word? Or do you prefer to just write it as a sentence? Think about that and then adopt that as you're consistent style throughout all the publications that you right. If you are in PR or you're writing for your company, for example, look at the style guidelines they have, and if they don't have style, guidelines consider suggesting that they make them. That will make their work consistent throughout the organization, and that's going to speed up a lot of things. So that's our class. Next time we're gonna talk about ethics, I'll see you then 5. Journalistic Conventions: Ethics: Hi, everyone. Today we're gonna talk about journalistic ethics. This is a really important topic, not just for aspiring journalists, but for anyone who wants to write professionally at any level. And it's going to help. You really think about how you write and how you present your work to the world. The first point is accuracy. Accuracy is important, not just for your reader, but it's important for yourself to develop a reputation for accuracy that is going to benefit you in the long term, and it's going to make an impact on your readers. So with accuracy you have, you want to check and double check your information. Make sure that everything is accounted forward. Make sure your numbers add up. Make sure your timeline is logical. That is going to ensure that your piece is accurate and correct, and information is correct. Right down quotes, word for word. This is a really important point. A lot of people think that quotes could be kind of an approximation of what the person said . But that is a big big pitfall for journalists and writers. Your quotes have to be word for word accurate, and that's why a lot of journalists use recordings because they like to record what's been said. If, for whatever reason, you need to add a couple of words to your quote, or you need to remove some things, a lot of you know the arms and those and the you know the likes that kind of thing. You can use, uh, different types of punctuation to indicate that. So you indicate missing words with Philip sees. But you indicate added words with square brackets. Sometimes you'll need to do this. If the person uses pronouns that don't make sense in the structure of your writing in your piece, you'll have toe ad the specific now that they're talking about in with the square brackets , that's the most common used honesty. Honesty is like accuracy, but not quite, because honesty is not about just getting everything correct word for word. But it's about including all relevant information, not removing or adding things in an effort to enforce your point of view or to get across a certain point that you want to make that something we're gonna talk about in the next slide . But for now, it's important Teoh to know that you need to be inclusive of everything. Ah, good writer is one who is open minded and one who includes all points of views, all the information that is relevant to their work. When you approach people and this is going to be especially relevant when you're doing the class project, you need to be clear about who you are informed people that you're writing an article and indicate if you know where it's going to be published, go up to the person and say Hi, I'm writing about this event for my blawg. Can I ask you a couple of questions? Make it clear to them that they're going to be published on that. Their words are going to be on record so you don't have any ugly encounters later on. In some countries, you could have legal consequences for taking people's information and quotes without asking . So this is an important point, obviously for you, but also for your reputation as well. The next thing we have is opinions and objectivity. If you're writing a news piece, you have to be objective. If you're covering an event, you're covering a meeting. You're writing a political issue, a social issue. You have to be completely impartial and objective. This is crucial in news writing. You have to be aware of your opinions and your own biases, and don't allow them to influence your writing or your work. When you're writing, trying and get all the dissenting opinions, try to contact as many people as possible. Try to get it was rounded of you as possible. Sometimes when you read news articles, I'm sure you've noticed you'll have. For example, X Y was not available for comment or X. Y did not respond to our emails regarding this issue, and that's really the journalists saying, I've made a good faith effort to contact this person and get their side of the story. But they were not available when I asked, and that's why I don't have that information for you, not because I'm biased one way or another. That's an important distinction to make, and it's going to be crucial for you in use rating. However, I know that some of you guys maybe are not planning on writing use pieces in the long haul or if you are. Maybe you also write other things on the side that you would also like to learn about in terms of ethic ethics and ethical behavior. So when you write your opinion in anything, make sure to clearly indicate and different she between facts and between your own opinion , that distinction has to be 100% clear to your reader. Make sure that you acknowledge odor side. Acknowledge counter arguments if you have access to them. And don't ignore information or other things that don't fit into your paradigm. You want to get a holistic experience and holistic outline of the issue for your reader that's going to make them respect you more. That's gonna make them trust you because they know they can count on you to give them all the information that's relevant even where you disagree. When you write ethically, you reap the benefits in a better reputation and readers who will stick with you and you will trust your work 6. Putting It All Together: Hey, welcome back Today we're going to be looking at all the different elements that we've talked about in use writing in style and looking at examples of those from real news articles that I've selected. We're going to be looking at the headlines and sub hands were going to be looking at Leeds going to be looking at how the information progresses from most important to least important per the inverted pyramid style that I've talked about. And we'll also look at tone intense. So we're gonna leave our slides here and we're gonna go to our good friend the Internet. I'm gonna take a look at a couple of articles that I picked. Most of these are from the Las Vegas Review Journal, which is the local newspaper where I am. Let's start with this piece. Have lied. UNLV opens lottery for student tickets to Clinton Trump debate October 19 by an L. A. Las Vegas refused journal. So you've got that byline here. No Dateline, but that sometimes happens with a lot of online pieces. Then we have the lead. UNLV has opened an online ticket lottery registration for students who want to attend final presidential debate etcetera, who, what and where and when are forming points all in that first paragraph? It's a little bit long, but the important thing is that she meditated all in one sentence, and actually, it's probably quiet these at length. If we consider how much space is being taken up by the rest of the screen, we have more details. How many tickets? So 75 although that there might be mawr less depending on the event on Onley, about 5% of seats are being used in the stadium, etcetera. More details about how to apply, who's eligible, and then finally, again, kind of bring it down to the details of when exactly you can apply. I personally would have put this a little bit higher up. I think that's more important information, because this makes it seem like you can get those tickets right before the debate. That's what I would do differently. Think about as well as you're just taking a look at this. I mean, we're not gonna read it, obviously, word for word, but take a look at it and think, What would I do differently? How would I write this in a different manner? with this. See the headline I go with UNLV opens lottery first student tickets. I would probably get rid of the date. I don't think that's necessary. If you're gonna put a date, you might as well put the deadline for which the tickets are available. But I think its overall it's a good headline and get straight to the point. And for those people who are obviously interested in the debate and interested in attending , they're gonna want to read back. OK, our next piece is this piece again on a review journal piece Taiwan to close markets as typhoon years. And then we have the byline and you can see here underneath it, says Bloomberg. Bloomberg Bloomberg is like a P A and use wire service, and they did a lot of the business writing, so you'll find mostly Bloomberg stories in business sections, Financial markets and offices in Taipei will be closed Tuesday as Typhoon Megi approaches Taiwan, while airlines across southern China cancelled or rerouted flights in and out of the island . This is a great lead. It's got everything, it's got what it's got, win. It's why it's got where the only thing is how which, of course, is not really a big part of the story, and you don't even know how it's going to be closed. But then it goes on to give you a little bit more information, other places we're going to be closed across Taiwan as well. And then more information about the typhoon. How dangerous, How dangerous is it? What are people expense expecting? What is the atmosphere surrounding that? And of course, this is something that is way in advance of what's going on. So it says, Um will make landfall on the coast of Fujian Province Thursday morning. And this is something that's happening on Tuesday, Tuesday. They are obviously not Tuesday here, So this is a good way to see the use of the present tense and of that sense of urgency and timely and this in a case where we're really talking about something that is still kind of in the works, so to speak. So if you take a look, you'll see that the stories really focusing on the impact of this typhoon of these closures on the airlines and on business issues, because again, this is a business peas have that affect the style of this story. You'll notice across as we look at these different pieces, pieces in different sections and in different styles will have different kinds of tones, will have different tense usage. And that's largely because of the urgency is not going to be the same. So as a contrast, for example, as a business story, this is going to be of interest to a very small subsection of the population that is interested in business stories that is interested in particular in Asian markets. This is not gonna be the kind of thing that's getting a lot of traffic to the site, but this is This is a local story, a big local story in a big national story that Clinton trump debate. It's gonna be everywhere. So this is probably something that is going to be built on over the next few days, and that is going to be very popular among readers. So you'll see with the headline, as I mentioned opens lotteries. So we're using the present tense. We're really focusing on that sense of timelines and urgency and this headline, whereas here Taiwan to close markets is not quite the present tense, but it still gives a sense of you. This is something to look out for, particularly with the typhoon. You'll probably be hearing more about this as well. Moving on here we have a long herpes. This is what, um, I might classifies a future peace headline. Elephants learning to avoid areas favorite by poachers, Expert says So says again, Here we have that present tense usage in the headline. By here You've Got the by line and then The Associated Press. That's where they're getting this from again. It's a newswire story, not probably a big story for the local environment here in Vegas, but an interesting piece nonetheless. You've got that Dateline. Finally, we have a story with a solid Dateline. Nairobi, Kenya. So we know that he's been there. He's seen that's going on and so forth. So lead. Some African elephant herds are adapting to the danger of coaching by moving out of risky areas. According to one conservation group, Great lead tells us everything we need to know in that one sentence. Also, according to one convert conservation group, that is the exact correct way that they refer to this group. Because if we're going Teoh read the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, Wild Wild Fauna and Flora. That is, first of all, it's an extremely long name. I mean, really, but it's also going to bog down the reader as they read the peas, and it's not necessarily going to mean a whole lot to us. But also you'll notice that this is something where it's been brought up at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade and So forth sites. So they've been talking about this issue at this meeting, so you'll notice that lead here is not Group conservation Group needs to discuss etcetera, etcetera. It is what is a really interesting point that's come out of this meeting that is going to be of interest to readers. This writer probably attended this meeting, listen to a lot of people, speak and then picked what he felt was the most interesting topic. And put that in the lead. We're writing the lead. You want to think about not only what is the most important information in this story, but also what is the information that my readers want to know that because that's going to ultimately be your most important information what the reader wants to know. What is going to be of interest to the reader, what's going to keep them scrolling through this piece instead of moving on to read something else. So again you have said Frank Pope, operations manager of seeing the Elephants. So now you know who this is. Where that information up top is coming from, Um, and more information here about the decline, the elephant population, um, and boucle moving on to quote more details and so forth. And, of course, if you're someone who's interested in conservation or in elephants or in Africa, you might be interested in this story. You might want to read more thoroughly, but you can see how they're The writer moves from one point to the next. We've got that lead. We know what the story is really going to focus on more details about where this information is coming from, and now we're starting to get into the house and wise really in detail. So they've been tracking these elephants over a long period of time. They can, uh, may visually market. The elephants are aware of how they space and the areas that they can be in safely. The more information about the group, who are they? How relevant is their opinion? And is there research on this issue? You can see it's very relevant. So my advice to you would be go through a few articles in your local newspaper or on your local news site, or even it doesn't have to be a local news site. It could be any site that you enjoy reading. See what stories you find the most interesting. What kinds of writing You find the most interesting and look through them and really examine how the writer is piecing the story together and think about how you can use that in your own writing again. You know, news writing. It's like any form of writing. The more you read, the better your writing is going to be. So the final piece we're gonna look at is going to be a sports piece. This is from an international newspaper. It is a story about cricket, which is a sport that I do not know much about, but we're going to read it together anyway. Headline. Pakistan aim for clean sweep over West Indies World champions hope for consolation win and third and final match. That's our subhead. So already we have a lot of information back Sanders playing the West in years. This is going to be a consolation win because clearly they've lost the last two matches and then third and final match. So last match of a series of matches that has taken place scroll down. We have the byline here. This person is the writer and then we have Dateline. It doesn't include the country, which is a little unorthodox but that perhaps is their style anyway. Lead. Pakistan will aim for a clean sweep over the world champions West Indies when the teams clash in the third and final 2020 match of the series at the Abu Bobby Side Cricket Stadium today. A bit of a mouthful but nevertheless solid lead because that's what's going on. Who's playing Pakistan and West Indies? What's where is this happening and pause, part of what's so the wise in the House in a sense will be the 2020 match of a Siri's, so that's all that really relevant information that we have. They're moving on there talking about the West Indies playing Pakistan on into back to back matches. A winnable W will be a consolation for West Indies. They're missing star players of international quick international cricket. That is not an excuse. So this is clearly an A an insurgent, Let's say from the writer into this piece on. One thing you'll notice as you read news articles from different sections is that the style of business, for example, very much differs from the style of sports or entertainment or leisure, for example, or even local news, sports entertainment. Those license lifestyle kinds of sections that they have much casual tone, much more conversational, much more easygoing and laid back versus if we go back just very quickly to this business peas. It's a very formal peace. It's very, very straightforward. You know, there's not a lot of given take here, rather dry if you're not a business person, not something that necessarily is going to catch the eye of, ah, the uninitiated, so to speak. But that's business style. That's how business section writers, right with the local news as well. You'll see that more not perhaps, is dry is business, but still very straightforward, very formal in tone, and that's part of the reason why I wanted to show you. This is because it's a good demonstration of that departure and you're really going to me, the only person who can judge what is appropriate for your writing, what is appropriate for your publication and what you think is going to be most appreciated and most respected by your readers. One thing I would counsel is that better safe than sorry with these kinds of things. It's better to maintain a formal and professional tone if you're not sure if it casual tone is appropriate for your writing. So the writer goes on in here. In this piece, he speaks to one of the players, get some coats from him. Then, um, talks about a little bit more of the mechanics of the game. And again, this is something that you'll find more in sports articles versus others, the wise in the house or really they go into a lot of detail within it with sports. And that's because again of the nature of the topic itself is that the aficionados are gonna want to read that kind of thing, and they're gonna want to take it apart and discuss it. They do it anyway, you might as well write it. Um, you have a quote again from this person, the coach of the team, and they want Teoh clean for to record a clean sweep. We want to win it 30 and want to be ruthless and on. The main thing on our team is the attitude in the field, in batting and with the ball, and that's a step in the right direction. So you can already see this quote, perhaps not the best quote to select. It's certainly not a concise sentence, but again, this goes back to my point about accuracy. Clearly, this is his word for word speaking. So this is what he said. This is what what gets written down there is very little you can do in the way of coats to make them more polished, so to speak, without using the lip season, the brackets and the finally the peace comes to an end. It gives you a brief list of all the players. When is the match starting? This is obviously going to be of interest to anyone who is excited with the match and wants to see it. So that's that piece one thing I want to also draw your attention to is of the headline we have Pakistan aim for clean sweep So clean sweep is not necessarily the term you would use any kind of formal professional situation again. But this is again a mark of that casual tone of sports writing, and you'll find ah lot of that kind of thing in entertainment writing. Zonta Let's take a look and see what they have. This was not part of my plan, I'll admit. But I think it's worth taking a look and seeing some of the headlines from the life and stop section. OK, fact Anwar Sorry for anti India tweets. Okay, so you see, this is from a FP FP is another newswire sacked Anwar, so he's obviously been fired from presumably. Actor. Okay, so he's been filed from a film set perhaps, uh, sacked again. Very informal usage. Uh, let's see. Oh, look at this Milan Fashion week Dolce and Gabbana plus millennial. So obviously you would never use just a simple plus sign like that in a proper news article or in the business piece that's again, something you could get away with an entertainment. Another thing you'll notice. Is these more sort of. We'll call them bus feet type, um, articles or headlines. And the style is really a reflection of what is garnering interest on garnering traffic from readers. So you have this in the form of a question, and this is from 80. You can see why Villa Davis became rape foundation advocate. And so excuse me, it's not in the form of a question, but is as though you are asking the question. It presents this as a kind of oh, let me see. Why is that so it doesn't really give you information and draw you in with them for me should as much as much as it gives you the promise of information that is of interest to you, and that is a very popular style of writing headlines. It is very common in the world of features and personal essays and entertainment news and buzzfeed style articles. You're gonna be seeing a lot of that. It's something to consider if you're planning to publish things online because it does work , it does work and you can't argue with results. So I think that really covers ah, lot of what we spoken about over the course of this class, and I think that gives you a good sense of how news articles are put together and what really goes into the thinking behind headlines and leads in particular, which are really gonna be the crucial aspects of your piece. So I hope that that gives you the confidence to pursue your class project and our next class. We're going to wrap up and talk about just a few outlying points, so I will see you that. 7. Applying News Writing Skills to Your Work: hi and welcome to our last lesson in the news writing class. Applying these writing skills to your work, he would want to just talk about for those of you who are not looking to write news pieces specifically or exclusively. What is the applicability of news writing throughout your writing work? And we're throughout your writing career because that's one thing I said in the beginning of the class was that news writing is gonna help you everywhere anytime you write. And I really want to drive that point home and make sure that you really can't take this class and use it elsewhere. So let's get started. What we've already learned, we've learned first important thing is knowing your audience. Who is your audience? Who is reading what you write? What do they want to know? What are they thinking about and what is going to be of interest to that person, that reader. That is the most important thing because that is what's going to guide your news process and how you evaluate the news value and the newsworthiness of everything you come across. Remember when we talked about news values, we talked about timeline as we talked about impact, talked about currency. We talked about all those things. What is timely and impactful and important to your reader may not be the same as what is impactful and important to my reader. We're writing different things and maybe writing in different beaches. And so you need to know your audience like the back of your hand next point, brevity and clarity. And we spoke a lot about this in the beginning, but also when we were talking about style of writing as well, you know, the most important qualities in a news piece and its most distinguishing qualities. So my advice to you is when you edit your work, your news piece, your class project, your any you think you're writing. Think about Can I make this shorter? Can I say this in a shorter sentence in a shorter paragraph? Doing need all of these adjectives do I need all of these adverbs? What is the purpose of each word that is going to help you really Look at your writing with a critical eye and really see the redundancies and the extra information and the things that you don't need and that's gonna make your writing. Sweet, simple, straightforward, easy to read. People will love it writing the most important information 1st 1st we talked about this. We talked about the inverted pyramid. We talked about the lead. This is applicable in all cases. If you write research papers, for example, your thesis is going to be one of the first things that you talk about in that first page in that introduction part. And you're going to talk about what is us? Well, the applicability of that pieces and the same goes for all kinds of writing. You want to put the most important formacion first, because that's gonna give your reader a sense of where is this going? And is this something I'm interested in? Let them know at the outset, because that's going to help them really understand who you are, is a writer and understand what you're trying to say. There is very few instances I can think of where a reader is willing to trudge through. Ah, whole piece. 500 words. 1000 words, 2000 words to find out the important part At the very end, that is, that's just not something that happens. So get that important point in their first and build from there. Consistency, consistency makes your work more professional. It makes easier to read, and it shows that you didn't just write this and then throw it out into the world. You took your time. You read it through it again. You edited it, and that is going to make your reader trust and respect you as a source of information. Taking ownership of your writing. Remember when we started this class and we're talking about bylines and Datelines? I said my had a journalism professor would say Drink news writing. It's the first draft of history. Be responsible for that draft. Be proud of your writing and use it to clarify and not deceive the reader, Not obscure information used to clarify. Use it to provide information, accuracy and honesty. You want to be open with your reader. You want them to know that they can trust you. Your information comes from good sources, and you put those sources down writing. You stake your reputation on it. You put your name on it and you give them all the information that they need to know everything that's relevant. You don't remove things you don't add extra things that aren't relevant. To confuse or to deceive your honest. You're accurate bacon Trust you that is going to serve you so much throughout everything you did. Even if you're writing within an organization, when your boss gets reports from you, they'll know that they can trust what you write and that they could depend on your work. So before we wrap up the class, I just want to go over your class project again. So as we said, this is going to be a news piece about an event in your community. I put in a word maximum of 500 words. You can write less. You couldn't write 300 words. Uh, nothing less than 2 50 because I don't know that you can really get a good solid news piece in under 250 words. But don't stress out about the word count just to write what you think needs to be there and then take a look and see what can be added or what could be taken away. Include your by Raimond Dateline. Absolutely important. Put it in there first, right, a strong leave. Get in that who, what When where, if you can fit in. Why putting? Why, If you can fit in, how Put in how. Make sure that lead gives your reader everything they need to know. Catchy headline again. Think about what information is going to bring your reader in and right to that. And again, Don't make it too long. Give it 7 to 10 words. And if you really feel like you want something else in there, consider a subhead. Make sure all your information is accurate. Double check everything. If you're writing about something that is going to happen, make sure you've got that day in time in their correctly. Make sure you've got that location in their correctly. If you're quoting people, if you're interviewing people, make sure first of all, that you tell them who you are and what you're there to dio and make sure that you get them word for word and again. You could always go back and look at the other lessons that we've done and and make sure the church's following those guidelines and that your work is accurate and 100% perfect because that's what this cost was all about. Writing the perfect news article, and I hope that you really enjoyed it. And I hope that you learned a lot. I know I have enjoyed it. I've enjoyed doing this with you and going over the whole news writing process. It's something that I love too, Dio. Um And I hope that you will join me again. I plan to do other classes on writing, so let me know what you want to learn about. Also, leave me comments on what you thought about this class. Let me know. Did you enjoy it? What would you change about it? What would you not change? What would you have me improve? Um, this is my first skill share class, so I'm always open to your suggestions and your critiques. So what we know And this will be a learning experience for all of us. Thank you so much again for joining me in this class. And I hope to see you soon. And I can't wait to read all of your awesome projects