How to write a news story for Nigerian mass media


There are different forms of news writing for the mass media. You can write a feature story which contains more details of an incident or straight news report which provides the basic information on an event using the inverted pyramid format.

The straight news report is written in way that the reader can stop reading at any time, and still come away with the whole story. This is why the inverted pyramid is the basic format for writing the straight news report.

The feature story on the other hand, is written in an easy format with enough time and facts because it is assumed that the audience will stick around to the end finish the story. This is why the straight news report requires skills to write with a view to capturing the basic facts in the first paragraph and expanding gradually to subsequent paragraphs.

In writing a news story certain techniques are adopted in ensuring that the account of an event you are giving is not only well written but contains the basic facts any good news story should have. One of such techniques is to ask specific questions while presenting the facts. Answers to these questions provide the basic ingredients that form the primary structure and content of a well written story. These questions are referred to as the news writing elements. They come in form of five key questions – who, what, when, where, why, and how (5ws and H). This is an approach up-coming journalists, including anyone who wants to learn how to write a news story should adopt in order to provide a meaningful account of an event.

First, what is news? It is an account of current happening. News is —Information not previously known to someone. It is an account of current event written by a journalist and reported through a mass medium – print or electronic. News is a report of a recent and important event of interest to the public. You use news elements as a guide in ensuring that the most basic facts or ingredients are included in the story.

So how can you write straight news report? The video below teaches you how to write a straight news report using the inverted pyramid format. The approaches presented in this video provide an easy guide for a beginner to learn how to write a news story easily.

Here’s Part One;

Here’s Part Two;

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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