Are you looking to learn the parts of a news story to become an expert writer? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. Today, many readers are left with how interesting the news or TV reports are, but very few highlight the writing of a news story.
That’s not to say that the world of news writing isn’t amazing, because every type of writing is different. Writing a news story is about capturing an important event so that other people can hear about it. however, you must know the parts of a news story so that the message is effective and your work stands out.
For this reason, in today’s article, we will teach you what a news story is and what its characteristics are, as well as what types of news there are and how they differ. Finally, you will learn what the parts of a news story are.
let’s get started!
what is a news item and what are its characteristics?
Before knowing what the parts of a news item are, let’s start by defining what a news item is. According to the article “La noticia y la entrevista: una aproximación a su concepto y estructura” (The news and the interview: an approach to its concept and structure) from the Spanish communication magazine Ámbitos, news can be defined as:
“information about current events, and, more specifically, the news in the press, that is, the writings published in newspapers about events of public interest without containing opinion or interpretation”.
Therefore, it can be said that a news item is a story that presents recent and relevant information about a particular subject, person or event, which is of public interest in an objective manner. This story is the product of a previous investigation and must always seek transparency.
Characteristics of a news item
On the other hand, a news story needs to be relevant and interesting for the reader, otherwise not all the information can be conveyed.
According to Roberto Guerrero, professor of the Creative Copywriting online course, copywriting, regardless of the area of interest, is a very important tool to captivate people.
In addition, the expert affirms that all copywriting should seek to be direct and eye-catching to reach as many people as possible. Likewise, you must make sure your spelling is impeccable.
Now that you know what is news and its characteristics, we will briefly mention the types of news that exist.
what are the types of journalistic news?
It is also important to recognize what types of journalistic news exist depending on their general subject matter and the treatment they receive.
In terms of subject matter, according to the European Institute of Communications, news can be:
On the other hand, in terms of their treatment of the subject, the classification of the news is given in this way:
Future: this type of news seeks to warn and inform about a certain event that will occur in the near future. For example, a news item about a storm approaching the city.
Current: these are the most common news items, which relate events that have occurred recently or are occurring at the moment.
Ephemeris: refers to journalistic news that are past, but have relevance in the present. For example, a news item that talks about robberies in the past to notify that the thief was caught.
what are the parts of a news item?
Well, we come to the part that surely interested you in this article. In this section, we will show you the parts of a news story and give you some tips so that you can captivate all your readers.
In total, there are 8 parts in the structure of a news item, each of them are essential to make a good news article and stand out in all your newsrooms.
Next, we will explain each of them in depth:
Let’s start with the list of the parts of a news story. The first one we are going to explain is the headline. As its name suggests, it comes before the main headline of the news item and its main purpose is to provide extra information that is not in the headline, but that may represent relevant data to help introduce the news item to the readers .
Pre-titles usually go in a small font size that does not attract too much attention, and it is always placed above the central title. For a better understanding, let’s give you an example:
If the main title of the news item is “The national volleyball team achieved an agonizing victory in their debut”, a good antetitle could be “With a string of points in the last set, they got the victory”.
As you can see, the headline has a complementary function to the main headline, which will attract the reader’s attention so that he/she will be encouraged to read the whole article. Undoubtedly, it is one of the parts of a news item that usually goes unnoticed, but it is very useful.
We know that at the beginning we mentioned that all parts of a news item are important, but if we have to choose one that cannot be omitted for any reason, it is the central title.
This is equivalent to the face on a human body, since it is the first thing a reader will see in the news, so it will influence him to continue reading or to omit the news item.
how to write a good headline?
To begin with, the title of the news item must be clear, direct, concise and eye-catching. we know it may sound complicated, but it is easier than it seems. On the other hand, it is usually recommended that a news headline should not exceed 85 characters, as this can saturate the reader.
You must not forget that the title of a news article must mention the most important thing that the reader will find in it. There are usually 3 ways to present a title, see them below:
Introducing an action: in this case, the title must include a verb that reflects the action of the news item.
Making an announcement: it announces something in particular that happens throughout the article.
Making a synthesis: it focuses on perfectly summarizing everything covered by the news item.
Now, an example of a good headline is: “Thief takes more than ten thousand dollars in a jewelry store near a well-known shopping mall”. As you can see, the reader will already know the core of the news; however, to know the details of the event, he/she will have to read the article.
It is definitely one of the most important parts of a news story.
3. Subtitle text
Continuing with the parts of a news item, we have the subtitle. It is important to clarify that, in this case, it is not a subtitle as such, but a text that goes below the title and before the beginning of the news. Its function is very similar to the pretitle, but there are some important differences.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this list of the parts of a news item, while the pretitle has a complementary function to the central title of the news item, the “subtitle” is in charge of summarizing important aspects of the news item. Therefore, it usually deepens what is mentioned in the headline.
Let’s give examples: if the central title of the news item is “Children’s Day will be celebrated with a great festival”, a good subtitle for the news item could be “the activity will be held in the city center and there will be many guest artists”.
As you can see, this is one of the parts of a news item that allows you to expand on the central theme of the news item. Now, don’t miss what follows!
The function of this part of a news article is to introduce the news. In simple words, it is a brief text in the form of a summary, which seeks to give context to the reader of what happened. it is usually placed below the main headline and the subhead.
Unlike the parts of a news item that we saw before, the introduction is usually longer, since it seeks to summarize (in a generic way) the most relevant information, but with important details. Its purpose is to make the reader continue with the following paragraphs of the news item .
The introduction usually has certain marked characteristics:
Although the information in the introduction is more extensive than in the parts of a news item we saw earlier, this does not mean that we should ramble. The idea is that the information should be just as direct, although with more details .
The inclusion of technical or complex words will depend on the news item, although they should be avoided whenever possible, at least in the introduction. Since it is one of the first parts of a news item that the public reads, it should be easy to understand .
4.3. Inclusion of sources
Normally, if you are looking to give more support to your news, it is ideal that in the introduction you add academic sources that back up everything you wrote. In addition, this will give the reader the assurance that he/she is reading a well-founded news item.
On the other hand, the introduction is guided by the structure of the inverted pyramid, that is, the development of the news starts with the most important facts and, finally, secondary events, which are not so relevant, are included
Previously, we have seen the parts of a news item that are characterized by being brief and direct. However, this section is totally different, since this is where the complete content of the news will go, that is why it is known as the most extensive part of a news article.
Precisely, this is the part of a news item that seeks to explain in detail and without haste everything that happened. Here, the most relevant elements of the story should be mentioned, as well as the less relevant ones, in order to guarantee a complete understanding of the news .
At the beginning, the body of the news item should follow the same line of the introduction, i.e., it is important to continue contextualizing what happened. This means that it should explain in detail when and where the event occurred. After that, this part of the news should be complemented with more details of the facts.
To do so, there are two recommended structures that you can take into account when writing a news item:
As we mentioned in previous paragraphs, the body of the news is composed of elements that are more relevant than others. Therefore, the recommendation is to go from the general to the specific; that is, to mention the most important elements and, subsequently, to complement the information with secondary details.
On the other hand, one of the things that readers value a lot is a correct chronology that allows them to understand the story or news perfectly. That is why, when writing these parts of a news item, you can also choose to narrate the facts in correct order, in a clear and precise way.
At the end of narrating everything that happened in the body, it is advisable to generate a paragraph as a closing or summary. You can even include a commentary by the writer, but always respecting the objectivity of a journalist.
The closing or conclusion includes all the secondary ideas that complement the news item; basically, it is a global idea about the event narrated throughout the other parts of the news item.
Although this section does not depend on the editor, it is an important part that complements a news article very well. We all know that the most important part of a news article is the writing; however, adding graphics to it is very important for readers to understand what happened with visual aids.
what do we mean by that? simple! Let’s imagine that we are writing the different parts that make up a news item about a road accident. Among the important elements are the bus, the driver, the place of the accident, and so on.
Then, the news item can be accompanied by a photograph of the accident and those involved to better contextualize the reader.
8. Photo captions
As with the previous point, the caption is one of the parts of a news item that is not the task of the writer, but rather of the editor of the news item. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know about it.
It is not enough just to put a photograph next to the news item. Although the reader may assume that the image has to do with the news article, he/she may not be able to identify exactly what it refers to. that is why it is recommended to place a small line of text below each image that contextualizes it.
For example, if the news item talks about a dangerous thief, it is not enough to put the image of his face, since it will not be known if he is the thief or one of the victims. It is necessary to put below the picture that it is the criminal.
In summary, these are the parts of a news story! Although some are more relevant than others, it should not be forgotten that they are all part of the structure of a well-written news story. that means that if one part is not good, no one will read your news article.
So, now that you know very well the parts of a news item, we invite you to learn how to make a good news item. Also, you can continue to enhance your learning with this creative copywriting course and our writing courses.
Remember that the road to be a great copywriter is long, and the only way to improve is to practice your writing as much as you can. Here are some news examples to inspire you.