Writing A News Story
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Writing A News Story
  • Mary French and Warren Chung
  • 승인 2002.12.04 00:00
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A news story is a lot like a conversation. Picture yourself talking with your friend about what happened on Saturday night. You start with the most interesting bit of information or an overview of the highlights, and work your way through to the less important details. Before you know it, there"s your story.
To get started, think of an upside down pyramid. For example, when you call your friend to tell him or her about your big date, you begin with the most interesting and important things. Save the least important information for the end of the conversation. Likewise, in a news story, the lead is the first paragraph. By glancing at the story, the reader should be able to figure out what the story is about, and what the main point is.

Here is an example:
The police paraded a defiant-looking new suspect in the Bali bombing before the press Friday and said the man, Imam Samudra, had confessed to being a major organizer of the terrorist attack.

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How
The summary news lead emphasizes and includes some or all of these.
The who, or the subject of the story, is a new suspect in the Bali bombing.
The what is the action taking place, in this case, the police showing off a defiant suspect.
When did the police parade the new suspect? Friday.
Where is the action happening? In Bali, Indonesia.
Why did the police parade this man? He had confessed to being a major organizer of the attack.
How usually describes in what manner the action occurs. In this case the suspect was paraded before (shown in front of) the press.

Putting it all together:
Students at Ewha Womans University had an "extra" opportunity to practice their English Saturday afternoon when an Unidentified. Flying Object landed in the middle of the soccer field on campus. After several tries using what appeared to be a translating device of some kind, the pilot explained in very formal English that his passenger ship had gone off course due to a malfunctioning of the navigational system. The visitors debarked and enjoyed Korean hospitality even though the lingua franca (common language) was English.

How does this article follow the model here? The lead as the first sentence stimulates interest in the description of the encounter. Although the why and the how are revealed in subsequent sentences, the who, what, when and where are all present in the lead.

Who? The Ewha students
What happened? A UFO whose passengers spoke English landed on campus
When? Saturday afternoon
Why? Because the navigational system failed
How? The pilot initially used a translating device, then switched to the common language of English.

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