News is anything that makes a reader say, “Gee Whiz.” It’s new, interesting, significant, about people and has consequences. News stories may be short, long or medium in length and they’re usually written in the style of a newspaper article. They’re usually readable, picturesque, clear and concise.
Most events that become news have some drama in them. They’re about good or bad things and there are often a good number of clearly identifiable good or bad characters. For example a story about a robbery at a convenience store is more likely to make the news than a fire at a warehouse that doesn’t have any obvious good or bad characters.
The timeliness or immediacy of a news story is one of the most important characteristics that gatekeepers (or journalists) look for when deciding what to cover. A story about something that has already happened doesn’t make the news unless it is a special anniversary or similar.
It’s also important to know your audience when writing a news story. This will dictate the tone and voice of the article as well as help you decide what to include or exclude. Writers are always advised to keep in mind the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure of news articles when they’re creating their pieces. Put the most important information at the top of the article so that readers will be more inclined to read it. Also be sure to have a second set of eyes read the final copy before it goes to print or air.