Whether you are working for a local paper, a school or uni paper or perhaps even a local news letter, you will no doubt have ran into difficulties when it comes to writing news, and writing in an appropriate style. The fact of the matter here is that writing news is unlikely any other style of writing and there is a certain skill to reporting a news story with accuracy and with emotion.
Someone who knows only too well about how to write in different styles is Roger Wolfson, a fantastic writer who’s talents have taken him from the field of law to hit TV shows like Saving Grace and Fairly Legal, and who has also plied his trade as a columnist for the Huffington Post. When it comes to reporting news, here is what Roger tends to aim for.
It should sound simple enough but the truth is that many reporters will look to add some non-truths in their work to try and make the story sound more shocking or more dramatic. The unfortunate thing is however that as soon as you have been found out for embellishing the truth in one story, it does throw into question the validity of so many others. Keep it factual and you will be just fine.
Read The Situation
The particular voice which you will take will be appropriate for the story, so you should always keep this in mind. If you are writing about a comedic event then long sentences and rich vocabulary is unlikely to bring the story across as it should, and if you are writing about a murder then light hearted, conversational styles are really not going to be the avenue to go down. Have empathy and sensibility when you pic the voice which you are going to use to tell your story.
All writing should be done with the reader in mind but none more so than when it comes to reporting, after all you are white literally reporting a story from one source to a person or a group of people. It is therefore always important that you have the reader’s interests at heart, that you are centering the story around what helps them best to understand what is going on and that the piece provides them with actual value. Since news has become a real moneymaking empire this is something which has been lost, many people now will churn out stories which actually hold little value, just to get you to click on the page.
Ultimately, and unless you are writing some kind of op-ed, you need to make your stories sharp, to the point and punchy, this is how you are going to achieve the feat of telling what is likely to be a long story and pack it into a short space. Keep it direct and you’ll be just fine.
Above all else, you must practice as much as you can in order to achieve what you are looking for.