Reporting Basics

What should a news article include?

Most articles have the following elements:

A catchy headline that wants to grab the reader’s attention (If you can’t think of one, we’ll do it for you!).

A byline and location  (Kids’ News NYC will only use your first name, last initial, and borough or city to protect your privacy).

A lead paragraph that gets to the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of the story without getting into too much detail.  It gives the basics….the specific details come later.

Supporting paragraphs that develop the story with specific facts, details, quotes and explanations.

Check out a newspaper for yourself and notice that they usually follow the same basic pattern. You can definitely do this!

Here at Kids’ News NYC, we believe that all writing is good writing, so you don’t have to follow the format above if you don’t want to!  We want you to have just as much fun writing it as you did when you experienced it.

What are the principles/goals of news articles?

An article tells the facts (of course, reviews must include your opinion!).  Statements in an article can be proven to be true.  If something isn’t completely certain to be the truth, the source of the information will be “cited.”  Example:  “According to the store’s owner, Joseph Smith, toys that are sold there cost less than any store on the Lower East Side.” 

Articles for a newspaper are written objectively.  That means that they do not reflect your personal opinion and do not take one side over another (Once again, this does NOT apply to reviews!)

The purpose of a news article is to report the facts, not to entertain.  However, we here at Kids’ News NYC want writing and reading to be FUN, so feel free to add some humor or personal touches to your writing to make people enjoy reading it (and to help you enjoy writing it!).