News Style

A Review






§        Emphasize the most important, most interesting, or most unusual. Use the five news determinants to make news value decisions. Always consider your audience and what will affect them (consequence) or be of interest to them.

§        Ledes are short: 30 words or less and are usually one sentence. They are meant to get the reader into the story, not to tell the whole story.

§        Attribute information to a source when you can. (Say, “according to” or “said officials” or “in a report from” etc.).

§        Identify the subject (the “who”) by giving title, position, or other identifying information. Ex: Sam Smith, senior class president. The name comes first, the identification comes second.

§        Avoid “when” and “where” ledes unless that aspect IS the newsworthy part of the story.

§        Review the lede types and use what is most appropriate for the story and the audience.


The Story:

§        Use inverted pyramid for straight new stories.

§        Use the intro-body-conclusion format for features.

§        Use full name upon first reference and last name only upon subsequent references.

§        Use said/says only.

§        The name goes first, then said/says. Ex: Sam Smith, senior class president said.

§        News paragraphs are short—sometimes only one sentence.

§        Begin new paragraph when you begin with a quote.

§        Use a direct quote by the fourth paragraph.

§        Represent all sides of the story. Don’t rely on one source for information.

§        DO NOT include your opinion. You need to be careful of adjectives that can express opinion.



§        Resources for everything detailed above to spelling, usage, punctuation, abbreviations, numbers, titles etc.


Back to Journalism Home