News Writing Basics – 2 Ways To Write Hard-Hitting Articles

News stories are articles that are time sensitive and tell readers what has happened in the world around them that might be of importance to them.

While there are numerous categories of news stories, the two main forms that you find in news outlets are – event-based news on something that has happened or a quote story based on something that was said and who said it.

When learning how to write like a journalist, a news writer would be trained to treat each of these categories differently while adhering to the foundations of news writing principles.


These types of articles can be further divided into the “diary” articles or unexpected “flash” news. Diary stories are those that are expected. The journalist would have a schedule of events that could be a press conference, a launch of a product, a sporting event or other functions that were known about beforehand.

Flash news is something that is unscheduled. This could be a traffic accident, sudden resignation of a leading politician, tragedies and other events that a news desk would not have accounted for.

While it is fair say flash news is unscheduled, it is not exactly unexpected. Any newspaper, television station or online news portal would always have their staff on standby to deal with sudden events. If the flash news is a really big story, it could throw scheduled events off the front page.


Quote stories are based solely on what a newsmaker says. The more important the person, the greater the impact of the story and the more play it would get. The articles would dwell less on what has happened than on what the person says.

It is an opportunity to get human emotion into the story by bringing out feelings and opinions rather than descriptions of what happened.

Quite often, a quote story is closely linked to an event. If a reporter is assigned to cover a fire that has broken out downtown, the editor might tell him to find a quote story.

In this case, the writer would produce two articles. One would be a straightforward news article on the fire; how it happened, the casualty count, how long it took to put it out, a handful of quotes from fire officials.

The other article could possibly be an interview with one of the survivors and would comprise mostly of quotes that evoke feelings of desperation, sadness, joy and other emotions. The writer would try to avoid too much detail about the fire in this article because it would have been adequately covered in the main news article.

The news writing principles that the journalist would employ for all kinds of articles are based on tried and test foundations that anyone can learn. It is not only journalists who can write news.

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