Introduction to News Articles

For my third genre, I will be exploring the possibilities of news articles. The goal of most news articles is to tell a specific story that recently occurred. If written well, even the articles that only contain facts can be very engaging because of the significance of the topic the author is writing about. Some news articles that go more into depth on the topic and are written with a certain point of view/angle of the story are called news feature articles. Those typically focus on a specific person or event, rather than something very broad.

However, all news articles have the same components. The article must have a strong title that indicates what the topic or issue at hand, while also being eye-catching. Right underneath is the author’s name and a couple words about who he/she is to provide credibility, called the byline. Then, the first paragraph contains the lead. The lead is important for giving a detailed preview of the entire story. It includes the basic facts and explains why the piece is noteworthy, which determines whether or not the reader will continue reading. Next is the body, which contains the story or explanation using research. This portion often contains interviews, quotes from researchers, or comments from community people directly affected that would represent the public’s perception. The article is concluded by wrapping up the opening statement or providing a future direction to the story.

News articles are written with a similar style too. They contain short paragraphs, maybe 2-3 sentences, without topic sentences or closing sentences like in an essay. Depending on the medium, they are often formatted into columns. The story is told in an active voice, beginning with the most important facts or in chronological order. All language is very simple and straightforward; there are no metaphors or too technical terms. Background information is always included because of the assumption that no one reading is an expert.

This is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle that provides new updates on the Mendocino Complex Fire. It contains a lot of the typical features of a news article, such as an intriguing title and attention-grabbing facts. Here is an article from The New York Times that is a great example of a news feature article. With its longer length and upbeat tone, it tells a story about Jonathan Kos-Read.

This genre is appealing because I would be able to provide an overview about the current situation with the California wildfires, while still including firsthand experiences or stories. For example, with a news feature article, I could spotlight someone who personally experienced one of the fires. Quotes from someone knowledgeable in environmentalism could also be useful. Hopefully, these outside sources are what make the news article more unique and interesting.

2 thoughts to “Introduction to News Articles”

  1. Hey Natalie!

    I am really excited about the idea of a news article for the genre of this third experiment cycle. You discusses that you would include personal anecdotes, in addition to some more factual and historic information. Do you know where you would find personal anecdotes/who you would interview? I am from California and know some contacts if you ever need any… you can always reach out!

  2. I think this genre will allow you to give facts in a concise and interesting way. I like the interviewing people in your article where you could bring in their point of views while also being objective in your article. I am excited to see this third experiment!

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