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Fadriquela School Paper Adviser
New Era University- High School Department No. 9, Central Avenue, New Era, Quezon City
News is difficult to define because it has many variables.
News must be factual, yet not all facts are news.
is primarily about people, what they say and do.
report of any event or situation. record of the most interesting, important and accurate information obtained about the things man think and says, sees and describes, plans and does.
“It is anything published in a newspaper which interests a large number of people”
is “any event, idea or opinion that is timely, that interests or affects a large number of persons in a community, and that is capable of being understood by them.”
- Dean M. Lyle Spencer Former Dean, School of Journalism Syracuse University
to Carl Warren, Former Radio News Editor of New York Times, “ all news is intended to interest, inform or entertain somebody somewhere – large sections of the public.
something is happening NOW, it is more newsworthy than if it happened yesterday or last week or two weeks ago. Oftentimes the most newsworthy element in the story is the most recent happening, the latest thing in a series of happenings.
The news story must immediately tell the impact of the event. b. The value of the news depends upon the newness of the happening. c. It concerns not only of the recency (time of occurrence) but also primacy (you gasp with surprise when you first hear or see it is news to you, regardless of age)
How close to your readers is this event taking place? All other things being equal, something that is happening in or near their location is much more meaningful to them than something taking place across town or across the world.
of the readers primarily depends upon the closeness of their own personal affairs. Closeness not only place but interest.
Is a well-known person part of the story? Readers like to read about people they know. If a person is well-known, more readers will be interested than if a person who is mentioned is not known.
A good example is the newsworthiness of the classic remark made by Charles A. Dana,in 1882: “When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news.”
How will this event impact your readers? How important is it? Something that is more important will be more newsworthy than something that is of little importance, all other things being equal.
Is there a conflict between persons in the story? A rivalry? A misunderstanding? People are naturally drawn to conflict and find it fascinating. This element is essential in catching the attention of the readers like the intense conflicts of the different political groups in the Philippines.
Anything that appeals to the reader‟s emotions…makes him laugh, cry, get angry, feel sympathy, etc….has the potential for human interest.
Another factor in stimulating the appeal and interest of the readers. The continuing suspense of day-today news events will always attract the attention of the reading public.
News story that is appealing to the readers, irrespective of its point of origin, such as local, community, national and international.
In order to avoid boredom on the part of the readers, it is important that the news writer must “pounce with delight upon news that usually titillates their bump of credulity or make them smile” once in a while.
Suggest the breadth and extension of the news.
It adds color and vitality to the story.
Mystery, suspense, comedy, the unusual, the bizarre are chief elements of drama
It is present in stories of romance, marriage, divorce and other relationships.
Involves any significant change for the betterment of mankind.
How will a particular event affect the readers? Similar to consequence but stronger and more personal.
Special Types of News Stories
A. According to style of presentation 1. Straight News- the data are presented in direct fashion using the summary lead. 2. News Features – the data are presented indirectly through the use of novelty lead.
B. According to place of occurrence
1. Local News – the event that happens within the locality of the reader. 2. Foreign News – the events takes place outside the country.
C. According to content
1. Science and Technology News 2. Developmental Communication 3. Sports News
D. According to sources
1. Action Story – the reporter himself is an eyewitness of the event that happened. 2. Based on the record news The information are gathered from the records like the police stations, hospitals and other agencies. 3. Based on interview Interviewing the persons who know the event.
E. According to page makeup
1. Single incident story – one event only. 2. Composite Feature – more than one event that happened at the same time. 3. News Brief– news item usually not more than two paragraphs. 4. Bulletin – important last minute news of a running story printed on the front page in boldfaced type and maybe boxed.
5. Flash It presents only the basic facts of a fresh story that comes in too late to be printed in full news item.
6. Side bar story Brief news item on some lighter aspects of an event placed side by side to a related significant news.
F. According to the sequence of occurrence
1. Advance News A report of expected event 2. Spot News A report of event which the writer has actually witnessed. 3. Coverage –based on given assignment or beat like news gathered from hospitals police stations, and other agencies. 4. Follow-up News – recent development of reported event.
writing the story, we are interested to know the LEAD which is the introductory sentence of the news story.
Classification of Leads
♦ According to purpose: 1. Conventional or Summary lead 2. Unconventional, unorthodox or novelty lead
♦ According to construction, leads maybe classified into 3 groups:
1. Who-What-When-Where-Why-How leads This is the oldest type known to journalists and has come to be known as the 5W’s and an H
I have six honest serving men (They taught me all I know) Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who
The Who lead
Names make news, especially prominent ones. It maybe one person, several persons, or an organization. However, the lead should avoid featuring more than 3 personal names.
The What lead (or event feature)
Most straight news leads play up what the story is all about.
A struggle to protect or increase respective numbers of congressmen on opposing sides of the impeachment fence began yesterday at the House of Representatives.
The Why lead
To further streamline emergency hotline services and strengthen anti crime efforts, the Philippine National Police conferred with respondents of emergency hotline „117‟ in a top-level meeting at the Crown Plaza Galleria.
The How lead – often used for unusual happenings and action stories.
Staging a 48-hour walkout beginning today, nearly 100 South Korean journalists at a government controlled television station demanded that the government stop dictating how they cover the news.
The When lead
It is used when an event takes place at unconventional hour, or in making an announcement where the time is important to the reader. Tomorrow, May 15, is the last day for filing individual tax returns.
The Where lead
Convalescent homes in Solano have been the sites for beauty contests to choose representatives to the 7th Annual My Fair Lady Pageant, where Contestants are mostly in their 70s and 80s.
Characteristics of a Good Lead
1.Includes only 5Ws and the H which are important. A small contingent of US developmental gymnasts traveled to the Soviet Union last June to take a closer look at Soviet gymnasts. What: travel Who: US developmental gymnasts Where: Soviet Union When: June Why: to take a closer look
2. Starts with the feature of the story, which may either be the most important or most interesting fact or both. 3. It must be short- usually 25-35 words if it is one paragraph.
4. Begins with specific, interest arousing words. 5. Avoid when possible, beginning with such words and phrases as a, an, the, at a meeting, yesterday, last night, days of the week, according to, it is, there is, etc.
6. Suggests the source of the news when necessary. ♦ in stories which foretell something not generally known. ♦ about future events in order to protect the paper if the event does not occur. ♦ in stories about important events that the reporter failed to attend. ♦ to attribute an opinion, thereby avoid editorializing.
7. Avoid overloading the first sentence of the lead. 8. Is written colorfully when possible. 9. Avoid citing the news source in stories which readers would expect to be eye witness accounts or in stories in which citing the source would be unnecessary.
How to write a Summary Lead
1.First study carefully the notes that you took for the story, selecting the 5Ws and H. It is best for beginners to list the 5Ws and H on a sheet of paper, and opposite each, write the appropriate act. 2. Choose the feature on the basis of news values and your readers – what will interest them.
3. Arrange the remaining 5Ws and H, in the order of decreasing importance. 4. Determine the best way to start the lead sentence. 5. Keep in mind all the other characteristics of a good summary lead. 6. Test your lead. 7. Rewrite the lead if you can improve it.
The Unconventional or NOVELTY lead
♦ It uses any device that will attract attention, arouse curiosity, or sustain interest. It adds vigor and color to writing and does not contain the gist of the story, but merely serves as an introduction
The NOVELTY lead is used: ♣ When the facts are not entirely straight news. ♣ When the facts maybe made much more interesting by a novel way of presenting them. ♣ When the purpose is to arouse the reader’s interest.
Types of Novelty leads:
1. Narrative Lead – It draws the reader into the story by allowing him to relate himself with the characters.
December 1999. With the Y2K scare and end-of-the millennium jitters hovering in the air, I found myself in a book store for some last minute shopping. I was looking for the abridged versions of the classic Heidi and the Secret Garden to give to my nieces when I saw a vaguely familiar title: The lady or the Tiger. As I traced the embossed title, a particular memory flooded my consciousness.
2. Descriptive lead It illustrates a mental picture of the subject to the reader. This is effective in writing a personality sketch.
The night fell as we descended the summit of Mt. Makiling. The cicadas were sending us off with their choir. While walking, we couldn’t stop imagining the possible appearance of Maria Makiling, who according to legend, is the goddess of this mountain.
3. Quotation lead This statement is uttered by wellknown person or celebrity.
“You stole the presidency, not only once but twice.” Shouted Susan Roces, widow of Fernando Poe Jr., during a gathering of the opposition, denouncing Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s alleged vote rigging during the 2004 election.
4. Question lead
A thought provoking question to capture the interest of reader and lead them to find the answer provided by the succeeding details of the article. When was the last time I told my father I loved him? I wish I could tell him a thousand times how much I love him now, but he is already heedless inside his coffin.
A device to deceive the reader in a jesting manner to arouse his curiosity and gently lead him into the story. It is generally short, crisp and witty. Mostly suggestive and humorous. Which comes first, the hen or the egg? Well, egg could not be made possible without the hen. But where does the hen come from?
6. Punch lead
It is short, striking one-sentence lead.
Hungry farmers are selling not only their carabaos but also their children.
7. Freak lead - it uses typographical
effects to enhance its appeal.
Wanted: Filipino doctors and nurses. This is the appeal of several government-owned hospitals which face closure due to the exodus of many Pinoy doctors and nurses abroad.
8. Astonisher lead
It uses an exclamatory sentence.
NSPC 2006 Champion! Bold red letters printed on a three-meter long streamer was over the gate of the New Era University when the Hudyat, Official Student Publication of the Elementary Department won as Best School Paper during the National Schools Press Conference held in Kalibo, Aklan, February 22-26.
9. One word lead
•It uses a very significant word to capture
or arouse the interest of the reader.
Bang! Sprinters from the different divisions of the National Capital Region zoomed bullets to the finishing line in a 100-meter dash during the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Meet, Held at Amoranto Stadium, Quezon City, April 1-6.
10. Parody lead
It consists of a parody of a well-known quotation, song, poem, book or movie film title. “You only live once, but if you live it right, once is enough.” This familiar adage proved true to Clarence Castillo,a young boy who died while rescuing his younger brother at the height of flooding in Infanta town in Quezon last year for he was posthumously awarded for his bravery.
11. Background lead
It describes an event in which the background overshadows the individual who participate in it; often use stories about carnivals, festivals, dances and others.
It was like the school was put in a time machine and was led back to the past when teachers and students who participated in the Buwan ng Wika program, gathered in front of the four-storey building garbed in old Filipiniana costumes.
12. Contrast lead * it is used to point up opposites and extremes.
Four years ago, she fought for the installation of Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo as President of the Philippines through EDSA II Revolution. Today, former President Corazon Aquino is calling for GMA’s resignation.
13. Staccato lead
Usually consists of series of words or phrases, punctuated by periods, commas or dashes.
Neglected. Denuded. Abused. and Abandoned. This is the real picture of our forest today.
HARD News & SOFT News
♦ Journalists today often refer to “hard” news and “soft” news.
HARD News • is important to large numbers of
people. • is timely • usually about events in government, politics, education, foreign affairs, labor, religion, courts, etc.
• usually less important because it entertains, although it may also inform • often less timely than hard news • includes human interests and feature stories which may relate to hard news. • appeals more to emotions than to the intellect or the desire to be informed.
Despite its importance, usually attracts fewer readers because it may not be as interesting as soft news or maybe more difficult to understand.
3 Factors Essential to News
♦The basis of all news is FACT. ♦The job of the reporter is to make facts INTERESTING to a particular group of READERS
♦ News must be factual • News is based on actual
occurrences, situations, thoughts and ideas.
• Yet, not all facts are news
must be interesting.
•But not all facts are interesting. •Different facts will be interesting to different readers.
♦ Qualities that distinguish news from other forms of writing:
1. Must be ACCURATE •Reporters must work hard to achieve accuracy. •They must check, doublecheck, and re-check every fact.
♦ Reporters must question their sources carefully.
•Informants sometimes misinform although rarely on purpose.
2. It is BALANCED. Balanced in a news story is a matter of emphasis and completeness.
♦ News is considered balanced and complete when all significant details are included and have proper relationship with each other.
•The purpose of balance is to give the reader a fair understanding of the event, not a detailed account of every fact.
3. It is OBJECTIVE •News is a factual report, not a report of how the reporter thought something should have been. •A reporter must report news as impartially and honestly as possible.
• Objectivity is difficult to
achieve because a reporter’s own opinions and feelings can easily interfere with factual presentation in stories.
4. It is CONCISE and CLEAR •Hard news stories almost always follow the inverted pyramid and are written concisely and clearly so that the meaning is clear to an average reader.
Guidelines of the Inverted Pyramid
LEAD SENTENCE : 5 Ws
Use catchy statements (clever, funny, surprising, provocative)
Use quotes from interviewees
Use a quote or catchy phrase
5. It is RECENT Timeliness is of major importance in this era of fast communication.
Reporters emphasize The newest angle of the story.
How to write an Effective Lead
1. Use a simple sentence. 2. Do not overload the beginning paragraph with the answer of 5Ws and H. Remember that the second paragraph is a secondary lead too. 3.Do not use an important or unusual word twice in the same sentence. 4. Avoid, when possible the use of articles such as a, an, the – as the beginning word of the lead.
Rules in Paragraph Construction
1. A paragraph of the news should not exceed 75 words. 2. Important facts should be placed at the beginning of the paragraph. 3. Avoid repetition of clauses, phrases and other similar grammatical construction at the beginning of each paragraph. 4. Do not put direct quotation and indirect quotation in the same paragraph.
5. One sentence paragraph is preferred in writing news. But if it cannot be avoided it should not exceed three sentences 6. For easy reading, average number of words per sentence should be between 15 to 20. A sentence longer than 30 words may be hard to understand. 7. Arrange paragraph in the descending order of importance so that the lay-out editor can delete the last least important ones for lack of space.
Qualities of a News Writer
1. Has nose for news
♦ knows where to get the data ♦ knows what angle of the event should be highlighted in the news ♦can easily identify event, which is worth publishing as news.
Qualities of a News Writer
2. Inquisitive 3. Patient 4. Fair 5. Interested with people 6. Always seeks for truth 7. Resourceful 8. Reliable 9. Has wide vocabulary 10. Wide reader
“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” John Ruskin
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