How to Develop News Stories

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There is always a story a person can share, but it all comes down to how the story is told. As journalists, we must produce stories that are “newsworthy”. This may sound like an easy task but it is easy to miss. I have had a few instances in my journalism classes where my news story was not “newsworthy” even though I had a storyline. I wanted to share a few tips on how to develop new stories for student journalists.

The first step a journalist should take is what the angle of the story is going to be. Remember, you can write a news story on anything but you have to keep in mind what makes a story news? Here are a few questions I have begun to ask myself: did something significant happen? How is this story going to affect viewers? Has there been any research on my topic? If so, what has been found about this topic in research? There are other questions I have decided to use when I produce stories but these are only a few. There are plenty of questions you can ask yourself before you a produce a new story. If you go through your checklist of questions and it seems that the story is does not apply to any of them, then it may not be “newsworthy” or you will have to choose another angle that will make the story informative.

I have experienced through my print journalism and media classes that the first sentence of a news story is the most important. The first sentence of a news story should be a summary of what the story is about. A strong sentence can tell the reader or viewer enough about the story in a few words. A strong sentences also grasps the attention of a reader or a viewer. If you don’t catch a reader or viewer’s attention at the beginning then you have lost that individual in the story and they may lose an interest in that particular story.

I had a lot of trouble when I started this at the beginning but the more I did it, the better I got at it! I realized that if my first sentence is strong then the rest of the story will be strong and well developed. However, this does not come overnight. It takes a lot of time, practice and most importantly taking the time to review your mistakes and correct them. If you were in the professional world of journalism you would want your content to be as professional as possible. If the your article or your news package is not good you will have to correct it until it is ready to be shown to readers and viewers or it will not be shown at all. There is always room for improvement in our story techniques. It is up to us to make those changes to provide quality information to the people. Think about it this way, if you were telling a story to one of your family members or friends and no one was listening what does that tell you? You should apply this to your story telling in news? Why is your story important and why would strike an audience’s interest?

If you constantly think about these factors it will help you become a better story teller as a journalist!

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