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Newspaper Style

1472 words - 6 pages

News style (also journalistic style or news writing style) is the prose style used for news reporting in media such as newspapers, radio and television. News style encompasses not only vocabulary and sentence structure, but also the way in which stories present the information in terms of relative importance, tone, and intended audience.

Newspaper style includes informative materials: brief news items, headlines, ads, additional articles. But not everything published in the paper can be included in N.S., for example, publicist essays, feature articles, scientific reviews are not N.S.

News writing attempts to answer all the basic questions about any particular event - who, what, when, ...view middle of the document...

Commentary is usually confined to a separate section, though each paper may have a different overall slant. Editorial policy dictates the use of adjectives, euphemisms, and idioms. Papers with an international audience, for example, usually use a more formal style of writing.

The specific choices made by a news outlet's editor or editorial board are often collected in a style guide; common style guides include the "AP Style Manual" and the "US News Style Book". The main goals of news writing can be summarized by the ABCs of journalism: accuracy, brevity, and clarity.

Terms and structure

The vocabulary used is neutral and common literary. Specific features are: a) special political and economic terms; b) non-term political vocabulary; c) newspaper clichés; d) abbreviations; e) neologisms.

Journalistic prose is explicit and precise, and tries not to rely on jargon. As a rule, journalists will not use a long word when a short one will do. They use subject-verb-object construction and vivid, active prose. They offer anecdotes, examples and metaphors, and they rarely depend on colorless generalizations or abstract ideas. News writers try to avoid using the same word more than once in a paragraph (sometimes called an "echo" or "word mirror").

Headline (or hed)

The headline, heading, head or title of a story; "hed" in journalists' jargon. Rarely a complete sentence (e.g. "Pilot Flies Below Bridges to Save Divers").

Subhead (or dek or deck)

A phrase, sentence or several sentences near the title of an article or story, a quick blurb or article teaser.

Lead (or lede) or intro

The most important structural element of a story is the lead (or "intro" in the UK) — the story's first, or leading, sentence. (Some American English writers use the spelling lede ( /ˈliːd/), from the archaic English, to avoid confusion with the printing press type formerly made from the metal lead or the related typographical term leading)

An effective lead is a 'brief, sharp statement of the story's essential facts.'" The lead is usually the first sentence, or in some cases the first two sentences, and is ideally 20-25 words in length. The top-loading principle (putting the most important information first) applies especially to leads, but the unreadability of long sentences constrains the lead's size. This makes writing a lead an optimization problem, in which the goal is to articulate the most encompassing and interesting statement that a writer can make in one sentence, given the material with which he or she has to work. While a rule of thumb says the lead should answer most or all of the five Ws, few leads can fit all of these.

To "bury the lead" in news style refers to beginning a description with details of secondary importance to the readers, forcing them to read more deeply into an article than they should have to in order to discover the essential point.

Article leads are sometimes categorized into hard leads and soft leads. A hard...

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