WORDWISE

News Flash Writing Exercise

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Today’s writing exercise is about ‘News’ from Open Age’s Creative Writing Phone group led by tutor and writer Robert Silver.
For your assignment write about an even in your life or someone else’s as a news story – 250 words max
The three most important things about news are
1) It’s always written in the third person (i.e. he, she or they – never I or we)
2) The most important bit of information goes in the first sentence. (No soft lead ins or making your reader wait, you just state it as it is)
3) No opinions (That’s going to be tough for us)
Also – don’t forget my friends the 5 W’s:
Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
Answer those questions – not necessarily in that order – and you’re half way there.
Writing News – Some Rules. 1. News stories are always written in the third person.2. The most important information goes at the top of the story.

3. This lead should be a single sentence which contains all the relevant information. E.g. Eighteen people were rescued from a burning factory by a stray sheepdog.

4. Keep paragraphs down to one or two sentences.

5. Keep sentences short.

6. Keep the language simple.

7. In Associated Press style, punctuation almost always goes inside quotation marks. Example: “We arrested the suspect,” Detective John Jones said. (Note the placement of the comma.)

8. News stories are written in the past tense.

9. News stories do not contain opinion. Avoid words (particularly adjectives) that imply that the writer has one.

10. Opinions can be quoted.

11. When you first refer to someone who’s quoted in a story, use their full name and job title if applicable. On the second and all subsequent references, use just their last name.

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