Chapter 5: News Writing Basics
While the structure of news stories has changed over time, the overall purpose remains the same. News writing informs and entertains readers and listeners. News stories give citizens information about events happening both in their communities and around the world and therefore play an essential role in shaping their viewpoints and general ideas. We can know what is happening in a foreign country without traveling there, or develop an opinion about a public figure without meeting the person.
Strategic communication writers produce material that they hope will find its way into the news stream. They provide information that helps explain their clients’ facts, framing of a controversy, or opinions. Producing the material in a format that makes it easier for journalists to adapt to their own purposes is very important. Alissa Widman Neese, a Columbus Dispatch reporter, discusses the nature of news writing in the video below.
As you pursue a career in strategic communication, consider the responsibility you will have in influencing the opinions and attitudes of large numbers of people. Strategic communication professionals have the power to affect public opinion, whether through a press release, a feature article, or a website. Therefore, basic understanding of techniques and styles related to news writing is key to effectively using the media to shape the image of your organization, company, or client.