1. Remember ‘five Ws and an H’
Get answers to these six basic questions, and you've got the essentials of your news story:
- WHO? - eg: Who was involved?
- WHAT? - eg: What happened?
- WHEN? - eg: When did this happen?
- WHERE? - eg: Where did it happen?
- WHY? - eg: Why did it happen?
- HOW? - eg: How did it happen?
2. Every story should have at least one quote
Listen and record (in your notes or in audio) what people say. Use quotes in your story: the words of people involved in the story carry more authority than words you write yourself.
3. For every quote we MUST have basic speaker details:
- Speaker’s title - eg: Professor
- Speaker’s name - eg: Michael Tovey
- Speaker’s title - eg: Director of Design, Coventry University
Always CHECK that you have the correct spelling of any name or place – do not assume. There's more than one way of spelling Smith.
4. Get to the point
Begin your story with a clear, short statement of what happened and why it is important.
- DON’T waffle
- DON’T ‘set the scene’
- DON’T talk about yourself and what you thought
Just GET TO THE POINT.
5. Use ‘stacked inverted pyramid’ style
Separate your story into a few key topics. Begin with the most important topic. Within each topic, present the most important facts first and least important last.