The future of journalism clearly lies in online news. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in writing, you’ll need to know how to craft interesting articles for Internet news sites to make yourself a more marketable job applicant. However, there’s more to writing online news than simply posting all the facts and online info. You need to know how to structure the story, and write in a way that’s informs, entertains and engages the reader.
So, to help you be a better writer, here’s a few tips to keep in mind as you try writing some online news stories.
The Inverted Pyramid.
The inverted pyramid is a writing style common in most journalistic sources. It begins with the most important information–the who, what, when, where, why and how–and then continues dolling information in descending order of importance. The first sentence, called the lead, often answers the most important information. For example, “Mr. Smith won the pie-eating contest last night in Springfield by chowing down one more pie than last year’s champion, Mrs. Dinglehopper.” This explains who did what, when and where they did it, and how.
Never, Ever, Ever Use the Passive Voice.
Often touted told, but rarely understood, writing coaches will tell their students never to use the passive voice, without ever really explaining it. Essentially, a writer uses the passive voice when they separate the agent (or the “doer”) of the verb from the predicate (the verbal part of the sentence). A good rule of thumb to tell if a sentence is passive is to attach “by him/her” to the end of the sentence. If it makes sense, chances are it’s in the passive voice. For example, if we take the active sentence: “Mr. Smith won the contest,” and change it to passive voice, it would read: “The contest was won by Mr. Smith.”
Remember: never, ever use the passive voice when writing online news.
Try List Articles.
An ever increasingly popular style of writing online news is the list article. It begins with the lead, and then commences to list the most important points of the story. Readers should be able to skim online news and glean the most important facts, which is what the list article allows them to do. If they’d like to know more about a certain point, they need simply to read on before going to the next item on the list.
If you keep these tips about online news in mind, and you keep practicing, you’ll become a great content writer in no time, making you a more marketable job applicant. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. More like this article.