How to write news

The reader appreciates the news for its freshness. This is a succinct report of previously unknown events that have occurred recently or are happening right now. News is not a personal point of view on what is happening, but a description of the facts that have been verified.

How to write

The news should answer the main questions:

  1. Who? 

  2. What? 

  3. Where? 

  4. When? 

  5. Why?

  6. How?

From the title and the first paragraph, the reader should get the answers to the first four questions. Why and how it all happened — after.

It is in your priority to work out the newsworthy event faster than the competitors. In the first half an hour write the essence and publish it. Next — add details so that the reader can build the news into the world landscape. Tell what preceded the news, why it is important, what it causes — so there will be more hooks a person can catch. This additional information is called ‘background’.

In exceptional cases when the news is critical, it is acceptable to make a newsflash paragraph long and tell that it is being updated. It’s better to avoide numerous UPD markers in a row. If the chronology is important, give a date and/or time: ‘Updated at 7:01 p.m’.

Not Ok

Sunlight charger

Window Solar Charger is a solar panel for charging gadgets, designed and announced on Kickstarter. Unlike most solar panels, it is suspended from a vacuum suction cup on any window, preferably on the sunny side.

The authors of the project investigated the history of the issue. The first commercial solar panel appeared more than 60 years ago.

Ok

A simple solar panel on Kickstarter has raised 5 times more money than it needs

New York based company Grouphug has developed a solar panel charger. It has already raised $49,887 instead of the necessary $10,000.

The design of the device is simple. It is a photoelectric cells with a battery in a frame, which are kept on the window on the suction pad. The gadget gives out 2A and 5V, and is able to charge portable devices, including iPads.

How much to write

Usually the news is 1–3 thousand characters long, but in general the volume is determined only by common sense. When you feel that the background info is getting too big and too detailed, it’s probably better to create a separate material with careful analysis in addition to the news in brief.

What to write about

You can write about everything other authors write on Habr. The main thing is to honestly answer the question: who will be interested in your information and will it be useful? If it turns out that you are going to write news for the sake of 100 people, it may be a reason  not to write it. If the news is not relevant to the locals, think about whether it is worth skipping it. The exception is the big events of the global scale.