Notes on About News | Grade 11 > Mass Communication > News Reporting | KULLABS.COM

About News

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Introduction to News

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The word news is originated from the Medieval Latin word ‘nova’ which means new things. The Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary writes ‘ news is information about something that has happened recently’. The News is reports of recent events that appear in newspapers or television, radio or on the internet.

Many people were asked in one of the surveys to know- "what news is?". They replied, ’News is something interesting, something that has happened, something new, something that affects their life, something they are interested in and something people don’t know before. TheNews may be true, but it is not truth. The reporters and officials seldom see it in the same way. All the events of surroundings do not make the news. The subjects of public interest, wonderful inventions, and things, important events for people or country, etc. make the news.

Similarly, the broadcast media’s news update is called news bulletins. News bulletins are the news summary that lasts for a few minutes at the top of the hour. Such bulletins just inform us the main news brief, they do not tell the whole of the news story.

The News is a surprise. It is an unexpected happening. The American journalist John B. Bogart says- ‘When a dog bites a man, that is not a news; but when a man bites a dog, that is news. This shows that news is anything that makes people talk.

Here are some of the definitions of news listed below:

"News is a compilation of facts or events of current interest of importance to the readers of the newspaper printing it." -Neil Mac Neil

News Structure

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The news stories must be kept short and simple. There is no fixed structure of news writing. The news story can be structured in a variety of ways. The news structure has been changing, due to the rapid development of IT. The News Structure is inverted in Pyramid Structure, building a news structure beings with the lead as the foundation. The body of the news story includes the facts, quotes, and incidents that explain more and support the elements used in the lead. The major elements of news structure are listed below:

1. Lead

Lead refers to the first paragraph of a news story. It is also the introduction of a news story. The eyes of the readers follow lead after the heading of news. So, the lead must be interesting and attractive. The most important single skill students learn in journalism is the ability to write good leads. The art and power of thinking and analyzing of news writer depends upon lead.

An interesting and carefully planned lead will attract readers to story and reflect the mood of the story. The first step in building a good lead is to find the answers to six wh-questions. They are called 5w’s and 1H. They are who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, how?. It is not necessary to answer all 5w’s and 1H in the lead only but whole news story must have to answer them. A good lead tells the most important information in the story and gives specific facts. Lead is the first paragraph of the news source. (Khadka)

2. Inverted Pyramid

The most important information at the top with the upside-down pyramid is called an ‘inverted’ pyramid. This style allows newspaper readers to skim their newspapers for a quick news update. This style also has the advantage of allowing editors to chop off the bottom of articles at any point.

The Articles can be easily shortened by editors without damaging the structure of the story when the least important information is at the bottom. This style is said “tight writing style”. Breaking news is also presented in this style. Information should be presented in descending order of importance. (Webwise Wording)

Here, the first paragraph leads have only one sentence with 20-25 words. It tries to answer 5W and 1H.

The Second paragraph expands or develops some introduce in the lead. All major information should be attributed unless it is commonly known or unless the information itself strongly implies the source.

Similarly, direct quotations should be no more than two sentences long. Direct quotations and their attributions should be punctuated properly.

3. Headlines

The Headline is the major news stories reported in newspapers, magazines, or television news programs. It is the text at the top of the newspaper article which indicates the nature of the article below it. The news stories having no titles are called Headlines. A good headline not only tells the story but also sell the story. A head of two or more decks is still considered one headline. The Headlines advertise stories, summarize stories and beautify pages.

There are various types of headlines in newspaper journalism practice. Some of the most used headlines are described below:

a. Skyline headline

The newspaper uses headlines when there are very historic news events. This type of headline is placed above the “masthead” of the newspaper. Gorkhapatra and Rajdhani dailies used sky headlines after the Loyal palace assassination in 2001.

b. Banner headline

A line of words printed in large letters across the page of a newspaper, like a banner huge in the street is called a banner headline. Banner headline is usually popular on the front page of the newspaper.

c. Ribbon headline

It is like a ribbon stretched from one end to another in a single line to cover the whole news area. It covers 3 or 4 columns news space.

d. Parallel headline

A double line headline parallel in length is called parallel headline.

e. Flushed headline

The flushed headline is of 2 or 3 or even 4 lines. These lines can be longer and shorter as well. It may be either left or right indented. If it is left indented, it is called flushed left and if right indented, it is called flushed right.

f. Short-long-short headline

It is the three line long headline- first line is short, second is long and third is short.

g. Short-long-short headline

It is also a three line long headline- first line is short, second is long and third is short.

Basic ingredients of news

The basic ingredients of news are primarily important news values. It is nothing other than the news values. The basic ingredients of news are timeliness, proximity and human interest.

1. Timeliness



The News will be lifeless unless it is disseminated at a particular time. It has a very short life. News has a life when it is timely. The untimely news will lose its news value. All our news media come up with the latest development of the news. We always want to know the latest. If a radio or TV misses some important information the audiences will be doubtful to such media. Similarly, radio and television can update their news every hour, papers can update news every hour, Online can update the information in every minute

According to Melvin Mencher,” To impress the readers with the timeliness of their stories, news writers put the word today in their news leads”.

2. Proximity

Proximity usually refers to something physically or geographically close. It has another meaning too. People feel attached to those like themselves and to those with whom they share the common interest. Proximity is the Facts and occurrences that are important to you personally. Such a closure is less important when it occurs across town or country.

At least 12 Nepali security guards were killed by the terrorist attack in Kabul. Taliban have claimed responsibility for the suicide blast targeting a convoy having mostly Nepali security guards who were employed at the Canadian Embassy in the war-torn nation.

3. Human interest

News must be something interesting to audiences. It is very difficult to answer- what makes people interesting. The news stories are read or listened very hardly without interest. A police may read some news related to his profession. A shopkeeper may be interested in the price values of goods. A teacher may be interested in some news related to the teachers or students. Similarly, there are many elements of human interests like- news related to prominent people ( David Beckham, Prince Charles, Ronaldo, Messi). Popular places (White house, Paris, Mecca, Mt. Everest etc.) Similarly, unusual events A woman of 101 years old giving birth to the baby. News that makes an impact to many people (like increment of petrol price , salary increment, earthquakes, flood etc.). News like sexual violence or sex-related issues, crime, conflicts, sports, etc.

References:

Khadka, Binay Devkota, and Leelawati. Mass Communication. Pradhan Book House, 2068(2011) Revised. Electronic.

Webwise Wording. 18 July 2013. Electronic. 25 07 2016. <http://webwisewording.com/inverted-pyramid/>.



  1. The word news is originated from the Medieval Latin word ‘nova’ which means new things. 
  2. News is something interesting, something that has happened, something new, something that affects their life, something they are interested in and something people don’t know before. 
  3. The News is a surprise. It is an unexpected happening. 
  4. The news story can be structured in a variety of ways.
  5. Lead refers to the first paragraph of a news story. It is also the introduction of a news story.
  6. The most important information at the top with the upside-down pyramid is called an ‘inverted’ pyramid. 
  7. The Headline is the major news stories reported in newspapers, magazines, or television news programs. 
  8. The News will be lifeless unless it is disseminated at a particular time.
  9. Proximity usually refers to something physically or geographically close. 
  10. News must be something interesting to audiences. 
.

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