A couple of weeks ago, I came across a post detailing what every news article should cover. I unfortunately can’t seem to remember where I encountered it (if you know what I’m talking about feel free to leave a link in the comments), but the tips shared there make a useful foundation for writing news posts that are very useful for your readers—regardless of topic or niche.
In order of importance, here’s what I think every news post should include:
Reporting on what happened is a given in any kind of news reporting, whether formal or not. In fact, the point of the source article was how all news articles cover this, but not the following.
Who Was Involved
Another given: no event is free from the influence of personalities or entities, nor are people or companies totally free from its influence. Yet with tight deadlines and lack of pertinent details, it’s easy to overlook this crucial requirement. Many events are significant enough to overshadow those who are involved, or those with the potential to be affected, but forgetting to include the who may leave readers wondering why the news you report is relevant to them.
How it Happened
Amazingly, most news reporting is content with fleshing out only the what and who, failing to mention how things happened in detail. The easiest way to cover this base is to zero in on a significant cause, and discuss how that led to a significant effect. Again, this is another way of making the news relevant to your readers, ultimately making it more relevant. People have an easier time relating to events when they understand how things happened.
How You Found Out About It
The source article said that journalists usually leave this out, based on the possibility that revealing their methods and research will diminish their “institutional authority”. Yet detailing how you found out about the news not only adds flavor to your post, it also helps convince readers of its accuracy. What would you believe more, a post based solely on the opinions and perceptions of the writer, or a compilation of perspectives and insights from various sources?
It’s easy for a blogger to assume that readers automatically know everything about a given event or topic, especially if a blog enjoys a large regular readership. Yet detailing the background—the history and long-term implications—makes it easier for the reader to understand the news and put it into context. This also provides opportunities to link back to previous posts covering a particular topic or event. That’s always a good way to attract the traffic that authoritative sources enjoy, as the links lead visitors back to older posts.
It’s necessary to include all of the above when sharing news with your readers, if you want to establish your blog as an authority that people can rely on for detailed and updated news. The best part? Only your creativity limits how you can present these. Got any tips on how to represent current events to your readers? Hit the comments below.
I can understand why news stories might omit ” How you found out about it”, but most blogs are about commentary more than reporting or revealing new items. When writing commentary, this type of information is useful context for the reader and it also relates an individual post to the overall aims and philosophy of the blog ( assuming it has one :)).
Brilliant post.. I follow your blog for quite a long time and should tell that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.
The traditional journalistic questions are:
If your post doesn’t try to answer them, it’s not news.