News: what it is, characteristics, types, news structure, how to write a news story


What is the news subgenre?

It is one of the most important and recognized didactic subgenres, especially due to its use within the social media, including television, Internet, journalism, radio, among others. Thus, the news consists of a type of story that can be presented orally or in writing, through which it narrates a topic of public interest.

In other words, the news is a text that narrates events of public interest that may or may not have a direct connection to the facts. Its composition is based on a series of basic questions, so that the information needed can be obtained in a complete way.

Meaning of the subgenre news

The term news comes from the Latin notitia, which refers to a type of information that had not been known before, that is, a completely new knowledge. Thus, nowadays, news takes place essentially within the mass media, where it takes the sense of testimony in which the public can learn about a novel event that has some kind of consequence within its community, given that it takes place in a particular context.

Definition of the news subgenre

It is the information about a set of facts or one in particular, which takes place within a given community or society and which is of public interest. It consists of a story that elaborates an important event that requires the knowledge of the community in which it takes place, especially. It must be presented in the shortest possible time to when it is executed, since one of the requirements is novelty.

Definition of the news subgenre

History and origin of the subgenre news

Its meaning about knowledge or new knowledge, was used in the Roman Empire, where it was known as Notitia Dignitatum. It was a document that described the way in which the whole Empire was organized in all its dimensions, it is known as one of the first documents of the time and of this didactic subgenre that can be known today. This is because the term was also associated with knowledge of a public nature, which is why it was known to the community.

Characteristics of the news subgenre

Let us now look at the most important characteristics of this type of story:

Topic or content: one of the most important characteristics of the news has to do with the diversity of topics it can cover, since it can address a wide variety of events among which are fields such as economy, culture, politics, social issues such as protests, wars, crimes, but also sports, entertainment, technology, etc.

Author: the writer of the news or the person who mentions it, often a journalist who, linked to his professional ethics, must present the information as objectively as possible, as well as ensure the veracity of the information he delivers, guaranteeing a correct process with the sources of information.

Decreasing order: the information in the news must be organized in decreasing order according to the importance of each of the data that compose it, in such a way that the inverted pyramid is involved. That is to say, according to this organization, the information data will go from the most important presented at the beginning to those of lesser importance presented at the end of it.

Requirements: in order for a news item, especially in the case of the press, to be considered valid, it must meet a series of conditions such as: it must be truthful, short and clearly understood, it must be of social interest and it must be as recent as possible. In addition, it must be new information, it can affect the life of a group of people and increase the interest of the people it affects directly, but also for the rest of a community.

Sources of information: there are three ways in which it is possible to have the information of the news. The first is the presence inside the event, the second is to go to a not completely new information, but it allows the recovery of previous information, and the third, to count on the testimony of another person.

Basic news questions

These are the questions that must be asked when presenting a news item in order to understand all that is necessary. They are:

What: explain what has happened or the general topic of the news item.
Who: mentions the protagonists and other participants in the events.
How: explains the conditions and the way in which the events occurred.
When: defines the moment when the events took place.
Where: describes the area or place where the events took place.
Why: explains the reasons why the events took place, background.

Structure of the news item

The news item must include the following parts to complete its general structure. Thus, the information is organized as follows:

Title: in this and the first section of the news item, an attempt is made to summarize in a few words the information or the general topic of the news item. In this way, the words used should stimulate public interest with precise and concise words. To formulate the title of the news item, the basic development questions must be taken into account.

Entradilla: it consists of the first paragraph of the whole news item. In this part, all the most important data about the event should be included, so that the reader can have a contextualization of the facts and, at the same time, generating a greater interest for the rest of the information.

Body: in this section, the information of the news item is developed in a complete way, based on the information provided in the lead, which is also called -lead-. Here it is presented point by point, taking into account the basic questions for its development, organizing and mentioning the information from most important to least, following the figure of the inverted pyramid.

The body of the news item may also include a series of paragraphs after the lead-in where the information immediately preceding it begins to be developed, as well as increasing the presence of the details of the event.

Closing: this is the final area of the news item in which the author can either present a conclusion in relation to the events, or give a series of secondary ideas of the event.

On the other hand, the news item may also include images or photographs of the participants of the event, the place where they occurred, etc., accompanied by a caption explaining their context, origin, author, etc. There may also appear bricks or subtitles in the body of the news item that serve to divide the information, highlighted sentences extracted from the text and an epigraph, a text above the title with a smaller font format.

Types of the news subgenre

According to the information, topic, context or field in which the event takes place, it is possible to identify types of news as we will see below:

Future news

This is news in which the information announces events or happenings that are going to occur in the future. This can be done because the event has already been confirmed by those responsible for it or officially announced.

Immediate news

This is news that, as its name indicates, relates information that occurs recently, and can even add those that are taking place in the present.

Human interest news

Although all news must involve a social interest, these are focused on those that appeal to the sensibility of the public or readers, so that they present information that moves.

Ephemeris news

These are news of events of social interest that include characters or participants of the events that are known within the communities, either because they are local personalities or of worldwide recognition. Here we can also include commemorative events.

Chronological news

These are news items that provide information with the intention of contributing to the elaboration of a series of events from the moment they happen.

Situation news

They are news whose content focuses on a sensitive topic in order to make a detailed report on the state, which is why they do not necessarily have to be completely new.

Service news

News that focus on providing useful information to the community, so that the events and other events they announce are timely for the community in which they are presented.

Special News

They are news of great importance at national and international level, so that due to their transcendentality they require a follow-up in which detailed information is presented on several occasions, especially if it is an event that is prolonged over time, as in sports, the Olympic Games or political issues such as relevant decisions, wars and so on.

How to write a news item

How to write a news item?

After reviewing the above information, it is time to review how to write a news item. To do so, the following points should be taken into account:

Selection of the topic 

The first thing to do is to choose the topic of the news item, since we may have to focus on a specific field of development, for example, entertainment, sports, art, etc. If this is the case, then you must start from the approach to the environment in order to get the news.

Once you have it, taking into account the sources of information we have already seen, then we can move on to the next point.

In-depth research 

When you have the general news, it is time to start with the research involved in writing a news item, given that, subsequently, the information to be presented must be expanded. This necessarily leads us to perform a deep analysis of the facts in which we can know it in depth. At this point it is essential to resort to the basic questions we saw earlier, these questions about the news where we ask ourselves: what, who, where, why, when and how?

Gathering information 

From the answers given to the basic questions of the news, we will already have a good amount of information necessary for the development of the written news. Be sure to include all the information that is relevant to specify each of the events, avoiding the repetition of data or secondary aspects that do not influence the course of events.

Here it is also convenient to take into account the inverted pyramid formula for the organization of the information, which consists of starting from the most relevant data to the less important ones.

Identifying the audience 

When writing the news, it is necessary to know exactly who we are writing for, because the type of language used, the context, the interest and other factors have an important influence on the type of audience. Make sure you know aspects such as the average age of the people who might be interested, the location of the audience, the reasons why they might be interested in the news, and queries or doubts that may arise in them and that should be resolved in the writing of the news.

Search for the particular angle

Although we can work on a popular event for which there are already antecedents and so on, the ideal is to look for a particular angle from which we can develop it, that is to say, the particular voice we are going to give it according to the event. This can be useful if we have a personal experience that we can relate to the event, we know people who are experts on the subject, we can go to sources closer to us, etc.

Start writing the story

Now that we have all this information ready to start writing, it is necessary to start with a consistent sentence that is able to present or introduce the content of the news. This main sentence is necessary to capture the audience’s attention.

After this, remember the news structure we have already seen and start organizing the information you have following this order to fully develop the content correctly and efficiently.

Final review 

Now that you have everything ready, it is time to make a final review before publishing or delivering your news. To do this, take into account the writing, spelling, coherence between ideas, the follow-up of the information and the way it is presented. Make sure that the writing of the content is clear and concise for the reader to whom it is addressed, this guarantees part of the efficiency of comprehension.

Remember that taking references is an important part of writing a news story, so we recommend reviewing written content from local mass media such as magazines and newspapers, including online news, where you can check the structure of the content, and other basic elements.

This is a basic guide for writing any type of news, however, you can make adjustments according to the modality on which you have to articulate the content. This, for example, if it is an opinion article, where in addition to the proposed structure, you must include your opinion in relation to the facts narrated.