Newspaper Reporting

Write Fast

Newspaper reporting requires that you write fast and tight. Reporters live or die, professionally, by deadlines.

For instance, you may be assigned to write a 500 word article in only a few hours. And it has to be on time, because the paper must go to press on time to be ready for delivery.

Write Tight

Like a press release, the news article is an inverted pyramid. All of the important stuff is at the top.


So editors can cut away as much as they need to in order to fit the article in the allotted space.

When you report a story, not only do you have to do it quickly and make the article top heavy, but don't waste any words.

This is not the place for flowery prose or elegant description. Stick to the facts.

Unbiased reporting

A good news reporter can tell you the story without injecting his or her own view into the story. In other words, just the facts are presented.

Unbiased reporting is not the norm at all newspapers. In fact, some papers lean distinctly left or right, depending on their location and ownership.

However, within the pages of the average newspaper, only the columns, letters to the editor and op-ed pieces should have obvious bias.

So, if you are reporting, don't editorialize.

Reader oriented

Remember, no matter what you are writing, you are doing it for the reader. The reader is why the story is written.

Make your writing reader-focused to make it better. Think about what they need to know and why. Then report it.

So, if you want to be a newspaper reporter, write fast, focus on your reader and keep your opinions to yourself.

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