Types of newspaper articles


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Most of the articles you see in The Dispatch are news articles. News articles focus only on the facts they don't contain anyone's opinion There are several types of news articles.

A local news article focuses on what's going on in your neighborhood. An example of a local news story would be an article on a city council meeting.

A national news article focuses on what's happening in the United States. An example of a national news article would be an article on the U.S. Senate passing a new bill.

An international news article focuses on news that's happening outside the United States. A story on an influenza outbreak in Chile would be considered an international news story.

A feature article is an article that is about "softer" news. A feature may be a profile of a person who does a lot of volunteer work in the community or a movie preview. Feature articles are not considered news stories.

An editorial is an article that contains the writer's opinion. Editorials are usually run all together on a specific page of the paper and focus on current events. Editorials are not considered news stories.

A column is an article written by the same person on a regular basis. A columnist (the writer of the column) writes about subjects of interest to him/her, current events or community happenings. Columns are not considered news stories.


A feature article is an article that is about "softer" news. A feature may be a profile of a person who does a lot of volunteer work in the community or a preview of a movie about to hit the theaters. Like news writing, strong feature writing is simple, clear and orderly. But, unlike news stories, feature stories don't have to be written about events that just happened. Instead, they focus on human interest, mood, atmosphere, emotion, irony and humor. Here are some steps to follow to help you write a good feature story:

1. Get the reader's attention quickly.

• Start with a well thought-out first paragraph touching on some aspect of the person's life that you are writing about or the event if it is not a person.

• Good feature stories have a beginning that draws in readers, a transition that might repeat it in the middle and an ending that refers to the beginning.

2. Organize your story carefully.
• Feature stories can be told in narrative fashion or by sliding from event to event even though not in chronological order. Use careful transitions to maintain the flow of the story if you're not going to follow chronological order.

3. Use short paragraphs and vary the lengths of sentences for effect.

• Reading sentences and paragraphs that are always the same length gets boring.

4. Write with strong verbs and nouns, but go easy on adjectives.

• Try to draw a picture of your subject or event through your writing. Read the sentences below and think about which paints a better picture for your reader:

The man was tall.
The man's head almost brushed against the eight foot ceiling in the room. The ship sank in 1900.
The ship sank just as the first intercontinental railroad was nearing completion.

5. Don't be afraid to use offbeat quotes.
• Not profanity, but rather witty things the person may say in response to a question about their success, life or family.

6. Write tightly.
• You do not need to tell the reader everything you know on a subject or event. Tell only the most important things. It's better to write shorter than longer. A good feature can be done in 500-750 words

There are many different styles of newspaper articles, but the most common is the news story. Many news stories are based on interviews with sources, or people who witnessed an event or might be experts on a subject. Writing a good news story takes preparation. Follow these steps to help you with the writing process:

___ Do background reading. Learn about the subject you're writing about. For example, if your story is going to be about school uniforms, you might want to visit your local library and read back issues of The Dispatch to read any articles that may have already been written about the issue.

___ Make appointments to interview sources. For your story on school uniforms, your school principal might be a good person to


___ Make a list of questions you can ask your source based on what you already know and on your research.

• Make sure to have a pad and pencil for note-taking.

• Be on time for the interview.

• Be sure you ask questions which will result in information you want readers to know. It wouldn't be appropriate to ask your principal what she thought of the school play if your article is about school uniforms.

• Make sure to get the correct spelling of your source's name.

• Get your source's title.

• Get the facts about the topic. (who, what, when, where, why, how)

• Get your source's opinion this means you would ask your principal what he/she thinks of school uniforms.

There are some steps to follow during the interview also:

___ Begin by asking your prepared questions.

___ Be flexible. Don't be upset if your source doesn't answer your questions in order, but do try to get all the facts you need.

___ Take notes.

___ Be sure to copy exactly anything that might be good to use as a direct quotation.

___ Always be polite.

___ After you're finished, review the facts with the source to make sure you've got them right.

___ Always thank your source at the end of the interview.

___ Ask your source if he or she minds if you contact them for additional information if necessary.

After the interview, you're ready to begin writing your story. Start writing a first draft as soon as possible. Doing this will help you remember things you did not write completely during the interview. Get the most important and interesting facts and statements at the beginning or lead of your story. Put all the 5 W's (who, what, when, where and why) and 1 H (how) in order. Important facts are first in the story and less important facts are at the end of the story. Put quotes in appropriate places. Don't forget to include any background information and details your readers need to know. This method of writing is called the inverted pyramid

An article is a stand-alone section of a larger written work. These nonfictional prose compositions appear in magazines, newspapers, academic journals, the internet, or any other type of publication.



  • 1 Types of articles

    • 1.1 News

    • 1.2 Features

    • 1.3 Other types of articles

  • 2 Elements of an article

    • 2.1 Headline

    • 2.2 Lead

    • 2.3 Body

      • 2.3.1 Body of news story

      • 2.3.2 Body of feature article

    • 2.4 Conclusion

  • 3 Characteristics of well-written articles

  • 4 Authorship

  • 5 References

  • 6 External Links

Types of articles

Articles can be divided into two main categories: news and features. Straight news stories deal with the timeliness and immediacy of breaking news, while feature articles are news stories that deal with human interest topics.[1]


A news article is an article published in a print or Internet news medium such as a newspaper, newsletter, news magazine, or news-oriented website that discusses current or recent news of either general interest (i.e. daily newspapers) or on a specific topic (i.e. political or trade news magazines, club newsletters, or technology news websites).

A news article can include accounts of eyewitnesses to the happening event. It can contain photographs, accounts, statistics, graphs, recollections, interviews, polls, debates on the topic, etc. Headlines can be used to focus the reader’s attention on a particular (or main) part of the article. The writer can also give facts and detailed information following answers to general questions like who, what, when, where, why and how. Quoting references can also be helpful. References to people can also be made through written accounts of interviews and debates confirming the factuality of the writer’s information and the reliability of his source. The writer can use redirections to ensure that the reader keeps reading the article and also draws his attention to other articles. For example: - phrases like “continued on page x …” redirects the reader to page number x where the article is continued. Conclusions also are very important ingredients for newspaper articles.

See also: news style


Feature articles are nonfiction articles that intend to inform, teach, or amuse the reader on a topic. The topic centers around human interests. Feature stories may include conventions found in fiction such as dialogue, plot and character. A feature article is an umbrella term that includes many literary structures: personality sketches, essays, how-to's, interviews and many others.[2] The following are examples of feature articles:

  • Column — A short newspaper or magazine piece that deals specifically with a particular field of interest, or broadly with an issue or circumstance of far-reaching scope. They appear with bylines on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.). They may be written exclusively for one newspaper or magazine; they may be marketed by a syndicate, or they may be self-syndicated by the author.

  • Essay — A short, literary, nonfiction composition (usually prose) in which a writer develops a theme or expresses an idea.

  • Evergreen — A timeless article that editors can hold for months and publish when needed. They need little or no updating.[3]

  • Exposè — These articles use in-depth reporting with heavy research and documentation. Used to expose corruption in business, politics or celebrities. Also called the investigative article.[4][5]

  • Filler — Short non-fiction items, usually just under 300 words used to fill in space on a page of a magazine or newspaper page.[6]
  • How-to — How-to articles help people to learn how to do something. They provide step-by-step information for the reader.[7]

  • Human interest story — An article that involves local people and events and can be sold to daily and some weekly newspapers. Human interest elements, such as anecdotes or accounts of personal experiences, can support ideas in magazine articles as firmly as facts or statistics. Also called "true-life" stories.

  • Interview —This feature story type article includes the text of the conversation between two or more people, normally directed by the interviewer. Interviews are often edited for clarity. One common variation is the roundtable--the text of a less organized discussion, usually between three or more people.

  • Op-Ed — Articles that run opposite the editorial page. They are a response to current editorials and topical subjects. Political op-eds are the most common, but they don't have to be limited to politics. They must, however, reflect items that are current and newsworthy.

  • Personal experience — An article in which the writer recounts an ordeal, process, or event he has undergone.

  • Personality Profile — A personal or professional portrait--sometimes both-- of a particular individual.[8]

  • Seasonal — An article written about a holiday, season of the year, or timely observance. This kind of article must be submitted months in advance of the anticipated publication date.[9]

  • Service Article — An article about a consumer product or service; it outlines the characteristics of several of the same type of commodity. The aim is to help the consumer make the best selection possible.[10]
  • Sidebar — A short feature that accompanies a news story or magazine article. It elaborates on human interest aspects of the story, explains one important facet of the story in more depth, or provides additional factual information--such as a list of names and addresses--that would read awkwardly in the body of the article. Can be found in a box, separated from the main article on the side or bottom of the page.[11]

  • Travel literature — Travel articles inform and enlighten the reader through facts about a region's landscape, scenery, people, customs, and atmostphere.[12]

See also:
feature writing

Other types of articles

  • Academic — An academic article is an academic paper published in a journal. An academic's status is usually dependent on how many articles they have had published, and also the number of times their articles are cited by other articles.

  • Blog — Some styles of blogging are more like articles. Other styles are written more like entries in a personal journal.

  • Encyclopedia — In an encyclopedia or other reference work, an article is a primary division of content.

  • Marketing — An often thin piece of content which is designed to draw the reader to a commercial website.

  • UsenetUsenet articles are e-mail like messages posted to share Usenet newsgroup.

Elements of an article


A headline is text at the top of a newspaper article, indicating the nature of the article below it. The headline of the article catches the attention of the reader and relates well to the topic.


The lead (sometimes spelled lede) sentence captures the attention of the reader and sums up the focus of the story. The lead also establishes the subject, sets the tone, and guides the reader into the article.[13]

In a news story, the introductory paragraph tells the most important facts and answers the questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how. In a feature story, the author may choose to open with any number of ways including the following:[14]

  • anecdote

  • shocking or startling statement

  • a generalization

  • pure information

  • description

  • a quote

  • a question

  • a comparison

See also:
Narrative hook


Body of news story

  • For the news story, details and elaboration are evident in the body of the news story and flow smoothly from the lead.

  • Quotes are used to add interest and support to the story.

  • The inverted pyramid is used with most news stories.

Body of feature article

Feature articles follow a format appropriate for its type. Structures for these types of articles may include, but are not limited to:[15]

  • chronological — the article may be a narrative of some sort.

  • cause and effect — the reasons and results of an event or process is examined.

  • classification — items in an article are grouped to help aid understanding

  • compare and contrast— two or more items are examined side-by-side to see their similarities and differences

  • list — A simple item-by-item run-down of pieces of information.

  • question and answer —such as an interview with a celebrity or expert.


One difference between a news story and a feature article is the conclusion. Endings for hard news article occur when all of the information has been presented according to the inverted pyramid form. By contrast, the feature article needs more definite closure.[16] The conclusions for these articles may include, but are not limited to:[17]

Characteristics of well-written articles

  • The piece is a factual account of a newsworthy event.

  • The writer is objective and shows all sides to an issue.

  • The sources for this news story are identified and are reliable.

  • Show, don't tell.


Publications obtain articles in a few different ways:

  • staff written — an article may be written by a person on the staff of the publication.

  • assigned — a freelance writer may be asked to write an article on a specific topic.

  • unsolicited — a publication may be open to receiving article manuscripts from freelance writers.

Click in this box, delete this text and write the name of your newspaper here! You can change the background colour by clicking on the 'paint' icon at the bottom on your screen!

Click here and write the date! Click here and type in the price!

Put the main headline here. A headline is like a short poem. It communicates a lot of information in a small space. So the words need to be chosen carefully! A good idea would be to use alliteration (Hell in Helsinki!) or make it sensational ('Man mauled to death in Maldon").

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