How To Write A Newspaper Report

What are News Reports?

News reports are found in newspapers and their purpose is to inform readers with factual information about what is happening in the world around them.

Split your newspaper report up into paragraphs to help the reader clearly understand the information.

Structure of Newspaper Reports:

  • 1. Headline
  • 2. Byline
  • 3. Lead paragraph
  • 4. Body/ running text /explanation)
  • 5. Conclusion

You need to provide readers unbiased information/facts by using the 5Ws:

  • 1. Who ( Who was involved)
  • 2. What (took place)
  • 3. Why (did it happen)
  • 4. Where (did it take place)
  • 5. When (did it happen)


6 Important Points for Headlines:

1. Five to ten words at the most
US allows wider use of blood plasma
Florida to release wave of modified mosquitoes.

2. Accurate and specific

3. Use present tense and active verbs, but do not start with a verb.
Man dies and woman hurts in house roof collapse
Two storms force mass evacuations across Caribbean

4. Use infinitive form of verb for future actions
The infinitive form of a verb is the verb in its basic form. It is the version of the verb which will appear in the dictionary.

5. Do not use articles such as ‘an’, a’.

6. Do not use conjunctions such as ‘because’. Keep your headline short and snappy.


Byline is a line in a newspaper naming the writer of an article.


The lead, or opening paragraph, is the most important part of a news story. The first paragraph (and even sentence) of a story has to grab the readers’ interest and summaries the main ideas.

Body/Running Text/Explanation:

Body has to be written in third person and in past tense unlike the headline which is written in present tense. The reason is because they describe events that have already occurred. Headlines, in contrast, provide an element of freshness.

Include expert or witness comments to give weight to the story

Time connectives are important. Words such as before, after, next, just then, shortly, afterwards, last, eventually, firstly, secondly, and thirdly, are all-time connectives.


End with a summary of the facts and answers or with an eye towards the future.

An Example of How Newspaper Writing Could be Tested in Examinations:

You are Nicole Panteli, the journalist. Write a newspaper article for the local newspaper based on your visit to the moor, with the title ‘Big cat or Tall Story?’
In your newspaper article, you should comment on:
-What the local people believe about the ‘beast’
-Your own memories and your experience while driving across the moor
-Your opinions on the ‘beast’ and the locals, and predictions for the future.
Begin the newspaper article: ‘Last week I went on a trup down memory lane to investigate a long-standing mystery…’.
Write about 250 to 350 words.
Up to 15 marks are available for the content of your answer, and up to 5 marks for the quality of your writing.