Newspaper article Pàgina següent

Aim: understand the characteristics of newspaper articles and become familiar with strategies to write effective articles.

Newspaper articles concentrate the most important information in the opening paragraph or lead paragraph. This is so because newspaper readers do not always read whole articles in newspaper, often they just skim over pages, so it is important to concentrate key information at the very beginning.

The traditional approach to newspaper writing has it that, when writing the lead paragraph of an article, journalists should be mainly concerned about making the five Ws and an H explicit:




Who is the main subject of the story: the person, thing, idea, event, fact, institution etc. about which the story is written; what is the action that takes place; when and where explain the time and place of the action; why describes the reason for the action; how tells the manner the action takes place.

Or, in other words, who did what. When, where, why, and how was it done.


Below, you've got two model lead paragraphs. Try to find the 5Ws and an H.

Model 1

Former Klansman Guilty of Manslaughter in 1964 Deaths

PHILADELPHIA, Miss., June 21 - In what is likely to be the final chapter in a story that has troubled a generation, a jury pronounced Edgar Ray Killen guilty of manslaughter on Tuesday in the deaths of three young and idealistic civil rights workers who disappeared on a summer night here exactly 41 years ago.

The New York Times. June 23, 2005

  • Which are the 5Ws and an H? (Remember: who did what. When, where, why, and how was it done). Write them and, then, check your answer:


Model 2

Northwest Begins Recovery a Day After Powerful Quake

SEATTLE, March 1 - The people of Seattle were digging out today from the effects of the most powerful earthquake in the region in 52 years, tallying up the damage but also counting their blessings that the quake had not been more destructive. A small aftershock this morning, registering a magnitude of 3.4, caused no new major damage.

The New York Times. March 2, 2001

  • Which are the 5Ws and an H? Write them and, then, check your answer:


The 5 Ws and an H will later on be elaborated in the rest of the article. Of course, you do not always find the 5 Ws and an H. But, in good newspaper writing, if one of them is missing it is usually for a good reason.

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