Writing articles for newspapers can be a daunting task especially for beginners. Unlike in writing articles for magazines or websites, there are strict rules that you need to follow. Below are some ideas that can surely make the whole process a lot easier and manageable.
1. Write only those topics that are recent and newsworthy. Be very careful when choosing the stories for your articles. It's important that you talk only about those issues that happened recently and those that have direct impact on the lives of your readers. There's no way that you can write tips list or how to type of copies. The best stories are always those that are recent and controversial. Talk about what's happening in the government, the latest development in economy, and interesting stories about sports and entertainment.
2. Always use inverted pyramid technique. There is no other way to write your news articles than using this writing technique. The rules say that you must offer your readers with all the most important information on your lead paragraph. Why? It's because these people have limited attention span and most of them time, they do not read the articles in their entirety. Another reason is to make it easier for editors to trim the articles if needed. Editors can just remove the last paragraphs if they need to save some space.
3. Stick with facts. It's important that you're a responsible writer when writing for newspapers. You cannot afford to use unverified information as this may lead to complaints or worst, libel suits. To ensure that your data are based on facts, I would recommend that you conduct thorough research and interview as many people as possible (those who are connected to the stories that you're writing about).
Properly cite your sources all the time to be on the safe side.
4. Keep it short. As I said a while ago, the people you're writing for have limited attention span and you have very limited space to fill up. It's best if you keep your articles short but meaty. Tell your readers the information that they need to know without beating around the bush and without using fillers. Also, avoid inserting information that are irrelevant to your chosen stories.
5. Keep it objective and neutral. The worst thing that you can do in writing newspaper articles is taking sides. So, keep your articles factual and objective as much as possible. Always give your readers the two sides of every story to make your articles balanced and fair.
6. Proofread your articles. Readers can be unforgiving when it comes to grammar and spelling errors. So, proofread your articles and make sure that they're ready for publishing before you submit them to your editors. Ensure that they are well written, to the point, and easy to understand. Make them scannable by using short paragraphs and subheadings.