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Writing Newspaper Articles Writing

Writing Newspaper Articles Writing

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Writing Newspaper Articles Writing

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  1. Writing Newspaper ArticlesWriting Icons key: For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation Flash activity. These activities are not editable. Teacher’s notes included in the Notes Page Extension activities Web addresses Accompanying worksheet 1 of 26 © Boardworks Ltd 2006

  2. Learning objectives In this unit you will… • Learn the features of different types of newspaper (tabloid, broadsheet, local and national) • Discuss headlines and articles, analysing how they differ between types of newspaper • Write your own newspaper article based on the events of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, paying particular attention to language, layout and style 2 of 26 © Boardworks Ltd 2006

  3. Types of newspapers Do you know what the two main types of newspaper are called? The first newspapers were all called broadsheets, because they used large, wide sheets of paper for their pages. Tabloid newspapers were traditionally smaller and squarer in shape than the broadsheet papers. These two types of paper have quite different written styles. Your style, material and layout will be affected by the kind of paper you are writing for. Recently, some broadsheet newspapers have reduced the size of their pages to make them easier to read, particularly on trains! However, they are still classified as broadsheet papers because of the style of journalism within them.

  4. Types of newspapers

  5. Discussion topics • What do you think is the most important difference between tabloid and broadsheet newspapers? What other differences are there? • In which way(s), if any, are free newspapers different to newspapers you have to pay for? • What is the main difference between national and local papers? Are there any other differences? • Can one and should one say that any particular type of newspaper is “better” than any other?

  6. Looking at headlines

  7. Looking at headlines What makes the perfect headline? Ideally, a headline should: • sum up the whole article • grab the attention of potential buyers • be easily remembered. A pun or some alliteration can make it even more effective. What do ‘pun’ and ‘alliteration’ mean? A pun is a play on words and alliteration is when the same consonant sound is repeated. What sort of newspaper is this?

  8. Looking at headlines

  9. Looking at headlines Discussion activity Consider the two headlines which you have just analysed. How are the differences in the headlines likely to be reflected in the papers’ approach to what is actually the same story? Activity Turn the following imaginary news items into two headlines each: one in tabloid style and one in broadsheet style. If things don’t change, global warming will cause sea levels to rise by a metre in the next century. The Ministry of Defence has admitted that Gulf War Syndrome could well have been caused by chemicals which were used by both sides during the conflict.

  10. What does an article need? All articles have common features like: picture(s) with captions a headline sub-headings All newspaper articles interviews/comments from people involved an expert opinion Add any other features you can think of to the brainstorm above.

  11. Writing an article You are now going to work through the various stages necessary to create a finished newspaper article. You will be working from fictional pieces of information which come from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. The background: Claribel, the daughter of King Alonso of Naples, has just married the king of Tunis. At her wedding in Tunis were: • her father • her brother Ferdinand • her father’s brother Sebastian • Gonzalo (Alonso’s adviser) • Antonio (Duke of Milan) • Neapolitan and Milanese nobility and their servants.

  12. Writing an article The events: On the way home from Tunis, a storm blows up in the Mediterranean and King Alonso’s ship is sunk. The other ships in the fleet see the ship go down, but cannot find any survivors when they try to go to the rescue.

  13. Writing an article Sadly, the fleet sails on to Naples where the bad news has to be broken: the king, the heir to the throne and most of the senior councillors of Naples have been drowned, as well as the Duke of Milan and a large part of the nobility of both Naples and Milan. In addition, the ship had a crew of seventy Neapolitan sailors, all of whom are lost. As a result of this event, there is no direct heir to the throne of Naples.

  14. Writing an article You are responsible for the front page of Naples Today, the city’s main newspaper. It is the evening of June 23rd 1598 and a rumour has reached your office that the fleet has just returned without the king’s ship. Individual activity While you wait for your reporter to run to the docks to get more details, you start work on a dramatic headline for tomorrow’s paper. Try out several different ways of approaching the tragedy, including at least one tabloid style headline and one broadsheet style headline.

  15. Writing an article Individual activity Imagine you are the reporter for Naples Today. You have been sent to the docks to gather enough information to write a dramatic article for tomorrow’s paper. Make a list of the people whom you would like to interview for your research. Remember to include as wide a range of experiences as possible. Your list should include: • someone who saw the fleet return • someone senior from the fleet (e.g. a captain) • a relative of one of the drowned sailors • a political expert • a court spokesperson.

  16. Writing an article Paired activities • Each taking the other’s list of people to be interviewed, prepare in note form a story for each of them. Do not write out the story in full. Do not discuss the details with your partner. • Remember to think about what they saw, what they heard, what they think and what they feel. • As the journalist, prepare questions which you wish to ask your chosen people. Aim for five or six questions each – some may be the same for everyone, of course! Again, do not tell your partner what you are going to ask. • Take it in turns to interview each other, making notes when you are the journalist.

  17. Writing an article Paired activity You now have a list of possible headlines and two sets of interviews which give you an idea of what happened and what people think about it. Imagine that you are the editor and journalist. Decide on the style of your paper’s approach to the story and choose a headline for tomorrow’s early edition. Now that you have that, you need to think about the layout of your front page.

  18. The front page name of paper price date picture headline sub headings columns Can you think of anything else a newspaper front page might have?

  19. Layout and style Decide on the layout of the early edition of Naples Today on June 24th 1598. Remember to give your paper a date and a price as well as a headline. With the layout fixed, all that remains is to write the article. However, you need to think carefully about the language you use when you start to write. Is your paper a tabloid or a broadsheet? How should you use your interviews? What is your paper’s attitude to the event? The language you use when writing your articles is very important. Newspapers have their own styles and there are distinct differences between the language of a tabloid paper and that of a broadsheet. Look at the extracts on the next two slides and decide which one is from a tabloid article and which is broadsheet in style. Find examples from the articles as evidence to support your opinion.

  20. Brutal Attack on Pensioner A lonely pensioner was brutally beaten up by a mugger, just yards from her own front door. All she had on her was £7.00. “I was just walking home from my weekly lunch at the local Day Centre,” says widow Mary Evans, 86, of South Court, Devenish. It wasn’t even dark, only 3pm on a September afternoon. And this isn’t a big city. Are we safe anywhere these days? Not safe in our own streets D.C. Matthew Johns of Green Lane Police Station, Wilborough said, “This is a really nasty attack on a defenceless old lady. It’s not even as though she had anything on her worth stealing.” So, now we can’t even feel safe in our own street. When are the government going to wake up and realize they’ve got to do something about it? After all, we’re the ones who put them there. Shouldn’t they earn their keep by looking after us and making sure that old ladies don’t have to live in fear?

  21. Random Street Crime is Rising A national survey conducted by the Police Federation reveals that our streets really are less safe than they were ten years ago. The recent, well-publicized attack on an elderly pensioner, Mrs Mary Evans, aged 86 of Devenish, brought the issue of street muggings back to the public’s attention. The publication of this report will simply confirm what many ordinary people have felt for some time: that police efforts to control street crime have failed. “It is now a matter of urgency that the government should recognize that it is its responsibility to tackle this issue. It cannot be right that the elderly should have to take their lives in their hands every time they step beyond their own front doors,” said Help The Aged’s spokesperson Helen Smith. “We claim to be a civilized country, yet it seems that our streets are not as safe as we like to think. Perhaps it’s time to reassess the priorities of the police force and target the unglamorous side of community policing: drugs seizures are undoubtedly important, but so is the day-to-day safety of vulnerable members of society.”

  22. Brutal Attack on Pensioner Emotive words Direct speech Personal details given A lonely pensioner was brutally beaten up by a mugger, just yards from her own front door. All she had on her was £7.00. “I was just walking home from my weekly lunch at the local Day Centre,” says widow Mary Evans, 86, of South Court, Devenish. It wasn’t even dark, only 3pm on a September afternoon. And this isn’t a big city. Are we safe anywhere these days? Not safe in our own streets D.C. Matthew Johns of Green Lane Police Station, Wilborough said, “This is a really nasty attack on a defenceless old lady. It’s not even as though she had anything on her worth stealing.” So, now we can’t even feel safe in our own street. When are the government going to wake up and realize they’ve got to do something about it? After all, we’re the ones who put them there. Shouldn’t they earn their keep by looking after us and making sure that old ladies don’t have to live in fear? Use of contractions Sub-heading breaks up text Rhetorical questions. Short sentences and very short “paragraphs” throughout.

  23. Random Street Crime is Rising Grammatical accuracy Direct speech. Brief personal details A national survey conducted by the Police Federation reveals that our streets really are less safe than they were ten years ago. The recent, well-publicized attack on an elderly pensioner, Mrs Mary Evans, aged 86 of Devenish, brought the issue of street muggings back to the public’s attention. The publication of this report will simply confirm what many ordinary people have felt for some time: that police efforts to control street crime have failed. “It is now a matter of urgency that the government should recognize that it is its responsibility to tackle this issue. It cannot be right that the elderly should have to take their lives in their hands every time they step beyond their own front doors,” said Help The Aged’s spokesperson Helen Smith. “We claim to be a civilized country, yet it seems that our streets are not as safe as we like to think. Perhaps it’s time to reassess the priorities of the police force and target the unglamorous side of community policing: drugs seizures are undoubtedly important, but so is the day-to-day safety of vulnerable members of society.” Formal vocabulary Sophisticated sentence structure

  24. Looking at style Did you notice anything which both styles of article had in common? • Direct speech is used in both, to give weight to the point of the article. • Both articles give some personal details of the people whom the journalist quotes. Your article will need to include comments from the people you interviewed, as well as some of their personal details. I’m going to have so much fun making up people’s personal details and backgrounds! It’ll be good practice for when I’m writing my own books.

  25. Using interviews Newspapers use extracts from interviews, but they do not use them in the same way as television news reports do. Look at the extracts used in the tabloid article which you have just been studying. “I was just walking home from my weekly lunch at the local Day Centre,” says widow Mary Evans, 86, of South Court, Devenish. D.C. Matthew Johns of Green Lane Police Station, Wilborough said, “This is a really nasty attack on a defenceless old lady. It’s not even as though she had anything on her worth stealing.” Notice that the journalist’s questions are not used in the article. All that appears is a comment from the interviewee.

  26. Writing an article It is now time to write your own article: • remember to keep your sentences quite short • use comments from the people you interviewed • do not include your questions • use either broadsheet or tabloid style; do not mix them • break up your text with sub- headings. And finally, remember what a dramatic news item this is and use a suitably dramatic style!