Teaching Students About Newspapers

What is a Newspaper?

A newspaper is printed on paper and disseminated, typically once daily or weekly. It gives information and opinions written by journalists about current events and news. Newspapers usually report on various topics, including current events, politics, celebrity news, crimes, sports, and popular opinions.

What is a Newspaper Report?

A newspaper report is a news story that’s found in a newspaper. Its purpose is to inform the readers about what’s happening worldwide. A single newspaper report will usually focus on a specific event that has just happened.

Most newspaper reports aim to be objective and present the information without bias. This means they shouldn’t take sides and should give the information to the reader, leaving them to decide their own opinion about it. However, this is not always the case.

Newspaper reports also follow a specific structure and have key features. For example, they will always have a headline, a short introduction, and the article’s main body. They sometimes use images and visuals too.

Types of Newspaper Reports

Now that we know the answer to ‘what is a newspaper report?’, we can look at different types of newspaper reports.

There are several types of newspapers, which are divided between the newspaper articles they publish.

Editorial columns and opinion articles

These are pieces by opinionated writers, often celebrities and experts in other specialist fields, and they are often written to inform and entertain. Columnists develop a style of their own through vocabulary choices and rhetorical devices.

Tabloid newspaper articles

Tabloids tend to have shorter sentences and paragraphs and use more basic vocabulary. This style’s reports are sensationalized, use emotive language, and may focus more on celebrities and gossip.

Five Fun Facts about Newspapers

  1. Julius Caesar commissioned the very first record of a newspaper in 59BC. It was a daily list of announcements carved into metal or stone and publicly displayed.
  2. Across the globe, more than 24 billion newspapers are published every year. That’s a lot of ink!
  3. On July 1, 1822, the first Gujarati newspaper, the Bombay Samachar, was published in Bombay. This is now the longest-running and oldest print newspaper today!
  4. Newspapers often include puzzles and games. The first crossword in a British newspaper was published in the Sunday Express on November 2, 1924.
  5. Newspapers are a trendy read! Nearly 105 million people read the newspaper in print or online daily in the UK alone, and more than 110 million adults read the Sunday newspaper.

Top Tips for Newspaper Articles

  1. Write an eye-catching headline.

Make your headline short and snappy with a critical observation about the news story. Make sure this title matches the article’s tone and is informative to the topic you’re writing about. Lots of newspaper headlines use puns to make them more memorable, too.

  1. Be direct.

Newspaper articles are an example of non-fiction writing, as they report actual events that have happened recently or in the past. You must keep your writing direct and concise, including factually correct information. Lots of people skim-read newspapers to find out the events that happened, so it’s essential to keep your writing direct and easy to read at a glance.

  1. Write in the third person.

Writing in the third person is from the third-person point of view, or outsider looking in and using pronouns like he, she, it, or they. Writing in the third person also helps to make the newspaper report more objective and less personal. For example, if you use the first person, you naturally use the pronouns ‘I,’ ‘me,’ or ‘my.’ This invites the writer to share their opinion, which newspaper reports shouldn’t do.

  1. Use reported speech.

Many journalists (writers of newspaper reports) will gather quotes from the people involved in the event they’re writing about. This helps to make their newspaper report appear more credible to the reader and often provides new insight. If you use quotes to make your report more interesting, don’t forget to use reported speech by using speech marks!

  1. Think about the 5 W’s when writing.

The 5 W’s are who, what, why, where, and when. Who is involved in the story? What happened? Why did it happen? Where did it happen? When did it happen? These five questions will help you plan and structure your newspaper article and ensure that you tell the whole story.

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