Creating the news

As we saw in our previous lesson, there is always lots of news to choose from and many of the stories that cross a journalists desk is discarded. We know that the editors decide what will be included in the news bulletins of their broadcasts. Print editors of major newspapers have more opportunity to present indepth stories and a greater range, particularly as they can update breaking news online.

But how do you write a news story? What sort of language do you use to make it exciting and something people want to view and read?

Breaking Down the News Formula

Homework: Read Chapter 13 from page 325 to page 330 concerning television news. Then complete activities from 1 to 6.

The news follows a distinct formula in their 30 minute broadcasts. They tend to go something like this:

Music Intro with Logo (30 secs)
News reader introduces themselves and rounds up the story (2-3 minutes)
First story around 1 to 2 minutes
Second story (50 seconds)
Third Story (40 Seconds)
Fourth Seconds (50 seconds
Advertisements 3- 5 minutes
Few more stories (5 minutes)
Ads 30 – 5 minutes
Sport 5 minutes
Market Report (Banks, stocks) 3 minutes
Weather 2 minutes
Good news story 30 seconds
Goodbye from News Reader and music (30 seconds)

The newsreader will often have a uniuqe way of saying goodbye. Brian Naylor from Chennel Seven always ended a broadcast with ‘May your news be good news and goodnight.’

Pick 10 stories…

Pick 10 stories for the news bulletin.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to Marry
Syrian Army Cracksdown on Civilians
Julia Gillard removed from power
Albino Bear found with two heads
Bob Brown leads Greens to victory
Earthquake in Chile kills 20,000
Liberal Government dumps Abbot
Funding Cuts to Hospitals
Education only for the rich
Bridge falls in Sydney Harbour
Diabetes kills 50,000
Ten dead on Bass Highway
Trains to run through North West Coast
Wall Street Stocks plummet
Plastic surgery explodes woman’s face
Obama loses Presidency
Gillard taxes mining giants
Cold blizzard in Europe kills 500
Paris no longer the city of love
Australians poorer after stocks dive

Plenty to think…

Plenty to think about in the media this year. Some of the highlights:

  • Gina Reinhardt and Control of Fairfax
  • Julian Assange Wikileaks appeal
  • Rupert Murdoch and News of the World Scandal (Just keeps Going)
  • The rise of social media

And lots more.


Watch a news broadcast on Channel 7, 9 or 10 and compare to SBS or ABC news.

How do they present their stories?
What were the main items of the day?
How was it divided into sections?
How long was spent on each news story?

news reader