HOW TO WRITE NEWS REPORTS What is a news report? A news report is about a particular topic which interests the public. It appears in newspapers or magazines and it is written in an impersonal formal style, aiming to catch the reader’s attention. A news report gives accurate facts only. The writer’s feelings or point of view should not be mentioned. Organization of a news report A news report should always have an eye-catching short headline which introduces the topic. It should also be divided into well-structured paragraphs, that is: a) an introduction where details about the time, place and people involved in the incident are given; b) a main body consisting of two or more paragraphs where the event is developed in detail, giving information about the reason it happened and its result; c) an ending where comments or actions to be taken are briefly mentioned. Passive Voice and Direct/ Reported Speech can be used to make the news report more interesting. Introduction Paragraph 1 Summary of the event (time, place, people involved) Main Body Paragraph 2 – 4 Development of the event in detail, causes, consequences Conclusion Final Paragraph People’s comments/ action taken Exercises 1. Read the following paragraphs and put them in the correct order. A Bruce immediately contacted the local police station to report the incident. It appears they were not the only witnesses. “We received over forty calls between 7:30 pm and 8:45 pm from people claiming to have seen a UFO,” admitted police sergeant J.F. Stable. B The two men were walking their dogs when suddenly the whole sky was lit up by a bright light and a whizzing sound was heard. Seconds later a round silver object appeared in the sky. The object floated above them for about fifteen minutes and then disappeared. C Experts are examining the Yorkshire moors for ay clues in an attempt to explain the sightings. As a result of the incident. Hundreds of UFO fanatics came to the moors on Saturday evening to watch the sky and wait for the spaceship to reappear. D Two Yorkshire resident, Steven Bruce aged 35 and James Murray, aged 38, reported seeing an unidentified flying object hovering over the deserted moors last Friday evening. 2. Read the news report below and write down the topic of each paragraph, then underline all the words related to the car crash: Two people were seriously injured in a collision at the junction of Mill Road and Wrights Lane, Westbridge, early yesterday morning. Jackie Hill, 22, was driving a yellow Nissan Cherry when she approached the junction and crashed into a delivery van coming out of Wrights Lane. A local resident who witnessed the accident said that it was obvious that Mrs Hill had not seen the stop sigh at the junction as she had not even slowed down. Mrs Hill was on her way home from her job as a night nurse when the accident happened. She is said to be in a serious but stable condition at St Michael’s hospital. The driver of the van, William Stephens, 27, is being treated for head and back injuries. A neighborhood association spokesman commented later:”This is the fourth accident to happen at the crossroads in the past month. We have been lobbying for a set of traffic lights there for months, but so far nothing has happened.” According to city councilor David Wilkins, plans are being made to put up traffic lights at the junction in the near future. 3. Read the following news report and fill the correct words from the list: braked injuries direction crashed damaged overtake skidded collision “…. There have been further road accidents following yesterday’s heavy rain. Early last night two motorists suffered serious 1) _________ in an incident involving three vehicles. Mr Rey Amberly from Newden was traveling along Pyke Road at around 90 mph when he noticed the van behind his car driven by Mr Joseph Brown, moving out to 2) ________ him. Mr Amberly 3) _________ slightly in order to let the driver of the van pass, but instead of slowing down, his car 4) ________ on the slippery surface and 5) _________ into a third vehicle, coming from the other 6) _________ which was driven by Mr Luke Porter. All three vehicles were severely 7) ____________ in the 8) __________ and the three drivers had to be taken to hospital. Police believe that the cash could have been avoided if the drivers had not been travelling so fast under such dangerous conditions. 4. Read the following news report and make notes about the time, place and the development of the event. Gas Leak Results in Tragedy In the early hours of Saturday morning, the West Cross Shopping Centre. Wolverhampton, was devastated by a gas explosion. Fortunately, nobody was killed in the blast, but fourteen people were injured, two of them seriously. Eight hours before the blast occurred, shop assistant, Heather Fowles had called the Gas Board, as she had noticed the smell of gas, but the Gas Board workers did not detect any leak. “The explosion was like a flash of lightning,” said cleaner, Iris Adams, one of the less seriously injured victims. She states that she saw her boss, John Wilson, being lifted into the air and thrown against a wall by the blast. Mrs Adams and Mr Wilson were trapped under the rubble for more than an hour before fire-fighters managed to rescue them. Police inspector, David Chamberlain revealed that several other complaints had been made about the smell of gas. The inquiry continues today. Time: Place: Development: 5. Read the two models and compare and contrast them. A) which model is a news report? B) which model is a story? Model A It all began one hot afternoon while I was on a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean with my parents. As we approached the coast of Procida, we all agreed that it was time we dropped anchor and stopped to have lunch. We were just about to start eating when Dad pointed out a fishing boat that had stopped near ours to pull in its nets. As we were watching, I suddenly noticed a fin sticking out of one of the nets. I could hardly believe my eyes: it was a dolphin. Immediately, I grabbed a knife dived into the water and swam towards the fishing boat as fast as I could. As soon as I got there, I cut a hole in the net so that the dolphin could swim away. Exhausted, I swam back to our yacht. The coastguard, whom my father had radioed, later told us that not only was the fisherman using illegal nets, but he had also been fishing in a prohibited area. After the rescue, I felt sad that people could be so cruel to such intelligent, friendly creatures, but at the same time, I was glad that I had saved the dolphin. Model B Sixteen-year-old Andrew Truman was praised last night for his bravery when he saved a stranded dolphin just off the coast of Procida last Monday. Andrew was on a sailing holiday with his family in the Mediterranean when the incident occurred. They were relaxing on their yacht when a nearby fishing boat began pulling in its nets. Looking closer, Andrew noticed that a dolphin’s fins were trapped in the nets. Without hesitating, Andrew dived overboard, swam to the other boat and cut through the net to release the dolphin. “Dolphins are intelligent, friendly creatures,” said Andrew when asked about his experience. “Fishermen should be more careful when using their nets.” The owner of the fishing boat was arrested for using illegal nets and fishing in a prohibited area. Many similar cases have been reported recently and the government is thinking about talking stricter measures towards the protection of dolphins. 6. Write any one of the following compositions using 100 – 120 words: a. You work as a journalist. Write a news report about a car accident which resulted in the death of two drivers. b. You work for the newspaper. Write a news report about a bank robbery in which the robbers escaped. c. You work as a news reporter. Write a news report about two swimmers who were saved by a dolphin.