by Max Barry

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by The Constitutional Kingdom of Jeriga. . 217 reads.

How To Write a Good News Article

A Good News Article

The news feed is the best way to see what's happening in TWI Canon. A good news article brings realism, interest, and reactions from TWI and makes it so that whatever you are doing with your nation has a screen to play on. The best articles provide excellent context, promote interest or involvement in your nation, and add a level of depth and realism to what is happening. A bad one can completely destroy what otherwise might have been a great story in your nation. This guide is meant to help avoid the latter and achieve the former.

Appropriate Topics for TWI News Threads

Our news thread (seen here) is for your standard CNN kind of article, editorials that meet that kind of length, and other things you might find if you open any news app. Topics covered by a typical news agencies (war, economy, politics, cultural events, etc.) are best for this thread. Larger events like Party Congresses that are going to be huge, one time or multi part posts are best for the Citizens Thread (seen here). Short, breaking news posts are good for the TWItter thread (seen here).

The Formula and Purpose

A good article always answers six questions: Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why? and How? More importantly, it identifies these questions as soon as possible and then expands on them throughout the article. The standard formula for this is the following:

A: Title
B: Short paragraph or sentence expanding on title
C: Context and meat of the article
D (Optional but standard): Further details or background
E (optional): What is going to happen next.

A: Title

So, if I was to write an article about a space launch, I would need to identify the agency, scientists, politicians or whoever else was involved (NASA Announces). I would need to identify what is happening (Space Shuttle Launch). When it is happening: (Scheduled for Early December).

"NASA Announces Space Shuttle Launch Scheduled for Early December."

This title captures what a good title does in this situation. It got the who, the what, and the when. Notice I didn't include specifics. This is the "clickbait" that gets the reader to continue to the next part.

B: Short Expansion

This is the part where you want to give a short summary of the event that catches the reader's attention. It will generally answer the rest of the questions and restate the title in a new way.

"NASA held a press conference in Houston today (Who, Where, When the event took place) announcing the date of a new space shuttle launch for December 10th at 4 P.M. (When the event will take place as this one takes place in the future.)"

Not much else to say on this one besides the fact that it will happen and when it will happen. If this was a shocking event, you'd include a fittingly shocking fact. "A 10.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the Western Seaboard this morning, killing hundreds with thousands still unaccounted for." would be a good sentence at the beginning of the article.

C: The Meat

This is where you get into the how and the specifics of who, when, and where different parts of your story happened.

"In the announcement, the Director said that the mission would be a resupply of the International Space Station (ISS) and a change of personnel. The shuttle will carry 5 astronauts, 2 of which are Russian and the rest American. They will replace 2 Chinese and 3 European Space Agency astronauts."

And you just keep expanding. Is it a big deal that Cosmonauts are on an American shuttle? Is this the last of missions for this shuttle? What are politicians or representatives of the nations involved saying? Was there a past struggle that prevented the flight? These are things you try and do in the "context" part of it. In this context, you would really want to focus on the specifics of the event.

D: Extended Extension

This is where you try and tie the article into something larger going on in the world, or some theme. Was there a controversy over funding? Has some politician recently said that NASA is useless? Does who is going up and who is coming back matter? Essentially, you are trying to put the event not only into context, but attach it to something else on people's minds. Right now, if Cosmonauts were going up on a US shuttle with American Astronauts, it would be a big deal given the war in Ukraine and our level of tensions. This is where you would bring that up.

E: Where will this lead?

This is where you put up the "follow up" info, if any exists. Will there be another launch in the future? If there was a controversy over funding, is there some meeting that will determine the agencies and the shuttle mission's fate? Always remember to keep locked in on the initial event here. Keep the end of the article in line with the beginning of the article when ending it.

If you follow this formula, you can add a lot of little nuanced details to your nation that bring it to life. The funding issue can expand on your internal politics that might not otherwise make it on the screen. The bit about tensions with another country could help build up the idea in your reader's mind, especially if you are trying to prepare for a war or something along those lines. Essentially, the aim of the article is not only to inform the reader about what is happening, but, in TWI context, to have them learn about your nation or add to a story you are already telling. The best kind of TWI context is a mix of internal politics or to mention stories that are related to your article.

Thoughts of Twilanders:

Nhoor, author of the Nhoracles:

I also always try to give a brief explanation about persons, things, and institutions that have appeared in previous articles but that we may not expect from the reader to have remembered. E.g. I can describe an event about which a certain Ms Cany made some remarks, but it'd be better to introduce her as Prime Minister (Orumha) Cany the first time she is mentioned in every article, and then go on with Cany. The same for ROS; the first time it is mentioned in an article I try to write it in full (Raedlon Organization of States) and then continue with ROS.

Whether this is convenient depends of course if there is room to expand on this (the Nhoracles have a fixed confinement so I often need to rewrite stuff so that there is room enough to write the essentials), but in most directly-in-the-forum articles which gives writers a flexible amount of room, this shouldn't be a problem.