Reading a newspaper is different from reading a book

Newspapers are organized and written in a special way that enables the reader to select exactly what he or she wants to read. For example, articles are generally categorized into sections on business, sports, entertainment, and local, national, and international news. Then the articles are evaluated by the newspaper staff as to their relative importance within the section, with the most important articles or stories appearing at the beginning. The first page, or front pages, of a newspaper usually has an index listing the sections and their page numbers.

The front page of a newspaper also contains articles that are, in the judgment of the newspaper staff, the most important for that particular day. Because the news is supposed to be objective and without opinions, the front page has mostly factual information. The headlines, the dark, large titles, serve two purposes: they tell the reader what the articles about, and they indicate, by size and darkness of the type, the importance of the story. Headlines help readers choose the articles that they want to read. Because some readers read only the headlines in paper, the wording of headlines is very important.

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Just below the headlines, at the beginning of the news articles, are the abbreviation for the different news services, for example, AP for Associated Press, UPI for United Press International, and REUTERS for Reuters Press. These abbreviations indicate the source of the information, the press service that is responsible for the writing. The place that the news originated is written just before the news service abbreviation.

The opening paragraph of the news article is called the lead. It contains all the essential facts of the story. A reader in a hurry could read only the headline and the first paragraph of a story and know the most important information. The rest of the articles consists of additional detail and explanation, organized according to importance. Thus, the closing paragraph of a news story is usually not a conclusion-instead, it contains the least important information.

This special newspaper style of writing is also evident in the length of paragraph. They are short, so they are easy to read in column, the long narrow lines of print. Newspaper are generally printed in columns so they can be read faster. The reader’s eyes can move down a column faster then on a line across the page.

Some articles have a “by-line” just under the headline that indicates who wrote the article. Feature articles and articles written by columnists have “by-line”. Any subjective article, one that presents the writer’s point of view or opinion or that is not a serious news article, is likely to include the author’s name in a “by-line”. for example, by John S. Smith

The opinions of the editors of the newspaper are found on the editorial page. Those articles that have no author or “by-line” on that page are written by the newspaper staff to express their opinions or suggestions about a local, national, or international problem. Newspapers are written to be read efficently by the reader. Whatever the reader’s interests or needs, he or she can satisfy them more quickly by understanding how a newspaper is organized….

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