By: Amany Radwan Osman

In putting a news story together, news remains news.  The six main elements: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are all asked at once.  And need to be answered all at once.

In essence the content of a news story be it print or digital is  the same.  As a  reporter of that story you  need to stay true and focused on the six basic questions. Indeed the platforms of news story writing have gone through major transformations in recent years.  While  the click of a button or a thumb scroll maybe easier for the reader, the context delivery   of a professional news reporter has not changed.  It must not change.

I am the Who and so Are You

I am the professional story-teller  WHO  must remain true and honest. I cannot ever forget that no matter  the pressure  intensity to quickly  get the story online or printed.  I bear the responsibility of delivering an honest unbiased story to the other WHO, the reader who trusts me.

What is the story and What are you reading?

I need to get this story out there. The  reader needs to know what the story is. The real story. The credible story. So I must continuously ask myself  What is the story I am writing?  I don’t want my reader at any point  to wonder  what is this crap I am reading.  A paper can be as easily turned as a post seizes to be followed.

When, Where, Why, How ….

In any brand of news journalism it is hard to ask one of the above questions without the other.  When did this story happen and where did it take place?  Why is it a story and why am I compelled to tell my reader about it?  How did the story unfold and how will I tell the story? All the questions are asked simultaneously. If a question remains unaddressed then my story is incomplete. The reader turns away from me. Professional credibility  is at stake. My presence out there on the venues I aim to reach is threatened. Let alone the job.

Journalism as a brand is volatile. In spite of the nature of the story the writer must remain centred, grounded, clear and objective. A journalist treads a fine line. Reputations and lives are often at stake.  A news story when taken out of context can snowball in every conceivable and unconceivable direction. The pressure to meet that darned deadline is continuously there. The omnipresent elephant in the room. Yes I must submit on time, post, print or broadcast, but until I reach that crunch moment I must block  that elephant out.  Otherwise my conscience will never be clear and the climax of finally getting my story out there will not come to fruition.

Sources used: image:

research: professional experience.

6 thoughts on “SO WHATS’S THE LATEST NEWS?

  1. Sinje

    I love the fact that this post is NOT about marketing, which adds some diversity to the mix and gives us non-journalists a nice “insight” into your field of work. I particularly liked the “I am the Who and so Are You” perspective. This is so true: As a writer you are also your first reader/audience. Remaining true to yourself in a newsworld so often driven by sensations is certainly a must if you want your readers to take you seriously. Enjoyed reading this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much Sinje. I’m not a marketing person and I know so little about it. In my view In journalism the more you steer away from sensationalism and be honest, the more credible and professional you are. Thanks!


    1. Sinje

      And you are exactly right: Honesty and a good research are extremely important to a journalist’s reputation. Take the coverage of German news provider Tagesschau (equivalent to CBC news) about Trudeau’s winning the recent election for example ( – Don’t worry, no need to speak the language): They took video footage from Trudeau’s campaign (based in Montreal) and Harper’s campaign (based in Calgary) and labelled both as “Vancouver/Kanada”. Now, most Germans probably had no idea where the images were really filmed but watching it from Canada, it kind of made me wonder how important that news really was to them that they did not even spend two minutes on an internet research to put the right cities into their video. And worse, it made me wonder how much effort they put into the rest of their news. So putting the wrong city was more damaging to their reputation than not putting any city would have been (which, by the way, would not have made a difference to the news provided). So I think you are on the right track: Be honest and keep up the research. It’s vital to your reputation. And it’s your reputation after all that will have people come back to your page or column and make your reader base grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Sinje. I learned the craft from scratch in the biggest news institution in the world where our work was checked by a team of researchers going over every word, fact checkers checking every piece of information, facts, figures, people and everything else you can think of. At times so exhausting as well as frustrating, but looking back now i believe it was worth every extra phone call and hours of lost sleep. Thanks again for your input.


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