Writing news stories

Useful guidelines on submitting news content

Try to answer as many of these key questions as possible in your first sentence:

  • What is the story about?
  • Who is involved?
  • When did it take place?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why is it significant?
  • How did things come about?

It's rarely possible to fit all these answers into your first sentence but it's useful to try – it's to give readers an immediate flavour of what the story's about.

Try to write concisely. As a general rule, sentences should not be much longer then 25 words.

Avoid big paragraphs – users will avoid reading content this way. Break up bigger paragraphs, and aim to keep each paragraph to two or three sentences.

Consider your audience – will they understand any jargon used? Where necessary, include information in laymen’s terms as well.

Keep all writing in line with the IOP’s style guide, and make sure each document has been checked thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors.

Include at least one image related to the news story. Please see the use of images section for further information.

Branches/Groups are advised to create and submit news content regularly, and avoid submitting several news stories on the same day. This ensures a steady stream of news throughout the year and will improve the user experience.

Please refer to the IOP’s news section for examples of writing good news stories.

last edited: May 06, 2020

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