Writing: Hard news
Writing hard news – Introduction:

Start by watching this short video for a short introduction to writing hard news

Writing hard news is fairly straightforward, but if you are new to writing, it’s important to know some of the basic principles and formulas. Following the short intro video on this page are two longer videos, the first will outline the essential components of a hard news story while the second looks more closely at the format and writing style of a hard news report. We’d recommend you watch the videos in this section, then scour plenty of news sources to see how the principles apply.

Writing hard news – Anatomy of a news story: 

This animated video covers the main components of a hard news report; the headline; the lead; the body; the quotes and the ending

During the course of this animated tutorial we use a sample, fictional news report, which you can find below:


Chinese typhoon kills at least 145

145 people were killed and hundreds remain missing after a powerful typhoon swept across southern China on Sunday, according to national media reports.

Typhoon Cara hit China’s southern Guidong province, bringing heavy rain and wind speeds of 200 km/h

At a press conference this morning Provincial governor, Ma Yingduo, said landslides triggered by rainstorms caused most deaths. He also stated “rescue teams are working night and day to find survivors”

The storm has forced 50,000 people to evacuate their homes and caused power cuts, travel disruption, flooding and landslides. Rural areas of Guidong province were worst affected, but parts of neighbouring Guingzhou province were also hit hard. Li Xinguo

Tian Guoli, spokesman for the national disaster agency, said the death toll is expected to rise once rescue operations gained access to remote areas, isolated by damaged road and communication links

Rescuers found a pregnant woman and her one-year-old son escaping floods that destroyed their home. “It happened so quickly. “Water came rushing in while we were planning to move to safer grounds,” said Lan Lihe, 27 in a makeshift rescue centre.

The eye of the storm was moving west and expected to sweep over southern provinces on Sunday, forecasters said. Tens of domestic flights were suspended and many schools and businesses were closed. Typhoon Cara hit just three months after Typhoon Erin killed more than 1,200 people in the same region.

China is struck by several typhoons each year. Local officials said evacuations prevented the death toll from being higher. Prime Minister Jiang Huxi had urged people in the storms path to heed official warnings and evacuation measures on Saturday. “We can minimise the damage if we stand together and follow evacuation orders”


Writing hard news – style & structure:

The final video takes a closer look at hard news writing style as well as the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure

Continue to the next section: Writing features