News Story Analyzer
Use this tool to help evaluate a news story for the 5 W's and 1 H.
Also, make note of the following:

Lead = What did the author say to grab your attention or make you want to care?
Tone = Is it neutral, serious, light-hearted?
Audience = Who the story is intended for.
Slant/Theme = What is the big message of the story? Usually, a slant for a well-written news story does NOT try to persuade the reader. Facts are presented to the reader to interpret however they wish. A slant is similar to a theme in that it is something the reader can interpret. Take, for example, a news story written about "butterflies." What could a slant be? Maybe:
  1. Butterflies are migrating to a nearby area once again.
  2. Butterfly populations are declining and scientists are puzzled as to why.
  3. Butterflies are causing problems for local residents.
  4. Butterfly watchers are a unique breed of people.
Each of the above could be a slant for a story on butterflies, yet each story would be very different from the others.
Quotes = Ask, "Why was this quote added? What does it provide?" Quotes often are added to provide:
  1. support
  2. interpretation by a person involved with the story
  3. humor
  4. a "personal connection" to a story
  5. ?

Dissecting a News Story
Check out this story from Time for Kids.

News Story Checklist
Check out this checklist on what to include in a news story by Time for Kids.

Sample News Stories to Evaluate
Check out these news stories from Time for Kids. Use the News Story Analyzer to assist.

Types of News Stories
Not all news stories are the same. Here are a few different types of news stories that can be written.
Remember: News articles focus only on the facts. They don't contain anyone's opinion There are several types of news articles.

  1. A local news article focuses on what's going on in your neighborhood. An example of a local news story would be an article on a city council meeting.

  2. A national news article focuses on what's happening in the United States. An example of a national news article would be an article on the U.S. Senate passing a new bill.

  3. An international news article focuses on news that's happening outside the United States. A story on an influenza outbreak in Chile would be considered an international news story.

  4. A feature article is an article that is about "softer" news. A feature may be a profile of a person who does a lot of volunteer work in the community or a movie preview. Feature articles are not considered news stories.

  5. An editorial is an article that contains the writer's opinion. Editorials are usually run all together on a specific page of the paper and focus on current events. Editorials are not considered news stories.

  6. A column is an article written by the same person on a regular basis. A columnist (the writer of the column) writes about subjects of interest to him/her, current events or community happenings. Columns are not considered news stories.

Check out the following Power Point.
Do you notice similarities or differences in the types of news stories?