Part of the responsibility of a news writer is to make sure that the articles that you produce answer the five W’s. Whether the article is a hard news or soft news article the five W’s and one H will help readers understand the topic that you are talking about. Here is a look at what the five W’s and one H of journalistic writing are.
Who. All news articles need to focus on the who. Who is the article about? Who are the main characters? It is important that the writer let readers know all important information on all important characters in the article.
What. News articles need to answer what. What is happening? What is the topic? What happened? What activities were present? When these are answered it helps keep the article on topic.
Where. Readers want to know about the time and place of where the news story took place. This can include a building, street, state, country as long as it’s the location of the event the news story will be complete.
Why. News articles need to focus on the why. Why did an event take place? Why did something happen? Even if you do not have the answer you can try to present why things happened or people’s theories on why the events happened.
When. News articles also need to let readers know when something happened. Did it happen two days ago or three years ago? The day, date, time and year are all important in news stories.
While journalists are expected to answer the five W’s they are also required to answer one H. How. Writers need to present the how of the events. How something happened or how it came about.