The process of how news gets to be news and end up on news sites or in newspapers is quite interesting. It will take way too long to explain all of it, but I decided to start off simple. Today, I will be explaining the different types of news articles you get. If you are interested in becoming a freelance journalist, read closely. You will need to know which type you want to pitch.
Newswriting. This type of article is the news articles you find in any paper or on news sites. It tells us the what, where, when, how, and who of things happening around the world. For example, Donald Trump (who) was elected president of the United States (what) today (when). The topics and details vary depending on what is happening and who is covering it.
Feature articles. These articles are often labeled as ‘soft writing’. They have to do with lifestyle and cultural events and trends. They don’t often carry hard-hitting news, but that doesn’t mean they can’t.
Columns. Columns are another type of ‘soft writing’. Columnists can be someone who writes the column every week, there can be guest writers or freelance writers. The topics are often in the same line, but not always. Again, these are more often than not about things other than hard-hitting news. However, some columns can write excellent pieces on current events.
Op-Ed. These pieces are called Opposite-Editorial or Op-ed. It got the name because these articles appear opposite the editorial page. In these pieces, a person of import in a specific field gives their opinion about something. These articles are longer and consist of about 600 words.
Letter to the editor. The letter to the editor is an important part of any publication. It involves opinions but is shorter than that of the op-ed. These pieces often come from the readers of the publication.
Next time you are reading a newspaper or magazine, see if you can identify what type of article it is. If you want to freelance, use these as a guide to finding what you want to write.