Writing news — watch a story as it “breaks”

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The best way to learn how to write news is to watch how it is written as it breaks. Below is a news alert that moved from CNN (all rights belong to CNN). It is about Egypt. You see it follows the basic story format — a hard news lead that is basically subject, verb, object … A second paragraph that supports the lead … A third paragraph that offers context … And a fourth paragraph of news that did not make it into the lead.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said today that events in Egypt “are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy.”

The United States strongly opposes a return to state of emergency law in Egypt and calls on the Egyptian government “to respect basic human rights,” Kerry said.

Clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy made it the country’s bloodiest single day since the 2011 revolution that ousted the previous president, longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak.

At least 149 people were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded, state TV reported.

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