Guidelines for news articles
How do you write a good news article? Here are a number of guidelines to help you.
First a few general guidelines.
- Introduce people (state their job title after their name)
- Avoid the passive tense and jargon or bureaucratic language
- Write through the eyes of the reader rather than the organisation
- Focus on the news item
- Write a short, powerful title (preferably one line, 25-70 characters)
- Keep the title separate from the article (it shouldn’t run into the intro)
- Keep the intro short: preferably no more than 150 characters. Otherwise it will be cut off in the news overview and newsletters
- Make sure the intro can be read separately
- Don’t include links in the intro
- Write a timeless intro (and text) (so don’t say things like ‘yesterday’ or ‘last Tuesday’)
- Don’t make the article too long: 450 words maximum for the whole text (including the intro)
- Use informative sub-headers
- Use short paragraphs (maximum 100 words)
- Find an appealing, clear photo (the first photo in particular because this appears on overviews and newsletters)
- If you can’t find a suitable photo, it is fine to publish an article without one. You may be able to buy a stock photo via Strategic Communication & Marketing. For more information see our Visual Material website.
- Include informative links in the article. Use an internal link if there is one.
- If you are writing about a PhD defence or other event, link to the related diary item.
When selecting news articles for the homepage and newsletters, we look at the following: is it topical? Is it relevant to society? Does it contribute to the six goals of the strategic plan? And does it raise the profile of our research?
The aim of a news article can be to inform the press (this can also be done in a press release) and/or the general public of things like an important event, research findings or a new degree programme. The University’s expertise on a topical theme also counts as ‘news’. The editorial team also publishes human interest stories that give a face and voice to staff, students and alumni of the University.
If you have news that you want to publish in a news article, please contact:
- email@example.com for the external website.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for the student website.
- email@example.com for the staff website.