Sampler of photos, features and news with a digital twist

News and Feature Story Checklist

This checklist provides some pointers on basic edits for your news and feature stories.


  1. Insert your byline. Example: By Joseph Smith (Bold and center)


  1. There are two quote format sheets on my website. Use them to correct your quotes throughout the story. Be meticulous. Quotes should be in grafs by themselves. A complete quote should be one paragraph long and have two to three sentences.


  1. Use said only, not says, not commented, not remarked, etc.


  1. Your lede (first graf) on your story should not be general. (It should provide very specific information that either gives a summary of the main point of the story or tells specific information about a person who is a great example of your main point.


  1. There should be a GREAT quote in graf 2 or 3. A great quote is interesting, well-spoken, exciting, clever. It lets the reader know why this story is important.


  1. Newswriting grafs should be short. Short = about 40 words per graf. That means every graf in your story should be ABOUT 40 words.


  1. Make your lede (first) graf only one sentence in length.


  1. Write the word count in the upper right hand corner. (It should be about 400 words).


  1. Remember that a 400 word story will be about 10 grafs.


  1. Right below your last graf, type in a traditional symbol that indicates that the story is complete. The symbol is -30- and it should be bold and center.







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