10 News Writing Exercises for Journalism Students

Test your ability to produce well written news stories on deadline

Looking for a way to hone your news writing skills? Try these news writing exercises. Each provides a set of facts or a scenario, and it's up to you to produce a story from it. You'll have to fill in the blanks with imaginary but logical information that you compile. To get the maximum benefit, force yourself to do these on a tight deadline:

Car Crash

Multiple Car Accident In Brooklyn

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It's 10:30 p.m. You're on the night shift at the Centerville Gazette and hear some chatter on the police scanner about a car crash out on Highway 32, a road that runs through a rural area of town. It sounds like a big crash, so you head to the scene.


Acts of violence

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You're on the night shift again at the Centerville Gazette. You phone the cops to see if anything's going on. Lt. Jane Ortlieb of the Centerville Police Department tells you there was a shooting tonight at the Fandango Bar & Grill on Wilson Street in the Grungeville section of the city.

Shooting Follow-Up No. 1

Police standing around handcuffed man sitting on curb

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You're back at the Centerville Gazette on the day after the shooting outside the Fandango Bar & Grill on Wilson Street in the Grungeville section of town. You phone the cops to see if they have anything new on the case. Lt. Jane Ortlieb tells you that early this morning they arrested an ex-con named Frederick Johnson, 32, in connection with the shooting.

Shooting Follow-Up No. 2

Three business people in discussion as they walk down the steps of St George's Hall, a neoclassical style building containing concert halls and law courts, at Lime street in Liverpool., Liverpool, Merseyside, England.

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It's the day after police arrested Frederick Johnson in connection with the shooting death of Peter Wickham outside the Fandango Bar & Grill. You call Lt. Jane Ortlieb of the Centerville Police Department. She tells you that cops are having a perp walk today to take Johnson to the Centerville District Courthouse for his arraignment. She says to be outside the courthouse at 10 a.m. sharp.

House Fire

Man in front of burning house
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It's Tuesday morning at the Centerville Gazette. Making your usual phone checks, you get word from the fire department about a house fire early this morning. Deputy Fire Marshal Larry Johnson tells you the blaze was in a row house in the Cedar Glen section of the city.

School Board Meeting

Student with hand raised in lecture room
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You’re covering a 7 p.m. meeting of the Centerville School Board. The meeting is being held in the auditorium of Centerville High School. The board begins with a discussion of ongoing cleanup at McKinley Elementary School, which experienced water damage during heavy rains and flooding two weeks ago in the city’s Parksburg section, near the Root River.

Plane Crash

Plane Wreck

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It’s 9:30 p.m. You're on the night shift at the Centerville Gazette. You hear some chatter on the police scanner and call the cops. Lt. Jack Feldman says he’s not sure what’s happening but he thinks a plane crashed near Centerville Airport, a small facility used mostly by private pilots flying single-engine craft. Your editor tells you to get over there as fast as you can.


people at a funeral in a cemetery

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You're on the day shift at the Centerville Gazette. The city editor gives you some information on a teacher who has died and tells you to bang out an obit. Here's the information: Evelyn Jackson, a retired teacher, died yesterday at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home, where she had lived for the past five years. She was 79 and died of natural causes. Jackson had worked for 43 years as an English teacher at Centerville High School before retiring in her late 60s. She taught classes in composition, ​American literature, and poetry.

CEO Speech

Our figures speak for themselves

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The Centerville Chamber of Commerce is holding its monthly luncheon at the Hotel Luxe. An audience of about 100, mostly local ​businessmen and women, is in attendance. The guest speaker today is Alex Weddell, CEO of Weddell Widgets, a local, family-owned manufacturing firm and one of the city’s largest employers.

Soccer Game

football payer shooting penalty

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You're a sportswriter for the Centerville Gazette. You’re covering a soccer game between the Centerville Community College Eagles and the Ipswich Community College Spartans. The game is for the state conference title.

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Your Citation
Rogers, Tony. "10 News Writing Exercises for Journalism Students." ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2021, thoughtco.com/newswriting-practice-exercises-2074356. Rogers, Tony. (2021, July 31). 10 News Writing Exercises for Journalism Students. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/newswriting-practice-exercises-2074356 Rogers, Tony. "10 News Writing Exercises for Journalism Students." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/newswriting-practice-exercises-2074356 (accessed March 21, 2023).

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