TYPES OF REPORTING I : STRAIGHT NEWS REPORTING

Introduction
The work of covering newsworthy people, places, issues and events and crafting accurate and balanced stories from them is at the core of journalism. This work, called reporting, has sadly become an all-comers’ affair in this digital age. Anyone with a smart phone can gather and disseminate information in the name of news. But trained journalists know that it takes more than a good phone or other digital devices to report the news properly.

Reporting is an intricate process that requires special attributes- some innate, some acquired through training. For instance, a good reporter should have what is professionally called a nose for news, that is, an ability to detect news possibilities where others do not and ferret the stories out. The latter takes curiosity and persistence, both of which can be natural traits. However, how they can be applied in knocking on the right doors, asking the right questions and collating the information gathered from a variety of sources into a coherent and fluid story is largely a function of training.

Part of that training concerns the different approaches to reporting. Not every story is handled in the same way. Some stories by their very nature lend themselves to one approach while others would require another kind of treatment. In the same vein, all stories do not have the same goal and these varying goals necessitate different handling for them to be actualised. In this series, we shall examine different methods of reporting to identify the following:

• Their characteristics
• The communication goals and roles of the media they seek to accomplish
• Their popularity/availability in Nigeria’s media landscape.

In this particular post, we shall look at the traditional method of reporting called straight news or objective reporting.

Straight news reporting
Straight news reporting is the earliest form of reporting in journalism that requires the reporter to submit a concise and timely report of the day’s events with no embellishment or editorialisation (insertion of the reporter’s personal opinions and biases). In other words, using the 5 Ws and H (news elements), the reporter is expected to answer the questions:
• What happened?
• Who made it happen or who did it happen to?
• When did it happen?
• Where did it happen?
• Why did it happen?
• How did it happen?

As many of the answers to these questions as can be discovered are quickly assembled to send out a report that is as contemporaneous with the event as possible.

Characteristics of a straight news story
It concerns important matters. The most important news of the day come in straight news fashion, When reporters say “breaking news,” it is often straight news. Stories about politics, education, the economy, etc. that people cannot do without. When the government announces a tax hike; when a major trade union, like the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), announces it is commencing an industrial action; when a pandemic hits; reporters rush to submit straight news stories. This method of reporting does not cover fluff like who is dating who, what flavour of ice cream does the president or Speaker of the House of Representatives like or what did a business mogul buy his wife for her birthday? That could be why its output is called hard news.

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It goes straight to the point. It does not begin with any preamble or building of context. It is not written like the conventional essay or story that uses description to paint a scene or builds an image in readers’ minds before launching into the meat of the narrative. It starts with a summary lead that gives the story in a nutshell by answering some or all of the 5 Ws and H.

It is written with the simplest language possible. That is why it is said that you do not ‘purchase’ when you can ‘buy’ in news writing.

It is very timely. It is usually the first account of every important news you will hear before it is elaborated upon through other methods of reporting.

It is precise because it does not make room for vast amounts of background or interpretative information.

It is called objective reporting because the reporter is expected to detach himself from the story and report only the facts of the event. Any opinions in the story must be strictly attributed to properly identified sources and these opinions should be diverse enough to prevent a charge of promoting one view over others.

It is written in the inverted pyramid order. This means that the basic facts of the story are presented in the first paragraph (the lead), followed by a bridge that explains the circumstances surrounding the lead, a further explanation of the lead, background and secondary information, with minor details at the end of the story. It is the opposite of the usual storytelling style that picks up gradually, building to a climax.

Goal of straight news reporting/Role of the media it serves
As earlier said, straight news focuses on crucial matters that affect most people, information about which they need to make vital decisions. That is why it does not dance around or adopt a suspenseful style. It tells the reader immediately what the story is about from the headline to the first few paragraphs. Anyone who wants more information can read the rest of the story. If they’re still not satisfied, they can search for more comprehensive reports outside straight news.

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The major goal of straight news is, therefore, to provide information- help people to be aware of what is happening around and beyond them, some of which affect their lives directly or indirectly. In other words, straight news enables the media to perform their surveillance function.

Popularity/availability of straight news in Nigeria
Straight news is the major method used to report news in Nigeria- in daily newspapers, on television, radio and the web. Other methods of reporting, although present, cannot compete with the sheer volume of straight news churned out everyday.

This is not a uniquely Nigerian situation but are there things about the Nigerian situation that could explain the preponderance of straight news?

Review Questions
***Find three straight news reports in any Nigerian newspapers and dissect each of them into the various parts of the inverted pyramid as listed above.

***Pick two front-page stories from any national daily and assess how they reflect the characteristics of straight news stories identified above.

***Write a straight news story on a major event that took place on campus or its environs.

***Adduce reasons for the popularity and wide availability of straight news reports in Nigeria.

Further reading:
Nwabueze, C. (2015). Reporting: Principles, approaches, special beats. Owerri, Nigeria: Top Shelve Publishers.

Uwakwe, O. (2017). Media writing and reporting. Enugu, Nigeria: Cecta Books.

Ohaja, E. U. Feature writing simplified. Enugu, Nigeria: El ‘Demak. (Chapter One distinguishes between straight news and features in detail, thereby explaining its characteristics profoundly. It also has an example of a straight news story.)

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

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189 comments

  • Olawole Ebenezer

    You should make online courses for sale ma’am.

  • Chinecherem Stephens

    Our reading culture is dead. Not many Nigerians have the time nor the patience to read anymore, so if the news has to get us, it must be packed in the headline or the first two of three paragraphs, otherwise, we may never get round to sitting down and reading the entire story, which when it happens, will leave us in the dark about what’s happening in our country.
    Media houses understand this Nigerian situation are often very direct, hence the prevalence of straight news reporting in Nigeria.

    • Great answer. Our reading culture is unbelievably poor. They say if you want to hide something from a Nigerian, just put it in a book, lol! The longer the story, the less the readership. That may be why straight news stories which are skeletal gain more attention.

  • Ugwoke Jennifer Chinecherem

    Wow!!! Everything you said here is very true and they are already stuck in my brain. Thank you Ma for this amazing topic you shared. God bless you .

  • Itodo Daniel Sule

    Thank you for this incisive piece on straight news reporting. Like you rightly said, journalism is fast becoming an all-comers’ affairs. While the truth still remains that all journalists are writers, not all writers are journalists. The journalism profession is a noble one but the incursion of quacks and interlopers into the profession is a big challenge. Your article is very apt and enriching. I have gleaned a lot from it as a journalist myself. Keep them coming. May your ink never run dry. May your ideas flow ceaselessly like Rivers Niger and Benue! Thanks ma. From my observation, your approach to lecturing is such that would make your students learn a lot from you. Kudos and keep up the good work. Have a great week ahead.

    • Delighted to hear from you! Your language is impressive. I don’t say that lightly because we’ve seen so much deterioration in standards at all levels of education. Looking forward to reading more from you and remain blessed!

  • Auwal Isa

    This piece is refreshing, educating, concise and thought provoking

  • Abah Okpe Gabriel

    Firstly I must say a big THANK YOU to you ma, despite the fact that classes could not be held because of the social distancing and all that you still took your precious time to teach us here, acquainted with this knowledge of what straight news really is, and how to write one, what is exam that I will fear? (smiles). Thank you once again ma, remain blessed for our generation and beyond.

  • Anekwe Paschaline Chidera

    Thank you MA for always going the extra mile to further educate us on these topics. Thank you also for providing practice questions for us. More strength to you I pray.

  • Leonard Patience

    I hope this particular piece will generate an examination question this semester 🥰

  • Ejiofor Emmanuel

    A typical Nigerian has no time to go through all of the news story. Some of them read just the headlines from the newspaper stands and go their way.That’s why in a straight news story, even the headline summarises the story although it is not more explanatory than the lead.
    This I think explains why straight news stories are very much in Nigeria.

    I really appreciate your efforts in taking out time to teach us on this platform. Only a thoughtful person could do this. May God reward you abundantly🙏

    • Yes, most people are in a hurry, they’ve got no time to read long stories. This is very evident online where they scroll past anything more than a few paragraphs.

      Amen to your prayer. And may God promote you in Jesus’ name.

  • Awforkansi Kamsi

    A very educative exposition as always — basically straight news reporting is the core of factual information dissemination from which other forms of soft reporting like editorial and feature writings are birthed from. Thank you as always for your in-depth exposition with a level of simplicity that too easily positively influences ones love for reading.

  • Francis Onyedikachukwu

    Loved this piece,it was worth reading

  • Ndubuisi peace udoka

    Thank you ma for this interesting topic.may God continue to bless and strengthen you for us.

  • Buchi wisdom

    Thank you ma’am for this

  • Ifunanya obiaga

    God bless you ma. You’ve really made it easier for us to learn since we can’t all gather in class,very thoughtful of you. We appreciate your efforts.

  • Mba Jane ugochi

    Thank you ma for this beautiful topic
    Straight news reportage has continually remained our oldest style of news presentation especially in Africa and precisely in Nigeria because people have lost the zeal to read and generally people just want to be abreast with the 5ws and H of the story at a first glance..

  • ChikaGlory Ozor

    The reading culture of a Nigerian student is very poor. Taking myself as an example, to read becomes so difficult that I don’t get to read up to 3-4 hours a day at least. Thanks, ma, for this. It’s educating.

  • Lawrence Cletus

    This is as straight and to the point as the whole subject matter. Glad points could be broken down and explained. I do have a question about using 2 paragraphs for the lead. It gets confusing especially where there is a lot to summarize in the lead and the unwritten rule of writing hard news lead allows only for a few words in a single sentence paragraph. I see hard news stories where the lead is up to two paragraphs but it gets confusing on how to follow through and not derail or go against what should be the norm.

    • As you rightly said, the norm is one sentence but if there’s additional compelling information you must get to the reader at once, you add a second sentence. I once read this example from a book:

      “Fifty-three workers fell to their death when the scaffolding collapsed at a construction site
      …. Eight of them were from the same family.”

      Not sure I got the figures right but I’m sure you get the idea.

  • Wilfred, Chigozirim Wisdom

    Thank God for Journalism!

    I am currently a 300l philosophy student.

    I’m glad to have learnt a new perspective.
    We live in a busy yet transient world where one would like to know what’s happening around simultaneously. A straight news story written in an inverted pyramid style having the 5Ws and H is a helper!

    Thank you ma.
    I enjoy visiting your blog.

  • Onuorah Clifford Faithful

    Each time I go through your write-ups on this platform or any other platform, I see simplicity and professionalism in your manner of approach.
    While the straight news story format immediately satisfies most persons’ desire and interest as a result of its skeletal form, a few others still believe in the analysis of events done by feature stories and editorials.
    It’s a wonderful piece, Ma.
    I look forward to seeing more.
    God bless you!

  • Almost every Nigerian is always in a rush, that’s why they want something concise and brief to go through before going about their daily lives; this applies to people that just want to be aware about what going on in the country or society. We still have some people that don’t care and they just go about their daily lives like that. There is this saying that goes like this, “If you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book.” Thank you, Ma, for this write-up. I pray for more grace upon you.

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    Straight news reporting can be fun to report, where the issue comes is framing the lead in a way that makes it concise and yet customary to the house style as I learnt during my internship. Thank you, ma’am, for the breakdown.

  • Kalu Grace Onuma

    My name is Kalu Grace Onuma, a 300l student of Philosophy department.

    A concise and well analyzed work as this,captivates a reader and promotes readership the more in Africa.

    Comprehension most times becomes a challenge to most readers who are not extensively versed with vocabulary and densely used Dictions, Reading can actually be discouraging when most of our great lettered African Writers tries to make a show of their rich and intimidating vocabulary, with the intension to portray an air of Superiority, they end up making a mess and a Caricature of the essential aim of Communication.

    The core aim of language is communication and the very reason for communication is to relay an information and this can never be realized without appropriate comprehension. when there is Gap in communication due to Ambiguity of language, it without doubt,poses a big problem to the reader.

    “Why buy when you can actually purchase” may seem a rhetorical question but it is a truism that should guide our native writers, the principle aim of writing is to pass across information and not to impress or make a show of your level of learnedness.

    I appreciate you work because it is concise and comprehensive, and I opine that you encourage other writers on the need to avoid mbiguous terms and to write concisely.

  • Nella

    I love what you did out here… You just made me understand what a straight news story really is. Thanks so much.

  • Obi Chisom Vanessa

    As a reporter understanding types of news and perfecting your style in writing straight news is very important.
    Thanks ma for another very indepeth exposè

  • Emmanuel Ngozi Treasure

    Quite an interesting and enlightening piece Ma. Please, do not stop at anything, you’re really building leaders here. God bless you richly.

  • Amah Somtoochukwu Blessing

    As A Student Philosopher, You Made Me Understand What Straight News Is All About.. Dz Piece Is An Eye Opener …You Doing A Great Job…

  • MBAM PATRICK CHINONYELUM

    I believe that there is a thick line of difference between an ordinary street writer writing a news story and a well-trained journalist doing so. In straight news story format, it moves faster in satisfying people’s interests as a result of its skeletal form and its writing approach. This is a wonderful piece, 💯 Ma.👍

  • Amaugo, Stephanie Chidinma

    Thank you for this very simplified and educative post. I like that straight news stories are skeletal in nature and shorter than feature articles. God bless you Ma for sharing this

    • Chukwurah Nnenna

      Most media houses go for straight news reporting; it is precise and goes straight to the point and most audience like those characteristics. It explains why straight news stories are much in Nigeria. God bless u, ma!

  • Jibulu Ngozi

    The act of reporting is not for everyone but everyone currently wants to disseminate information without checking out facts and those stories are usually one sided
    Straight news story is truly the best option in Nigeria because we have lost the zeal to read
    I’m glad to have read this

  • Erilem Happiness Chinaza

    This is a very comprehensive piece.

    One thing I appreciate about your texts and articles is how concise and comprehensive they are.

    Reading them is always an interesting and refreshing experience.

    The inverted pyramid style is what makes it possible for all these men who usually rally around newspaper stands to discuss daily national news by just glancing at the newspaper headline and lead without actually buying and reading the full news story. Lol

  • Lawrence Cletus

    To be honest, whoever can’t overcome the hurdle of understanding how to write straight news stories and fully grasp the intricacies doing same, he or she has got no business being in the journalism business.
    Dr.Ohaja we see the work you do and believe me when I say it that a lot of us will truly appreciate the worth of your effort when we are out of here and will seek easier ways of confronting some of the challenges we will be faced it when we get out there.
    Your conversational style of writing is truly a marvel. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

  • Maduabuchi Christiana

    Now I know what straight news is all about. God bless you, ma.

  • Maryann ugwuanyi

    Thanks ma for sharing this, it is more explanatory and I was able to clear my confusion in writing straight news.

  • Ngwu Charles kelechukwu

    Am so delighted to learn this from you Dr.

  • RICHARDS MERCY ORIGHOMISAN

    THANKS ALOT MA FOR TAKING OUT TIME TO TEACH US HERE ON THIS PLATFORM. REALLY EXPLANATORY AND INSIGHTFUL.

  • Nwannah Juliana ngozi

    Thank you ma for this piece. This was very much needed.

  • Ugochukwu Chah

    This was so simple. After all the grammar we have been studying, who would have thought it could be so simplified? And it is so well understood too.
    It is sad that anyone and everyone these days think they are reporters and publish whatsoever they feel fit to publish. Going online these days, you find different articles about different things some of which the writers do not even know what they are writing about and that leads other unsuspecting people to believing what ever nonsense they write and then when it turns out false,we the journalists are lumped in with the bad folks and blamed together.
    Thank you, ma, for this precious piece. Now I understand better some of what I have been taught for as long as I have been in UNN.

  • Enukora Onyedikachi Blessing

    The rapid growth of the all comer affairs is affecting the way a reporter reports stories. I think there is less gate keeping by editors and less captivating stories with content. Thank you ma for this. I would love to know how reporters can prominently stand out.

  • Paschal Odigonma Victoria

    Many people lack the patience to read long news stories. With the help of straight news we can bridge this gap. Straight news stories are direct and short. The format of writing allows you grab the main information first and quickly. This way readers are still informed of happenings around them no matter how tedious they find reading.

  • Ojukwu Mmesoma Favour

    This is more like an online course and it’s quite solicitous of you to do this ma; especially in such a period where classes hardly took place.
    Wish I had seen this earlier, nevertheless, no knowledge is a waste. Thank you for this

  • Isaac sopuruchi peace

    This straight news report gets new each time it’s taught.
    I guess this format or report was invented because of Nigerians and their impatient reading culture. Just being scarstic sha
    Nice work ma..

  • Ezeh John Onyekachi

    This is reporting and straight news writing made easy, with exceptional lucidity.
    Well delivered.

    Apprehension here is without effort, understanding flows naturally.

    You ‘ve done a very good job worthy of emulation.
    It’s a privilege to be your student. I always have something to take home each time i come by.
    I wish i can covet this virtue. What’s the secret?

    May the good Lord bless you and keep you ma’am.

  • I think one reason why the straight news is prevalent in the Nigerian society is because of the Nigerian audience. We are always curious about the latest occurrences especially in government or political arena, always looking for the latest breaking news to talk about. Moreover, the average Nigerian is always into one endeavour or the other and have little or no time to start reading a pile of interpretative features. So for the latest, they just flip through the pages, get the headlines and maybe read lead and sometimes the whole story because it is usually short and precise and boom we have got another breaking news to talk and think about. Thank you, ma, for all your wonderful efforts in our lives. You are blessed.

  • Ezeh John Onyekachi

    This is reporting and straight news writing made easy, with exceptional lucidity.
    Well delivered.

    Apprehension here is without effort, understanding flows naturally.

    You ‘ve done a very good job worthy of emulation.
    It’s a privilege to be your student. I always have something to take home each time i come by.
    I wish i can covet this virtue good writing. What’s the secret?

    May the good Lord bless you and keep you ma’am.

  • Oshana Oyaku Endurance

    Thanks Ma for trying to make learning easy for us, young indeed a God sent to this generation

  • Blessing Okeke

    For every reporter this is a must read. God bless you ma for this.

  • Dennis Lydia Ekperechukwu

    It is very vivid and comprehensive. It enlightened me more on straight news reporting. Thank you very much.

  • CHUKWU MICHAEL

    a detailed extract on the guidelines and principles of straight news reporting. this is coming at a time many abuse the rules guiding writing. as mass communicators we have a responsibility of enlightening not only the public receiving or consuming the information but also the target audience who want to go into writing as a profession. a well detailed piece. nice one ma

  • Ma please is straight news reporting different from straight news story? Does the word “reporting” make it different all together?

  • Stephen .U. Venessa

    Straight news reporting is an intricate part of journalism and as journalists,we must learn it’s rudiments.
    This will separate us from the crowd.
    This is quite educative and I admire how you simplified it .
    Thank you for all you do for us. You are a great teacher!
    God bless you!!!

  • Okoli Ezinne Juliet

    This is really understandable and much more simplified. Thank you so much ma

  • Kooyon Abigail Aershimana

    Chukwu gozie gi ezigbo nwanyi!
    Until I read it now, I felt straight news writing was an uncrackable nut…. Like it requires more than you highlighted… Thank you for making it easier for us.

  • Thank you Mom for sharing this vital piece with us, I have learnt much from you well of experience and teachings. Objectivity is a vital tool in straight news reporting and having this in mind will help us as journalist to report events exactly the way it’s.

  • This is amazing, it is simple and well detailed. I believe that this piece will go a long way in helping any student that still struggles in identifying straight news.

  • Thanks for a more simplified and explanatory description and guidelines in straight news reporting Ma’am, God bless and broaden your horizon as you have broaden my knowledge in this discipline.

  • Thank you ma’am for once more letting us know our guidelines to writing a wonderful straight news story.
    Writers should apply the rules to their area of discipline for a better informed society.

  • Straight news reporting is one aspect that I must commend Nigeria broadcast for…But I wonder why we are yet to give door ways to investigative journalism where we don’t just report “what’s on the table” but also start reporting depth of truth not just what the surface eye could see only… The straight news format made me right from childhood days to hate watching news because it’s like it’s the same story everyday… Anyways thank you ma for educating us, I love the variety and flavours you use to educate your students…more grace Ma

  • Charles Maryann chisom

    This is a good report ma’am. God bless u for this.

  • Thank you ma’am for bringing to the fore the basics and importance of straight news reporting. I must say, this is really enlightening to me and I’ll definitely adopt what I’ve learnt today in my writing. Thank you once more.

  • Orisakwe Ezinne Amarachukwu

    It is very difficult for me to remove myself from the story, I mean the being objective part.

  • Ugwu Amarachi Matilda

    Thank you Ma for sharing this educative piece. This is learning made easy. What gives me joy is the fact that your write-ups are usually very concise and easy to understand. Now, I have understood straight news reporting perfectly well..May God bless you ma.

  • Ukwuani OGECHUKWU Cynthia

    Thank you ma for always being willing to teach, God bless you. Basically, straight news reporting is important in every society and for it to be reported well, it’s processes should be carefully followed as there is a big difference between a writer and a trained journalist.

  • Pamela Chigbu

    As a reporter,writing straight news stories demands certain guidelines which must be followed accordingly so that we can lure our target audience. Thank you ma for throwing more light on the straight news writing format

  • chah ugochukwu

    Your posts, ma, are always simplified and straight to the point, giving just the most important parts and that is why I come here all the time. Once again, you have explained better some of the things I have learned.
    Thank you, ma, for taking out time to do this for us. You are blessed! 🙏

  • Emeka joy

    I love the timeliness of the straight news story

  • Joseph Chizoba Kingsley

    Ma, this is indeed a very full lecture for me. Thanks for always having your students in mind.

  • Ugwu Amarachi Matilda

    Thank you Ma for sharing this educative piece. This is learning made easy. What gives me joy is the fact that your write-ups are usually very concise and easy to understand. Now, I have understood straight news reporting perfectly well. God bless you Ma for your good work.

  • Ezike Winifred udochukwu

    Thank u ma for sharing your knowledge with us first and foremost.,we will always be indebted to u ,,I love how u broke this piece down for us that its not so mentally demanding ,I love the fact that u use simple and accessible language to write your works unlike some other pieces that would leave one confused..thank u once again.

  • CHUKWUMA SECUNDA IFUNANYA

    Wow wow this is superb ma .I learnt a lot .Thank u

  • Glory Oluchi

    Wow! This is a full lecture ooo. Thank you so much for the good work you do for us. May God continue to bless you ma

  • Nwalutum Chisom Doreen

    Much more understandable, a good writer should use brevity while writing, in order to keep your audience or readers more interested in your piece. Thank you, Ma, for bringing out time to explain this.

  • Unigwe Juliet chiemelie

    Very useful piece …. A straight news story can be fun to report, where the issue comes is framing the lead in a way that makes it concise and yet customary to the house style as I learnt during my internship. Thank you, ma!

  • Atuogba Favour Chinaza

    This is a great piece ma. I am grateful for the fact that you devoted your time to impact us. I am so happy I read this. I think I am ready now for whatever it is I might be asked to write. This has gone a long way to compensate for the classes we have not had.
    God bless you so much ma. Thanks for the sacrifice.

  • Atuogba Favour Chinaza

    This is a great piece. Thank you so much ma, for imparting this knowledge to us. This is a full lecture. As a good writer, you should write in the simplest way possible. I read some articles that were supposed to be straight but I could barely comprehend what I was reading.
    Thank you once again, ma. I don’t take this for granted. God bless you.

  • Such a simple and perfect piece. Every detail is punchy and well understood. Thank you so much ma for always keeping us on the right track. God bless you!

  • Orieji Christiana Amarachi

    It takes more than just a phone or any other digital device to report news properly. This sentence explained it all that journalism is more than having a knowledge about something and wish to share but it’s farther than that. Then I learnt that in journalism, there’s need for objective reporting. And I’m grateful for this wonderful piece. It’s educative and enlightening. Thank you, ma.

  • Anokwuru Catherine Ihuoma

    Very comprehensive and brief. Thank you very much ma for this educative piece.

  • Ikea Joy Chiamaka

    It’s alarming how many false journalists abound in the world today, especially on social media. One doesn’t even know which stories to believe because anyone can fabricate anything and post online without thinking of it’s accuracy. I feel like everyone should be exposed to writeups like this every once in a while😊 Thank you for the piece ma, remain blessed.

  • Nwankwo Chinonyelum Gladys

    Wow! I never knew straight news is a traditional method of reporting. Thanks for this comprehensive piece Ma.

  • Chukwuemeka ifunanya Abigail

    This passage did justice to the straight news story. It stated that it is written in a way that facts and points are written first, so that the reader can get the gist and go his way. Thank u, ma, for teaching us. We love u lots.

  • Onah Joy Chimdalu

    So simple and understanding

  • Asogwa Chidera Promise

    I’m feeling like the wisest man ever right now, lol. Thank you very much ma for taking your time to lecture us more on straight news stories. God continue to bless you!.

  • Orie Precious

    The rate at which false news are being reported is alarming, recognizing the real from the fake makes it hard for people to believe mass media.

  • NWACHUKWU VICTORIA TOCHUKWU

    This is very understandable. Learning more about what a reporter should learn or do and should not, how straight news just go its way telling an individual the actual fact without beating around the bush is just the plain point. This is an awesome teaching through this platform, God bless you ma.

  • EZUGWU CYRIL OBIORA

    Thank you for lucid explanation. keep it up ma…

  • Chukwunonso Obi

    thank you ma’am for this expository piece

  • Eze vivian Nkiruka

    This is so educative ma, the importance of straight news writing can not be over emphasized in its major role in educating and at the same time providing relevant information and keeping the public abreast with happenings around them and also helping them to make informed decision on certain issues of interest. Am so blessed ma with your divine knowledge.

  • Ezeh chimezie Amos

    As always, this is very educative. I have been taught straight news story from 1st year till now and I have read so many books on it but I must say that this piece is very comprehensive and understandable.
    I appreciate you, Dr Ohaja.

  • Waoo.. So nice but I still wished I had noticed your blog long before now. This is even more educative than that of the class room lecture.

    Well all I can say is Thank you Dr. and remain blessed

  • Thank you ma for this educative piece, it really simplified straight news story to the extent all can understand it, I’m grateful, although I must say a major challenge to me in news writing is finding the news to write about…. It does not come as easy as casting the headline or the sorts

  • Nzubechi Victor

    This has explained straight news reporting in the most simple way.
    Thank you ma for your efforts

  • A good summary of what reporting is and one of its types (straight news reporting)
    Comprehensive and well understood

  • Nnachetam favour chinecherem

    Thank you ma for the well simplified explanation. It really helped.

  • Maduabuchi Ebube .P.

    This is so creative and easy to understand, thank you ma for making out time to write this..

  • Esther Onuigbo

    I believe the reason straight news method is mostly used in Nigeria is due to the fact that something major is always happening, from insurgency to tribal wars, Fulani herdsmen, bad governance, death as a result of bad roads and so much more. But it is also important to note that most people do not have time to read through newspapers, they simply want the news as fast as possible

  • Thomas Henry Chibunna

    After reading this, the topic is now much better understood than when I had read only the textbook. Dr. Edith is a rare gem in academics!

  • Ngene Bob Charles

    Honestly speaking, I understand the concept of writing straight news stories a lot more now courtesy of this simple and concise explanation here

    Thanks a lot ma’am

  • Nwankwo Chidiebere Augustine

    This is very comprehensive and understandable. Thank you ma.

  • Onyemaizu kamsi stephaine

    Short and straight to the point article yet very educative. how do you do this ma? thanks for sharing a bit of your knowldege

  • Onyekachi Agbo

    The straight news story, though good because it brings the gist of the story very early and prevents the readers from having to go through the entire news story before they understand what the story is all about, it also has deficiencies among which are leaving some questions unanswered in the mind of the readers. It also limits the writers’ ability to express themselves extensively.
    Thank you, ma, for this elucidation.

  • An awesome and intriguing work ma, well done ma.

  • Epuechi chinwendu Almira

    This piece is so educative and concise, it has helped me to understand more about straight news story so I can read it well with a new light and zeal. Thank you Ma!

  • Ogbonna mirabel

    An awesome and intriguing work ma, well done ma.

    Reply

  • The Advent of smarter phones and online platforms has made everyone a journalist.
    People post any type of stories and any how without minding if it is worth reporting.

  • Egenti jennifer

    wow this is a very solid piece. This has really enlightened me on straight news. Almost everyone in Nigeria is moving, always in a haste. That’s why straight news is available for fast comprehension of the story. Thank you ma.

  • Nwaduche Janefrances Oluebube

    A small but mighty piece, with a lot to learn from. Thank you, Ma for taking out time to make this material available.. Your effort is truely appreciated..remain blessed!

  • Ozukwe mirian chisom

    Thank you very much ma.
    This explaination will really go a long way for me. Thank you also for posting the links to extra explaination.
    May God bless you.

  • Igboamalu oluchukwu Vivian

    This is lovely and have summarised most information on reporting we would make do with this

  • Okonkwo Sophia Ogechukwu

    I love everything about straight news stories, just straight to the point.
    Thank you ma for this piece, the added knowledge is really helpful.

  • UDOKO CHINASA THEODORA

    I am highly elated ma, having gone through this knowledge filled lecture on straight news reporting,for me this master piece implies back to the board on straight news reporting, Thanks so much ma for your motherly care,more grace of God 🙏 to you. The reason why straight news reporting is thriving in Nigeria is mostly because most people do not have all the time to read a full story and as such reporters try as much as possible to present their news stories in a concise and simple manner.Another reason why straight news is taking the lead in Nigeria is basically because straight or hard news stories is always on point,laced with important issues,if allowed to give it another name,it would be “SeriousBusiness” for the fact that it does not beat around the bush, Thanks once again ma.

  • Gabriel chinasa

    Thank you ma ! for this educative and expository piece

  • Ugwu Collins Kelechi

    Thank you for this well detailed piece. As usual, your works never disappoint. You’re blessed, Ma!

  • Adumike Winifred Munachimso

    I think the poor reading culture of Nigeria is the main reason for straight news reason. but, are there countries that report hard news stories in some other way other than how we do in Nigeria?

    • Yes. In the US, for instance, advocacy reports are common even in the mainstream media (MSM)- i.e reports on important matters are slanted according to the ideological leaning of the journalist and the outfit he works for.

  • Oba Cindy Biobele

    It’s good to have my mind refreshed on things concerning straight news story. It’s been a while and this was a really great article to get me back on track with one of the major things in mass communication.

  • Favour Obi

    This is so comprehensive, Ma. It is actually the simplest explanation I have ever gotten so far. Thank you so much, Ma.

  • Favour Obi

    This is so comprehensive, Ma. I really appreciate it. Now, I can confidently say I know what straight news reporting is all about.

  • Oooh thank you so much ma, well written and arranged.

  • Ibe Favour Kalu

    Thank you for this teaching. It actually gave me a full and simple understanding of what straight news reporting is, what to look out for in a straight news report and how to write one. I’m grateful for this piece. It’s a privilege to be your student. Thank you ma.

    Yes, I think there are reasons for the popularity or greater number of using straight news reporting in Nigeria. This comes from situations in Nigeria or situation report in Nigeria. The bad situation of daily insecurity occurrences in Nigeria (crime, kidnapping), bad situation of economic recession, detoriating education and health sector and politicking are reasons for the preponderance use of straight news reporting in Nigeria. Just as it is being said that straight news reporting is serious in nature and concerns stories of politics, education and economy, these Nigeria situation are serious and a crucial matter to human and Nigeria as whole. So, reporting them always come in form of straight news reporting.

    Also, use of straight news reporting is greater due to the situation of political/government negative interference In objective reporting in Nigeria(media houses just report news), therefore indept,interpretative or any other form of news reporting is not an option in Nigeria.
    God bless you mom.

  • Ikebudu juanita chinenye

    Thank you Ma,for a more enlightening piece on news stories.

  • Unigwe Juliet chiemelie

    Thank you so much ma for trying to help us in everyway you can…. God bless you ma

    • Sugbaza Benjamin victor

      This piece just refreshed my mind about straight news..now I understand what straight news is…thank you ma..you are really a gift to this generation

  • Paschal Odigonma Victoria

    Well, the Straight news story is just as the name implies, it is “straight to the point”. There’s a lot of news information to chew at once, so then we just have to have little bites of everything. This is how I can personally describe the straight news story. It is probably the reason why we have more news stories in a newspaper than in magazine.

    Personally, I like to write straight news stories. I got acquainted with writing them a lot during my internship.

  • Obeta Lillian Chiamaka

    Thank you for this very detailed explanation ma. It makes straight news reporting easy to understand and write

  • Ezidimma Odinakachukwu Oluchukwu

    Learning with you is not just easy, it’s fun as well. You make learning interesting. Thank you ma for throwing more light of straight news reporting

  • Nweze Mary Chioma

    Wow! Thank God I took out time to go through this.
    This is really enlightening ma. Thank you so much for taking out time to put this up on your wall for us. The good Lord is your strength.

  • Ikea Joy Chiamaka

    This is so explanatory and nice. Remain blessed ma

  • Onyia Ujunwa Sandra

    Thank u so much Ma for this simple and well detailed post.

  • Epuechi chinwendu Almira

    This piece has helped to simplify straight news story for me and now I can read it in a new light. Thank you ma!

  • Brown Bethel Ogadimma

    Very straight forward, simple, educative and easy to understand. Thanks a lot Ma

  • Oluchi Opara

    I personally enjoyed reading this wonderful piece. When I got to the end I was like “uh-oh”has it ended, Lol… Thank goodness it has other parts I can ponder on🤗🤗

  • Willie Albert Zikiye

    The Straight forward presentation of basic facts in a news story as been the tenet of ancient journalism practice till the present day. But, sometimes, it becomes difficult to understand this skeletal form of journalism due to the method of presentation by notable scholars. Ma, thanks for localizing the concept to our understanding.

  • Ma I really understood, love and appreciate this particular write up on straight news. Like you said, It is only a well trained journalist that knows that it takes more than a good digital device or smart phone to write a good straight news story. We are now in world where everyone claims to be a journalists on a social media platform, but If your take you time to evaluate and criticize there work base on this standard straight news, you will realize that It lacks so many characteristics which includes, being precise, going straight to the point, focusing on important matter’s etc most times there sources are not credible enough..
    Ma thank you for educating and reminding us, through this write up, that as journalist’s who are undergoing training, that we still have a lot to offer to the society. Moreover, Ma, your ability to pass on knowledge through write Up’s, have given me an in-depth knowledge and a clearer view on this straight news story and how best to achieve a successful straight news story following the characteristics, illustration’s and explanation given on the write up.

    God bless you Ma, I really appreciate your caring and love to educate and guide us, academically, morally, politically etc on this platform in any given opportunity… Thank you so much ma

  • Enechukwu Ozioma Roseline

    A nice read ma’am

  • Nwabueze Ogechi Norah.

    A nose for news. A good journalist must be able to detect news, even from where there seems to be none. This is a clear difference between a good journalist and an amateur journalist. And good journalists we shall be. Thank you Ma’am.

  • Francis Okwukaeze

    This is a well taught lesson. Now I know what straight news reporting is.

  • Nwoye Chiamaka Favour

    I am still in awe of how you ma were able to summarize a whole course beautifully not excluding even the littlest of details. I have definitely learned a lot of things and even tried out 2 of the practice questions. Thank you ma very much

  • Ikechebelu Ginika Francisca

    Thank you Ma for this wonderful and concise piece. May your river of knowledge never run dry.

  • Aleke Juliet C.

    Here comes my most preferable news reporting, straight news reporting. I admire it for it goes straight to the point and it is timely.
    Now I feel more equiped. Ma thank u so much

    • Okafor Emmanuel chukwunwike

      This is an amazing piece ma! You have done justice to straight news reporting. I feel like it has been burned into my brain and I will never forget it

  • Anabude Oluchi m.

    Well said ma…straight news story are basically written from an formal angle unlike the features writing that is more on the relaxed style. Thank you for putting up more ideas on straight news story.

  • Offor Priscilla tobechi

    It has elaborated the difference between straight reporting and interpretative reporting. It has also given us the full explanation of the context. Thank you ma for this post and God bless you.

  • Oforgu ifeanyi

    The synopsis of the message is vital to urge credibility in the reporting aspect.. Thereby granting an admirable operation.

  • Ngoama Ayebainate wemi

    Seeing the expression of the the things you teach in your writing is quite catching my attention, you are good
    ma’am.

  • Thank you so much ma for throwing more light on this topic. After going through and studying this post I saw that writing straight news reporting is easier than I thought.

  • Onyekachi Confidence chimamaka

    Straight news is actually the best form of news for the Nigerians, because the patience to go into details is no where to be found. The goal is, get the news and move on. so as a reporter we should of a basis be acquainted with writing a straight news story.
    Ma, you have made it easy even for a novice to understand the rudiments of the straight news reporting.
    Thank you.

  • This is virtually the best thesis I have encountered on straight news reporting. Very nice blended piece of work. Thanks a lot ma and the unending enlightenment.

  • Eroh Ebenezer John

    You are showing aspiring journalist how to show professionalism when they are going to be carrying out their duties in the field.

  • Ugwu chinonso John

    Ugwu chinonso john
    Philosophy student 300l
    I am speechless!!!
    This write up is not only sound but Enlightening… May the ink in ur pen never stop flowing…
    God bless u ma!!!

  • Ikebudu Emmanuel

    Straight to the point is very essential I guess, because a lot of people wants to get the full gist ASAP🙏🏾 God bless you AUNTY Edith Ohaja

  • Ohanagorom Chigozie Comfort

    Thank you ma, we have learnt a lot

  • Miriam Odoh

    The presentation of straight news story here is really helpful

  • Nkan David

    Beautiful one Ma.. Just like Nyx Lord said in his comment above that “The knowledge from this article would never grow old, even after school”, am in full support of his statement, cos he has spoken what I had in mind already 😊

  • Chukwu Joy Chioma

    You make learning very easy ma.
    From this post, I have learnt that the earliest form of reporting used in journalism is straight news reporting.
    Which is more related to straight news reporting? Is it the investigative or interpretative method?

    • Sweetie, they are all related as they are all methods of reporting. Go over their characteristics and see their similarities and differences again.

      • Chukwu Joy Chioma

        I will do just that ma.

        • Abiayi Ifeonuchukwu

          Thank you so much ma for this enlightening post. I know I now that Journalist do more of straight news reporting and now I know that no matter how much we love to write as journalists,we must learn to be precise and not beat around the bush in our reporting.

  • So much informative content here, thank you ma’am.

    Is Accuracy important in Straight News Reporting since the news report must be timely too?

  • Ugochi

    The audience is too impatient to read dull park news. The use of the inverted pyramid is an important feature in straight news reporting. Journalists are also advised to abide by the 5Ws and H news elements when reporting as they form a guide to every news. Thanks, Ma.

  • Odumuko Oluchukwu Victoria

    Thank you ma for sharing this.
    I will need to do some research to know more about the inverted pyramid order.

  • Adebanjo Adenike Rebecca

    Funny enough I enjoy breaking news more when digital reported, mostly to save my data😂😂😂. You are blessed, ma!

  • nneomaoruma

    I did not find it difficult to understand this writeup because we were taught this in a class.This writeup was more like a refreshment of my memory.I like the research done on this writeup.I like the use of easy and straightforward language.Thank you Ma for taking out time to tackle topics like this. More power to your elbow.

  • I really love this straight news reporting, it is always direct to the point but in a way I think it should not be applicable to every news because there are news that require some kind of opinion from that particular reporter on how an issue presented should be handled.

  • Agbowo Emmanuel chiagozie

    Most people don’t believe in the outlets of the different Media because of the fear of getting soured fake news.

  • Ekechukwu Francisca

    The conciseness and preciseness of straight news reporting is such that there is no room for infusing preambles, which is why the use of the Inverted Pyramid, the 5 Ws and H are employed to sieve out elements that do not correspond with the style of straight news reporting. I understand this well Ma. Thank you!

  • Chukwuemeka uchechukwu pepertua

    I must say that I am privilege to read this write up,thank you and God bless you ma’am.
    I guess that this is the type of reporting used in (newspaper, radio, and television) industries

  • Sambo Deborah Friday

    Straight news reporting is essential in this digital period, because no one would want to spend too much time on a particular news.
    A reporter must also be conversant with summary writing as that will really help in writing a straight news report, since it requires precised form of writing.

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