Print News

What’s on the page?

Both historically and in the present day, newspapers have served many different purposes:

  • They inform us by supplying facts, figures, scores, prices, charts, maps, photos, and illustrations.
  • They educate us by going beyond basic facts, with in-depth analysis in feature stories and editorials.
  • They persuade us that the information they contain is authoritative and reliable.

Although newspapers have gone through various transformations since their inception, their purpose remains the same: to inform. Every day, a large volume of information is made available in newspapers.

Types of news stories


A factual story is a report based strictly on facts. This type of story is the most common in newspapers, telling only what actually took place at a meeting of city council, for instance, or how an accident occurred and what resulted. In this type of story, a reporter fulfils his/her primary duty: writing what is seen and heard, without injecting personal opinion or judgement. The 5 W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) are strictly adhered to.


This is material prepared with the objective of inducing the reader to support or endorse a specific project or product. For example, it could be an article urging the purchase of government bonds or donation of money to the United Way. Most often, this type of material is published in supplements devoted to a particular topic. For example, in the spring, many newspapers provide wedding supplements. The package is usually put together by the advertising department with the stories provided by the advertisers and/or special contributors.


This story, also known as in-depth reporting, explains the significance of some current event, its historical background, how it compares with a similar situation in another locality, and possibly how it may affect the future. An example would be a review of the situation in Afghanistan since its beginning, the current situation, and possible developments.


Feature articles are most often found in special sections and on section fronts. A feature article has usually been the subject of a considerable amount of research, interviews, and analysis. It presents an overview of the subject matter (for example, how to purchase a new vehicle), gives examples of what steps should and should not be taken, and offers expert advice. Feature stories are usually longer than “hard news stories” and thus are usually found away from the general news pages.