Article Types: What's the Difference Between Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals?

Characteristics of a Newspaper Article

Newspaper Article Characteristics

Authors: Newspaper articles frequently do not list authors. Articles may be obtained from the various national and international wire services such as Associated Press and Reuters and may only reference the wire service providing the news article. Feature stories will normally attribute authorship. Editorials might attribute authorship or will imply that the newspaper editors are the authors. Letters to the editors will routinely provide the names of the readers submitting the letters.

Frequency: Newspapers can be published daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or even just on weekends. Major national and regional newspapers typically publish daily, with increased coverage on weekends.

Subject Focus: Newspaper articles typically report news on a wide variety of topics. Anything is fair game for a newspaper, from politics to science to art and music. Newspapers published in localities will typically have a section that provides national and international news coverage and additional sections that focus on local news and interests. Local papers also typically publish obituaries.

Illustrations/Photographs: Newspapers make extensive use of photographs. Photographs might come from syndicated sources or from the paper's own staff photographers. Photos are typically in black and white, however some sections of the paper, such as the weekend comics, might make use of color.

Advertisements: Newspapers will include advertisements throughout the paper and might even have full page and special insert advertisements. Advertisements imbedded within the paper itself are typically black and white. Those that are included as special inserts or supplements may be in color and even on glossy paper.

Layout and Arrangement: Newspapers arrange articles on the page in columns. Lead articles will begin on the front pages of the various newspaper sections and will continue deeper in the paper. The most important news events typically appear on the front page of the first section of the paper. Most newspapers are divided into sections.

Typical sections include: national/international news; local news; sports; entertainment/amusements; classified advertisements; and neighborhood news. Editorials usually appear in the first section of the paper, although some newspapers have a separate section devoted just to insights and opinion.

Overall Appearance: Newspapers are normally printed on large sheets of newsprint and folded. Different newspapers might opt for varying size formats. Normally printed with black ink, some newspapers might use color to highlight specific sections of the paper or to publish important photographs.