DSCF9273

News item text – what it is, language features, and examples

Have you ever read a newspaper?

Or read the news online? 

If you answered yes, then you’ve come across a news item text! 

So, let’s explore what news item text is all about, shall we?

What is news item text?

As we’ve said above, news item text is, as the name suggests, is a form of news. What makes news, well, news? 

News item text is a text about notable, usually current, events. 

Recall the last time you read a newspaper or opened an online news portal. 

What kind of events are featured?

That’s right! The front page usually features pretty major events! 

For example, at the time of writing (July 2022) the featured events include concern over Monkeypox, Sri Lanka’s economic downturn, and the upcoming G20 summit which Indonesia will host. 

Those are pretty major events if you ask me! 

You’ll hardly hear about your neighbour’s petty drama or your friend’s lost pen!

To sum up, a news item text is a kind of a text which aims to inform the readers about the important, newsworthy events of the day. 

How do you spot a news item text?

A news item text has several unique characteristics that makes them easy to spot. Those characteristics include: 

  • The text features a notable, important event 
  • The text usually use concise language 
  • The text usually has a headline and accompanying photo or illustration 

What are the language features?

Virtually all news item text shares several similarities when it comes to language features, they often use these quite frequently : 

  • simple past tense. However, the simple present tense might also be used 
  • reporting verbs 
  • action verbs 
  • adverbs

Let’s break them down one by one, shall we?

  1. Use simple past tense or simple present tense 

As we stated above, news item text is aimed at letting readers know of recent important events. It goes without saying that you can’t really report an event that hasn’t happened, which is why simple past tense is the hallmark of a typical news item text. 

However, many writers and journalists use simple present tense when writing news item text to give the impression that the news featured is still really new and urgent, so that readers are more likely to read the news text. 

Simple present tense is also used to report an ongoing event. 

  1. Use reporting verb  

A reporting verb, as the name suggests, is a word which is used to talk about or report on other people’s statements. Reporting verbs can be used to great effect, but the difficulty with using them is that there are many, and each of them has a slightly different and often subtle meaning.

Some examples of reporting verbs are respond, answer, say, tell, inquire, ask, suggest, announce, critique, support, express, confirm, etc. Generally, reporting verbs are used in their past tense form in news item text. 

The following are examples of reporting verbs in news item texts: 

Japanese defence forces will participate for the first time in military exercises in Indonesia next month alongside the United States and Australia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday after talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

(source:https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-pm-agreed-close-cooperation-with-indonesia-fields-including-energy-2022-07-27/)

Eric Singson, a congressman in Ilocos Sur province, also in the north, told DZMM radio station the quake had been felt strongly there.

(source:https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/magnitude-72-earthquake-strikes-luzon-philippines-emsc-2022-07-27/)

Anthony Albanese has confirmed Australia will attend the G20 meeting in Bali in November despite Russia’s controversial attendance at the summit, with the prime minister also pledging to assist Indonesia as host of the leaders meeting.

(source:https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/06/anthony-albanese-tells-joko-widodo-he-will-go-to-the-g20-in-indonesia-despite-russias-attendance)

  1. Use action verb 

Basically, action verb is a verb that describes what a person, animal, or object can do. It does NOT describe one’s state of being. Take a look at this example: 

Julia plays the piano. 

In the example above, the verb play shows an activity that Julia does. Julia is physically playing the piano, hence why play is an action verb. 

Compare it to this sentence: 

I don’t understand what she said. 

Understand is a mental process, not something that you physically do. Therefore, it is not an action verb. 

The following are examples of action verb in news item texts: 

“We definitely need to adapt the way we build buildings, the way we operate and look at some of our infrastructure in the light of what seems to be an increasing frequency of these kinds of events,” he said.

(source:https://www.thejakartapost.com/world/2022/07/18/britain-on-course-for-hottest-day-on-record.html

In addition, the program also discusses the challenges researchers in Indonesia face coming up with innovations in the biotech sector.

(source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2021/11/09/indonesian-medical-biotech-talents-engage-with-global-research-community.html)

A ferry from Yakushima, the closest neighbouring island about one hour sail east, had arrived and aimed to evacuate residents around 3:00pm, said Tatsuya Terada, a government official on Yakushima.

(source:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-29/evacuations-ordered-after-volcano-erupts-on-remote-japanese-is/6506672)

  1. Use adverbs 

Still remember all about adverbs? An adverb is a word that modifies (describes) a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even a whole sentence! Put it simply, adverbs help make your sentences become more detailed. 

The following are examples of action verb in news item texts: 

  • Adverb of manner 

Once regarded as a model for preventing COVID-19 infection, New Zealand’s swift response to the pandemic and its geographic isolation kept it largely free from the virus until the end of last year.

(source:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-27/new-zealand-covid-19-cases-trend-downwards/101274588

  • Adverb of time 

The number of monkeypox cases in Colorado has risen to 36. The number is rising quickly and the number of doses of the vaccine to prevent the effects of the virus is running down.

(source:https://www.cbsnews.com/colorado/news/monkeypox-cases-rising-quickly-colorado/

  • Adverb of degree

The median home price in Ottawa declined slightly in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first three months of the year, a new Royal LePage study has found, though prices are still higher than they were this time in 2021.

(source:https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/median-house-price-in-ottawa-dropped-slightly-in-q2-from-earlier-in-2022-royal-lepage-survey

Example of news item text 

The following is an example of a news item text, taken from Jakarta Post, can you spot the language features we discussed above? 

Japanese fugitive accused of fraud deported from Indonesia

A Japanese fugitive accused of swindling about $7 million from a pandemic subsidy programme was deported from Indonesia on Wednesday, an immigration official said. 

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, who was arrested by the National Police in Lampung earlier this month, boarded a Narita-bound flight from Jakarta, Indonesian immigration official Douglas Simamora said in a statement. 

“This man is being deported because the Japanese government has revoked his passport and he has no stay permit. From now on, he will be on our deterrence list,” he said. 

Taniguchi is accused by Japanese authorities of helping to steal 960 million yen ($7 million) intended for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kyodo news.

The Japanese national allegedly submitted thousands of false applications for the subsidy programme and fled for Indonesia in October 2020 after he was put on a police wanted list. Taniguchi’s ex-wife and two sons have been arrested in connection with the allegations, Japanese media have reported. 

Indonesian authorities said he had told residents in Sumatra that he wanted to invest in fisheries in the area.

(source:https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2022/06/22/japanese-fugitive-accused-of-fraud-deported-from-indonesia.html

Okay, now, let’s go one by one, shall we?

Can you spot words written in simple past tense in the news item text above? 

There are actually quite many, here, we will highlight the simple past tense found in the first paragraph: 

A Japanese fugitive accused of swindling about $7 million from a pandemic subsidy programme was deported from Indonesia on Wednesday, an immigration official said. 

Next, can you spot the reporting verb? 

There’s actually one in the first paragraph above! But now, we will highlight reporting verb in the second paragraph: 

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, who was arrested by the National Police in Lampung earlier this month, boarded a Narita-bound flight from Jakarta, Indonesian immigration official Douglas Simamora said in a statement. 

Now, can you spot the action verb? 

Again, we will look at the second paragraph, although there are more action verbs throughout the text. Can you spot them all?

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, who was arrested by the National Police in Lampung earlier this month, boarded a Narita-bound flight from Jakarta, Indonesian immigration official Douglas Simamora said in a statement. 

Finally, can you spot the adverb?

The adverb is located in the fifth paragraph, can you spot it?

The Japanese national allegedly submitted thousands of false applications for the subsidy programme and fled for Indonesia in October 2020 after he was put on a police wanted list. Taniguchi’s ex-wife and two sons have been arrested in connection with the allegations, Japanese media have reported. 

Now, you’ve mastered all there is to know about news item text! 

If you want to find more examples of news item text, you’ll find them on newspapers and online news canals. 

As usual hank you for reading today’s article. We hope you find this article helpful! :) 

Next steps 

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Most people lack confidence when they speak English. They are afraid to make mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others. 

This is because they have been taught English the wrong way!

Most English courses waste your time and money on useless exercises that don’t bring results. Even worse, they teach you bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn. 

As a result, you become confused and lack confidence. This is wrong!

At IELC, we teach English the right way

Our goal is to get you speaking in English with fluency and confidence as fast as possible. We want to give you the skills you need to fulfill your potential!

Our experienced teachers will guide you along every step of the learning process to ensure that you are not wasting your time, money, and energy on useless language exercises & wrong methods.

Our courses

With our modern campus and technology, we are equipped to provide the best possible courses for children, teens, and adults, including:

Online courses for kids

Online courses for teens

Online courses for adults

On campus courses for kids

On campus courses for teens 

On campus courses for adults

Online and on campus IELTS courses

Online and on campus TOEFL PBT courses

Online and on campus TOEFL iBT courses

We offer our classes in group classes or private classes.

No matter what your goals are, our team will help you achieve these goals by providing you with Indonesia’s best English courses!

Talk to our team today to get your FREE consultation and take your first step towards success.

Sincerely,

Anthony McCormick,

IELC Managing Director