Reading the news in English is a great way to build up your language skills. It’s an enjoyable way to practise, too. Although reading a newspaper in another language can seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple once you know what to expect. Here’s how to read a newspaper in English.
The first step is choosing where you want to get your news. Newspapers have different names according to when and how often they are published, and what type of news they report. A tabloid or rag is a newspaper that prints mainly gossip or sensational material. It usually has a smaller format than a broadsheet (a newspaper with full-size pages). Other common names for newspapers include gazette, journal, chronicle and times.
Now it’s time to take a look at the newspaper. The front page, or cover page of a newspaper, contains the most important articles (news stories) and the headlines (titles) tell us what an article is about. Headlines are usually written in a special, abbreviated style, and are sometimes hard to decipher. If a particular piece of news is very important, people often say it is headline news.
Look further into the newspaper and you can find out what is going on in other countries in the international/world news. For news from near where the paper is published, take a look at the local news or national news sections. As you get to the middle of the newspaper, you will find the business section with a list of the prices of stocks and shares.
Near the back of the newspaper is a section containing advertisements placed by the general public, like offers or requests for jobs, houses, apartments, used cars and so on. This is the classified adverts section. The sports section is usually at the very back of the newspaper.
How about the people who create the newspapers you read? The editor is the person who supervises the publication of the newspaper. The editor is also responsible for writing a section of the paper called the Editorial, in which he expresses his opinion about a current topic. Large newspapers usually have an editor for each section of the newspaper and a picture/photography editor who chooses the best images to go in the newspaper.
The people who write newspaper articles are called journalists or reporters, while the newspaper industry as a whole is known as the press. Photographers provide the images for the newspaper and the paparazzi are tabloid or magazine photographers, especially those who follow celebrities trying to take intrusive photographs of them.
A good journalist will know where to get a scoop. This is a slang expression meaning an important piece of news, especially something that has not yet been reported by other newspapers. To get the scoop means to find out or report the news before others do. If they are lucky, they might be assigned to report on breaking news (an event that has just happened). A similar expression is Hot off the press! meaning that the newspaper has just been printed and the news is very recent.
What’s the headline news in your country in the moment? It’s time to go and read the news in English and find out!