What's in this post?
I. Definition and function of news itemsWhat is a news item? A news item is a text that informs readers about events of the day. They give important information about newsworthy or important events that happen today, or have happened recently.
II. Generic structure of news itemsA news item usually consists of:
- Main / newsworthy Event(s): recounts the event in the form of summary
- Background Events: elaborate what happened, to whom, in what circumstances.
- Sources: comments by participants in, witnesses to and/or authorities expert on the event.
III. Lexicogrammatical features of news itemsA news item usually has the following features:
- Short, telegraphic information about the story captured in headline.
- Use of material processes to retell the event.
Material processes (usually action verbs) show that some entity physically does something to some other entity. It gives information about the process of doing something. E.g. killed, searched, crashed, rescued, etc.
- Use of projecting verbal processes in sources stage.
Verbal processes represent process of ‘saying’. E.g. said, told, explained, informed, etc.
- Focus on Circumstances (e.g. mostly within Qualifiers).
IV. Examples of news itemsNews Text 1
|East Java flash Floods Kill At Least Eight||Title / Headline|
|Rescuers scrambled Friday to find survivors under mud-swamped hillsides after flash floods in East Java killed at least eight people, the disaster agency said. Torrential rains on Thursday unleashed flash floods in Malang and the highland city of Batu, inundating houses with mud and debris, while a wall of water destroyed local bridges. Six people were pulled from the detritus alive, while rescuers found a half dozen bodies in Batu and two more victims in Malang.||Summary/recount of the newsworthy event|
|On Friday, teams raced to find several more people unaccounted for in Batu, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, as the dead were placed in body bags.||Elaboration (background events)|
|"Until now, we are still trying to find three people still missing," the agency's chairman Abdul Muhari said in a statement. Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across Indonesia during the rainy season, which started in September.||Comments by participants, witnesses, experts. and/or authorities|
|The disasters are often caused by deforestation and poor mitigation planning, according to environmentalists. Seven people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential storms in Sumatra last month. In April, more than 200 people were killed in a cluster of far-eastern islands in Indonesia and neighbouring Timor Leste as Tropical Cyclone Seroja turned small communities into wastelands of mud and uprooted trees.||Summary/recount of similar events|
|BMKG: Severe Weather Forecasted This Week for Parts of Indonesia||Title / Headline|
|TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) is warning that potentially extreme weather, such as moderate to heavy rain accompanied by lightning and strong winds, as well as high waves, is possible this week, February 17-23, in some parts of Indonesia.||Summary/recount of the newsworthy event|
|“The public is advised to stay vigilant and cautious about potential extreme weather and its possible impact of hydrometeorological disasters, such as floods, landslides, flash floods, puddles, fallen trees, and others,” said the Meteorology Unit Deputy Guswanto in a statement received in Jakarta, Wednesday, Feb. 16.|
Guswanto explained that the potential for extreme weather was based on the latest analysis on atmospheric dynamics.
|Comments by participants, witnesses, experts. and/or authorities|
|The BMKG reiterated that the phenomenon is triggered by phase-3 Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) around the Indian Ocean which significantly contributes to the growth of rain clouds in several Indonesian regions. It is also strengthened by atmospheric waves, viz. equatorial Kelvin and Rossby waves in a number of regions.|
The potential for moderate to heavy rain is predicted to occur in Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, North Maluku. Maluku, West Papua, and Papua.
|Elaboration (background events)|
A. Identify the parts of the following news texts.News Text 3
|Study: Climate change is making typhoons more dangerous for Asia, and their ‘destructive power’ will double by the end of the century||...|
|The “destructive power” of tropical storms in the Pacific Ocean, known locally as typhoons, could double by the end of the century, according to a new study. The average typhoon could last around five hours longer, with average wind speed at landfall increased by 6 percent, and it would travel 50 percent further inland, according to the projections of researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Weather Research Centre for Monitoring Warning and Forecasting in Shenzhen.||...|
|These changes would collectively make typhoons twice as damaging — and they already are well underway. Between 1979 and 2016, typhoons increased in duration by two to nine hours and penetrated 30 to 190 kilometers farther inland, the researchers found. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Earth Science. Its findings are based on a scenario in which average global temperatures reach 3.7 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels by 2100, which is a likely outcome if greenhouse gas emissions remain high, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. So far, temperatures have risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius from that baseline.||...|
|The effects of these stronger storms are visible in recent Asian cyclones such as Typhoon Rai, which hit the Philippines on Dec. 16. On Monday, the Philippine government raised the number of confirmed deaths from Rai to 388. There are an additional 60 people still missing and an estimated 500,000 left homeless after winds or flooding damaged or destroyed 482,000 houses.||...|
|Previous studies have found that higher average global temperatures, due to emissions of greenhouse gasses, are causing more intense storms, because warmer weather causes more evaporation. Other studies have concluded that storms from warmer seawater temperatures ramp up quicker.||...|
|“More Asian inland regions may be exposed to further severe typhoon-related hazards in the future as a result of climate change,” the lead author of the study, Francis Tam Chi-yung, a professor of Earth System Science at Chinese University of Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post. The most affected areas will include major cities such as Hong Kong and Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.||...|
|Hong Kong was hit by super-typhoons in 2017 and 2018, causing widespread damage from flooding and the impact of heavy wind, such as trees being toppled.||...|
|School Attendance Increases Omicron Cases among Children: Pediatric Association||....|
|TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Pediatric Association (IDAI) chairman, Piprim Basarah Yanuarso, said that Covid-19 cases among children showed a significant rise in the past month. The figures went up following on-site learning activities, known as PTM 100%, at schools earlier this January.||....|
|"Fellow pediatricians reported that the case has now increased tenfold when compared to January. The surge is egregious," he said during the launching of Covid-19 Guidelines Book 4th edition in Jakarta, February 9.||....|
|According to Yanuarso, the surging trend of Covid cases on children began on January 24 with 646 patients. It rose to 2,775 on January 31 and it became 7,190 on February 7. "It rose by 300%."||....|
|The case surge among pupils and teachers has resulted in the issuance of a back-to-school policy at 50% capacity by the Education Ministry. IDAI appreciated the government's effort that also offers parents to choose a safe environment for their children to study.||....|
|Yanuarso believed the decision can reduce the number of children infected with Coronavirus. "Do not underestimate mild symptoms. Even reports of severe cases on children have started to show," he said.||....|
|IDAI calls on parents to ensure the health protocols of their children, particularly for those above 2 years old. If they show symptoms such as cough and cold, immediately contact a doctor, as it could be an Omicron infection.||....|
B. Comprehension Exercise.
Choose whether each of the following sentences is TRUE or FALSE based on the relevant text.
- These sentences refer to news text 1.
- The text is about a natural disaster.
- The flash flood killed eight people.
- When the news was published, six people were still missing.
- The flash floods happened in Malang and Batu following severe and heavy rains.
- Deforestation and poor mitigation planning may cause landslides and flash floods.
- These sentences refer to news text 2.
- The text talks about a warning of potential extreme weather in Indonesia.
- The public is expected to prevent the possible impact of hydrometeorological disasters.
- The impact of hydrometeorological disasters includes floods, landslides, flash floods, forest fires, fallen trees, and others.
- The warning was based on the latest analysis on atmospheric dynamics.
- Kelvin and Rossby are experts in meteorology, climatology, and geophysics.
- These sentences refer to news text 3.
- The news talks about the causes of climate change in Asia.
- A new study suggests that tropical storms in the Pacific Ocean could be much more destructive by the end of the century.
- Between 1979 and 2016, typhoons remained the same in duration and size of areas.
- According to studies, global warming, due to emissions of greenhouse gases, is the cause of extreme weather phenomena.
- Typhoon Rai hitting the Philippines on Dec. 16 killed at least 388 people and damaged more than 400,000 houses.
- These sentences refer to news text 4.
- The news mainly talks about the increase of Omicron cases among the members of Pediatric Association.
- Based on the text, we can conclude that on-site learning activities, known as PTM 100%, contributed to the increase of Covid-19 cases among children.
- Covid cases on children increased by 300% during the month of January.
- The Education Ministry has applied back-to-school policy at 50% capacity as a response to the increasing Covid cases.
- IDAI makes phone calls to parents to interview them about the health protocols of their children.