A news item text is a text which is grouped into the text genre of narration. It is a text which contains about news is categorized as news item text. This text supplies the readers, listeners or viewers the up to date about events or information which are considered newsworthy or important hottest issue of the day since media like news papers are published daily.  The main function of narration is telling stories or informing about events in chronological order. The order in the narration can be based of time, place and the events them selves.

News item text should be completely studied with narrative and recount text. These three text types explore the way on how a story or event is retold to others. News item text is written for public information of what is the newsworthy of the day. Basically, a news item text tries to answer the 5Ws and 1H questions; “ what, who, when, where, why, and how relating to the newsworthy.

News item is a text which informs readers about events of the day. The events are considered newsworthy or important. The purpose of news item is to inform readers about events of the day which are considered newsworthy or important. Based on generic structure and language feature dominantly used, texts are divided into several types. They are narrative, recount, descriptive, report, explanation, analytical exposition, hortatory exposition, procedure, discussion, review, anecdote, spoof, and news item. These variations are known as GENRES

Thus, the types ( genre) can be characterized in three part major texts such as: descriptive text ( report, procedure, review, descriptive, and explanation , narrative text ( narrative, anecdote, recount, spoof, and news item), and argumentative text ( analytical exposition, hortatory explanation, and discussion)

Due to the different generic structure of text types, though news item is in one group of narration genres with narrative and recount, understanding the structures on how the news item composed is absolutely important for better understanding on text genres which are different from one type to another.

The Social Function of  News Item Text

To inform readers, listeners or viewers the up to date about events or information which are considered newsworthy or important.

The text structure of News Items

There are three parts of the structure of news item such as below:

  • Newsworthy Event 

It tells the main event which is considered newsworthy in a summary form.

  • Background Events

It elaborates what happened or tell the detail information or what causes the incident. It can include the background, participant, time, and place relating to the news.

  • Sources

It contains original comments which can be formed by  the participants, witness, the official authorities or experts in the events.

Linguistics Feature

The linguistics feature of news item as follows:

  • Short, telegraphic information about story captured in headline.
  • Use of material processes/action verbs to retell the story or event
  • Use of projecting verbal processes in “Source” stage.  (e.g. the police said…; the witness thought …)
  • Using adverb like: badly injured, the most beautiful bride in the world.
  •  Focus on circumstances  (e.g. last night, just this morning, at that time, etc)


Sample of the Text:

Russian Nuclear Catastrophe

Moscow—A Russian journalist has uncovered evidence of another Soviet nuclear catastrophe, which killed 10 sailors and contaminated an entire town.

Yelena Vazrshavskya is the first journalist to speak to people who witnessed the explosion of a nuclear submarine at the naval base of Shkotovo-22 near Vladivostock.

The accident, which occurred 13 months before the Chernobyl disaster, spread radioactive fall-out over the base and nearby town, but was covered up by officials of the then Soviet Union. Residents were told the explosion in the reactor of the Victor-class submarine during a refit had been a ‘thermal’ and not a nuclear explosion. And those involved in the clean-up operation to remove more than 600 tons of contaminated materials were sworn to secrecy.

A board of investigators was later to describe it as the worst accident in the history of the Soviet Navy.

Taken from Making Sense of Functional Grammar, 1995.

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