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How to understand the News in English

understanding the news in English

Do you like to stay on top of current events? Why not watch the news in English? To help you through the broadcast, check out this useful guide to newsroom lingo! This lesson will help you understand how the title of the news will tell what the content is about.


“Breaking news”

When news is breaking, it’s not falling apart. Instead, the term refers to the latest, most up-to-date news stories that are currently in progress. For example, “We’ve got some important, breaking news for you tonight.”


“This just in…”

News reporters like to use this phrase to introduce breaking news to viewers. It indicates that the news is very up-to-date. “This just in, a new candidate has decided to run for mayor.”


“Top story”

Pay special attention if you hear these words on the news ¨C it means the most important piece of news is being reported. For example, you may hear, “In our top story, we’ll take a look at the ongoing criminal investigation.”


“In-depth coverage”

Sometimes news programs offer only a basic overview of a story, but other times they prefer to air in-depth coverage for their top stories. Coverage refers to the reporting of the story, and in-depth is an adjective to express that it is very detailed.


“Our sources tell us…”

The job of news reporters isn’t to make up their own stories, but to rely on sources, or people who are interviewed, to provide the facts. When reporters don’t wish to identify their sources, they can begin with this phrase.


“Exclusive interview”

News agencies often compete to get exclusive interviews from important sources. This means that they are the only station to interview this source.


“Stay tuned”

This is just another way to say “keep watching.” News anchors use this phrase to introduce future stories in hopes to hook the viewers, so they won’t change the channel. “Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with the key witness to the crime.”


“Reporting live”

Sometimes news anchors report the news after it has happened, but other times reporters report live as the news is taking place. “This is Jill, reporting live at the White House.”


“At the scene”

When reporters report live, they are usually at the location where the news is taking place. Or, in other words, they’re at the scene. “Let’s hear from John, who’s reporting live at the scene.”


“Now, back to you…”

When it’s time for someone at the scene to finish up, they’ll usually shift the viewer’s attention back to the news anchor in the studio with this expression. “Now, back to you Lisa.”

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