Newspapers generally adhere to an expository writing style. Over time and place, journalism ethics and standards have varied in the degree of objectivity or sensationalism they incorporate. Definitions of professionalism differ among news agencies; their reputations, according to professional standards, and depending on what the reader wants, are often tied to the appearance of objectivity. In its most ideal form, news writing strives to be intelligible to the majority of readers, as well as to be engaging and succinct. Within these limits, news stories also aim to be comprehensive. However, other factors are involved, some of which are derived from the media form, and others stylistic.
Among the larger and more respected newspapers, fairness and balance is a major factor in presenting information. Commentary is usually confined to a separate section, though each paper may have a different overall slant. Editorial policy dictates the use of adjectives, euphemisms, and idioms. Papers with an international audience, for example, usually use a more formal style of writing.
The specific choices made by a news outlet's editor or editorial board are often collected in a style guide; common style guides include the "AP Style Manual" and the "US News Style Book". The main goals of news writing can be summarized by the ABCs of journalism: accuracy, brevity, and clarity.