Keep lead sentences really short. 5-10 words max.
Use people words, not news words. No jargon.
Referendum, gubernatorial, legislative, subject, suspect, vehicle, deceased, apprehended, arraignment, residents, blaze etc.
Write about people and impact first, then process.
Work hard to avoid numbers.
5300 block, district 6, some 40,000 relief workers, 7,000 acres have burned, etc
Go light on the attributions and the allegeds. They are less necessary than you think.
If Fox and CBS can say “the White House says”, you can say “Police say” without naming names every time.
Read it out loud!