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Lead of A News Story

LEAD OF A NEWS STORY (FIVE W'S AND AN H)

A news story is written in various formats. Basically, the story is divided into lead, body and then conclusion. The lead is the beginning, the most important structural element of a story. Charnley (1966) stated that, "an effective lead is a brief, sharp statement of the story's essential facts." The lead is usually the first sentence, or in some cases the first two sentences, and is ideally 20-25 words in length. The top loading principles applies to the lead, but the unreadability of long sentences constraints its size. This makes writing a lead an optimization problem, in which the goal is to articulate the most encompassing and interesting statement that a writer can make in one sentence, given the material in which he or she has to work.


Article leads are sometimes categorized into hard leads and soft leads. The hard lead aims to provide a comprehensive thesis which tells the reader what the article will cover. A soft lead, introduces the topic in a more creative, attention-seeking fashion.


The inverted pyramid structure is one of the most basic story forms. It is used most often for hard- news stories. The structure gives the focus, followed by supporting points, in descending order of importance. It is in fact a summary lead, which attempts to answer most if not all these questions.

What happened?

Who was involved?

Where did it happen?

When did it happen?

Why did it happen?

How did it happen?


These questions are five W's of journalism, actually five W's and one H. They provide the news writer with quick and convenient means of organizing the lead of a story. They also provide the framework or structure for organizing the lead of a story. This is one of the most common forms of hard news story. But, the question is that how do we decide what is most important and what should follow in descending order of importance? Here, we must use our own judgment. Some questions to ask: What will affect the readers the most? What questions does the lead raise that need to be answered immediately? What supporting quotes are strongest?


The advantage of this form is that the reader gets the crucial information quickly. The disadvantage: The reader may not read past the crucial information. This form is the basic structure for breaking news, and it is an important form for online journalism, where readers have unlimited choices and more control over their story selections.


The advantage of this form is that the reader gets the crucial information quickly. The disadvantage: The reader may not read past the crucial information. This form is the basic structure for breaking news, and it is an important form for online journalism, where readers have unlimited choices and more control over their story selections.


The advantage of this form is that the reader gets the crucial information quickly. The disadvantage: The reader may not read past the crucial information. This form is the basic structure for breaking news, and it is an important form for online journalism, where readers have unlimited choices and more control over their story selections.


  1. graphice desigin saidTue, 25 Sep 2012 12:18:15 -0000 ( Link )

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i am graphices desiginar

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  2. rowcker saidSun, 24 Feb 2013 18:26:40 -0000 ( Link )

    thnx it helped me for my exam :P

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