The News Story Deconstructed. What is the goal of a news story?. A news story:. GIVES READERS, VIEWERS, LISTENERS, USERS THE INFORMATION , NEWS , FACTS , IN A SUCCINCT, CLEAR, COHERENT WAY. The vast majority of news stories use this structure:. Inverted pyramid.
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A news story: GIVES READERS, VIEWERS, LISTENERS, USERS THE INFORMATION, NEWS, FACTS, IN A SUCCINCT, CLEAR, COHERENT WAY.
Inverted pyramid • The most important information--who, what, where, when, why and how--goes at the top. • Less important details go at the bottom.
Parts of a story… • Headline • Lede • Body • Kicker
The headline is at the top of the story. Tells the reader or user what the story is about. It’s brief; a quick summary of what’s to come. Written after the story. Headline
Generally the first paragraph of the story. The hook that tells you what the story is about. Think of it like the marquee of a theater or a billboard. Has the facts--the “w”s. Lead or Lede
Examples • A 53-year old Westchester man died on Saturday after the motorcycle he was riding struck a deer, the Dutchess County Police said. • Police arrested a New York couple on Tuesday after they allegedly photographed their two young boys posing with guns, authorities say.
Body Contains the rest of the story. Explains the “why” if known States the rest of the facts. Generally one point per paragraph Contains quotes. If there’s controversy, goes back and forth.
Ending or Kicker • Wraps up the story without being repetitive. • May point toward the future • Sometimes witty or cute. • Often a quote—a good quote.
Who: A nunWhat: Arrested by police for driving drunkWhere: Long IslandWhen: SundaySource: witnesses Write a headline and lede with these facts….
Headline: Oh Lord! Cops Pick Up Drunk Nun on Long Island Lede: Police arrested a nun for drunk driving on Long Island on Sunday, witnesses said.
Write a headline and lede • Who: Cheerleader, Cami Collins, 16 • What: used a pistol to shoot a 10-foot long, 350 pound alligator • Where: Miami • When: over the weekend • Why: it attacked her in a swampy area near her high school • Quote: “It was self defense. I did what I had to to save my life.”
Teen Cheerleader Shoots Big Gator A Miami cheerleader killed a 10-foot long alligator after it attacked her over the weekend. Cami Collins, 16, shot the 350-pound gator with a pistol in a swampy area near her high school. “It was self defense,” said Collins. “I did what I had to to save my life.”
Tips for better ledes • Prioritize what’s most important in your story. • Be economical with your language. Edit out extra words. Short, tight, straight to the point is generally best. • Don’t either embellish--or leave out details like the size of the alligator and age of student. • Don’t repeat words unless absolutely necessary; never say them more than twice. (Alligator the first time then gator, for example.)
One more lede • Who: Two bystanders injured • What: student protest turns ugly • Where: at City College • When: yesterday • Why: angry over George Zimmerman verdict • Source: local police • What else: bystanders treated at Harlem Hospital; they are in stable condition
CCNY Demo Takes Violent Turn A student protest over the George Zimmerman verdict at City College turned violent yesterday. Two bystanders were injured and taken to Harlem Hospital. They remain in stable condition, local police said.
News Quiz on Thursday! • 10 questions…top news • As you read and listen to news stories, pay attention to structure. • Inverted pyramid • Who, what, where, when, sometimes why • Headline, lede, body, kicker