THE “LEAD” • THIS IS THE FIRST SENTENCE OF A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE IN THE ARTICLE. • ANSWERS WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND HOW • TYPICALLY A LONG SENTENCE
THE “LEAD” • EXAMPLE: It didn’t take long for swine flu to show up at Vista del Lago High School in California’s Sacramento County: About 10 a.m. on Aug. 10, two hours into the first school day, administrators got a call with news that a freshman who had stayed home that morning had a confirmed case.
THE “PYRAMID” • Place the most important facts at the beginning of the broadcast and additional information was mentioned in order of descending importance • This is done because people often don’t read an entire article, and need the important information quickly
QUOTES • “Quotes can be a wonderful tool for a news writer, when used appropriately,” explained longtime journalist Doug Wood-Boyle, who has worked in the field for over a quarter century. • Quotes provide a real-life context to the information in an article.
REVIEW • Have a “lead” • Who, what, where, when, why and how • Use pyramid format • Move from most important information to less important information • Include a quote • Eyewitness accounts and personal opinions add legitimacy to your journalism