Writing (Telling the Story, p. 111)

Inverted Pyramid

  • The order of your story; most important information is presented first, followed by paragraphs arranged in descending order of importance.
  • It is most important that the audience gets the information, not that they read our story.
  • Goal: get information quickly to the reader
  • Most used form of modern-day news writing.
  • All written media uses this.


  • Lead (lede): first sentence/paragraph of a story.
  • A simple, clear statement.
  • What’s the angle? So what? Who cares?

Styles of Leads

  • The Straight News lead: inverted pyramid lead, most common style for news stories
  • The Immediate-Identification lead: emphasizes the “who” of the information; only use if known locally/nationally.
  • Delayed-Identification lead: “blind lead”; subject of the story has little name recognition. Describe subject.

Finding the lead:

  • Who, what, when, where, why, how
  • Length: 25–30 words
  • p. 114
  • Use attribution for unconfirmed accusations.
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