News Writing

Inverted Pyramid

  • Order of your story; most important information presented first followed by paragraphs arranged in descending order of importance.
  • It is most important that people get the information rather than read our story.
  • Goal: Get information quickly to the reader
  • Most used form of modern day news writing.
  • All written media uses this


  • Lead: first sentence/ paragraph of a story.
  • A simple, clear statement.
  • What’s the angle? So what? Who cares?
  • Straight news lead, inverted pyramid lead
  • Most common style for news stories
  • Finding the lead:
  • Who, what, when, where, why, how
  • Length: 25–30 words
  • Pg. 114

Other Leads

  • Immediate identification lead emphasizes the “who” of the information: only use if people recognize that person’s name.
  • Delayed- Identification lead: “blind lead”; subject of the story has little name recognition.
  • Lead describe subject
  • 2nd paragraph : ID using name