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I’ve already talked about the basics of writing a lead, and the idea that it should summarize the main points of the story using the 5W’s and the H. But experienced reporters know there’s another important element to writing a lead – grabbing the reader’s attention. After all, journalists are writing to be read, and with the lead they have one chance to convince the news consumer to dive into their story. To do this you must figure out which element of a story is most newsworthy and interesting, and make that that the focus of your lead. Start by looking at the 5W’s andRead More →

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If you are taking your first journalism class, you’ve probably discovered that newswriting is very different from other kinds of writing. But don’t be intimidated. The newswriting format is very straightforward and you should be able to master it without too much difficulty. Newswriting is based on the idea that readers have limited time and attention spans, which means you want to put the most important information in your story at the very top, or beginning, of the story. Then, as you go from the beginning to the end of your story, the information presented should be of gradually lesser importance. This is known asRead More →