Writing great ledes

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# Writing great ledes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Writing great ledes. Collect all your facts Sum it up, boil it down Prioritize the five Ws (and an H) Rethink, revise, rewrite Is it clear? Is it active? Is it wordy? Is it compelling? Is it news??????. Arthur Brisbane ( L.D.).

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Presentation Transcript
Writing great ledes
• Sum it up, boil it down
• Prioritize the five Ws (and an H)
• Rethink, revise, rewrite
• Is it clear?
• Is it active?
• Is it wordy?
• Is it compelling?
• Is it news??????
Arthur Brisbane (L.D.)

“If you don’t hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one.”

Don Wycliff (Ph.L)

“I’ve always been a believer that if I’ve got two hours in which to do something, the best investment I can make is to spend the first hour and 45 minutes of it getting a good lead (lede), because after that everything will come easily.”

### Ledes, ledes, ledes

Basic inverted pyramid lede
• This is the one you must master
Basic inverted pyramid lede
• This is the one you must master
• Prioritize the Ws and a H and jam most of them into the first sentence
Basic inverted pyramid lede
• This is the one you must master
• Prioritize the Ws and a H and jam most of them into the first sentence
• Sum it up, boil it down
Basic inverted pyramid lede
• This is the one you must master
• Prioritize the Ws and a H and jam most of them into the first sentence
• Sum it up, boil it down
• Is it clear, active, not wordy, compelling?
Basic inverted pyramid lede
• This is the one you must master
• Prioritize the Ws and a H and jam most of them into the first sentence
• Sum it up, boil it down
• Is it clear, active, not wordy, compelling?
• The essence of journalism: what is the news?
Steve Jobs on newspapers
• The father of creative destruction… iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPads
• In 2006 he predicted that in five years there would be no printed papers
• Challenged older media to adapt to how he thought people would consumer their product… news
• Top use for iPad is news. Steve’s fav app?
Other lede variations
• Delayed identification lede
Other lede variations
• Delayed identification lede
• Lede that withholds a person’s name (or other key W) until the second graph
Other lede variations
• Delayed identification lede
• Lede that withholds a person’s name (or other key W) until the second graph
• Don’t name names in lede unless person is well known (Prominence)
Other lede variations
• Immediate identification lede
Other lede variations
• Immediate identification lede
• Use only when somebody really important says or does something
Other lede variations
• Anecdotal/narrative ledes
Other lede variations
• Anecdotal/narrative ledes
• A mini story to illustrate your bigger story
Other lede variations
• Anecdotal/narrative ledes
• A mini story to illustrate your bigger story
• Save for longer stories, feature news, softer news
Other lede variations
• Anecdotal/narrative ledes
• A mini story to illustrate your bigger story
• Save for longer stories, feature news, softer news
• Wall Street Journal loves this style
Other lede variations
• Scene-setter: “It was a dark and stormy night...”
Other lede variations
• Scene-setter: “It was a dark and stormy night...”
Other lede variations
• Scene-setter: “It was a dark and stormy night...”
• Startling statement: “One in three LAF students will drop their iPhones in a smoothie this year...”
Ledes to avoid
• Topic lede: “The City Commission met Tuesday to discuss tax increases.”
Ledes to avoid
• Topic lede: “The City Commission met Tuesday to discuss tax increases.”
• Question lede: “Will the Florida Gators come out of their funk in time to earn a bowl bid?”
Ledes to avoid
• Topic lede: “The City Commission met Tuesday to discuss tax increases.”
• Question lede: “Will the Florida Gators come out of their funk in time to earn a bowl bid?”
• Quote lede: “Journalism is the best class ever,” said Buoy M. I. Smart.
• Its used to let readers know where the story is originating
• It’s used to let readers who where the story is originating
• Style is:

SARASOTA, Fla. --

• It’s used to let readers who where the story is originating
• Style is:

SARASOTA, Fla. –

No need to add state with big cities such as Chicago, San Francisco or Miami