News Writing (EL 227)


9 Sep 2005

Workbook (Ex 7-1 to 7-10)

Lead.

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I'm having trouble figuring out the "How?" part of the lead questions (the first set, that give you a story and then ask you to identify the answer to each question). It seems to me like several of them don't answer that question -- at least, not according to the way I broke up the leads.

Does anyone have some advice to offer?

Posted by: ChrisU at September 8, 2005 07:30 PM

Do you feel the information the book gives you is enough to determine what the "how" is? Will you have to supply some of your own material to come up with "how"? Or are you being too rigid?

A group of 20 professional journalists will come up with 20 different leads, and 20 editors will change them 20 different ways. Remember, the purpose of the workbook exercises is to get you to think.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 8, 2005 09:35 PM

Well, for instance, look at Ex. 7-1's lead.

"NEW YORK—A scientist dismissed from an Environmental Protection Agency panel on secondhand cigarette smoke after vigorous lobbying by the tobacco industry says he will fight to be reinstated."

The How? question would be answered by how the scientist will fight to be reinstated, I suppose... So I should just decide for myself how he might go about doing that? It's hard to infer, considering that the processes of dismissal and acceptance for the EPA aren't really described.

If I had to take a guess, though, I would say he would probably just petition the group to take him back. Failing that, I guess he might sue the tobacco industry, but that wouldn't really get him his job back.

Posted by: ChrisU at September 8, 2005 10:10 PM

And in a case like that, I'd say that the next paragraph should provide some background on what the panel was and when the ouster took place, the next paragraph would be a quote from the scientist on what his plans are. But since this is a "lead" exercise, you don't need to write the whole article.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 8, 2005 10:16 PM

I went back over the parts that gave me trouble, and I did the best I could -- the How? answers make sense, but I guess they just seem awkward to me.

Thanks for your help, Dr. Jerz.

Posted by: ChrisU at September 8, 2005 10:20 PM

You're welcome.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 8, 2005 11:07 PM
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