Organizing straight news, inverted pyramid style

  1. Rank and write facts, details and events from the most to least important.
  2. Keep to the 3rd person – with no 1’s, we’s, you’s unless as part of quotes.
  3. Keep lead to about 30 words.
  4. Break up paragraphs with meaningful quotes.
  5. Vary quoted material by presenting it as direct, indirect, and partial quotations.
    Insert factual statements and exposition amid a series of quotes to direct reader to newsworthy points.
  6. On first reference, identify an individual with his or her title and position) and generally write out the full name of an organization.
  7. Identify students by their year and major.
  8. Be aware of time. Start with the most contemporary past, current or future date and work backward.
  9. Put details of greatest importance and interest as near to beginning as possible.
  10. Have more than one source for major stories.
  11. Remember, your reader wants news, not history, opinion, flowery writing or chitchat.
  12. Have a specific order for lists of names’ higher to lesser prizes, seniors to first-years; alphabetical and so on. If extensive, list in a sidebar or separate column with its own heading.
  13. Vary paragraph lengths. Narrow newspaper columns make paragraphs stretch longer than an equal number of words in books (or in a word document).
  14. To pass cutoff test, include brief paragraphs at the end that contain valuable by not essential information.
  15. Be sure to answer all possible questions your readers may have.

18 thoughts on “Organizing straight news, inverted pyramid style


    The event of December 2nd 2014 is still a baffle
    to so many in the city of Lagos Nigeria.
    The invasion of armed robbers in
    broad daylight at ikoyi market’ is
    still a nightmare to so many.

    Guns were directed to commuters,people panting all over till the police came on the scene.There was open fire combat between the police and the armed robbers.

    Two of thieves arrested and within 3hour the market place was restored. No casualties sustained. The armed robbers are soon to face the court of law and if found guilty are to face no less than 30years with hard labor.

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