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Tag: ledes

Thoughts on writing the lede

Thousands, no, tens of thousands of words have been written about how to write a news lede (or lead, or leed). Whole forests have been felled. So rather than recap a lot of that same information, let me suggest you get the basics by visiting some of the sites linked to in the lede sentence of this post, and instead I will just offer a few supplemental thoughts of my own. If you haven’t already, go read my previous post on the use of tense in ledes. Likewise, my post on names in ledes. Now, in addition: A lede should always feature the ‘grabbiest’ element...

Names in ledes: Famous, or not so much?

Editing stories from wire services and other outside sources often means ‘translating’ the item from the audience it was written for (Cleveland general audience, members of the military, Italians, etc.) to our particular niche audience, the LGBT community. I’ve already mentioned a few cases where I had to learn about other systems of government, or phraseology, or currency. Another translation issue that frequently crops up writing ledes is ‘to proper noun, or not to proper noun.’ In general, you should only include the name of someone or something in the lede if it is a household name to your audience. Otherwise, it’s usually best to...

I’m a little tense about that lede

Because the lede to a broadcast story (or any news story, for that matter) must hook the audience immediately, it needs immediacy. In print and sometimes in broadcast feature stories, it’s possible to, as we say, ‘delay the lede,’ putting a grabby bit of character or narrative right up front. In that case, the what’s-new, who-what-when-where-why-how part of the story (called the ‘nut graf’ — really!) comes later in the prose. But on my side of the street, where we do only spot news, the ‘nut’ must always come first. That is, spot news always ledes with the most interesting, compelling way of expressing what’s...