Saturday, November 06, 2004

News Reporting: The Inverted Pyramid

News Reporting
Anyone who reads newspaper would know how hard news is written. The intro or lead paragraph always starts off with a summary of the whole news story, answering at least three of five Ws and a H on what, who, where, when, why, and how. The subsequent paragraphs expand on the summary and provide details of the news starting with the important at the top and the less important at the bottom. This is called the inverted pyramid.

Writing hard news is very different from writing features because it does not contain content of ideologies, anecdotes, or thoughts. It is not an editorial of opinions. It is all about facts.

The purpose of the inverted pyramid style of writing primarily serves the audiences and editors in the ways they read and edit articles. For the journalist, this method of writing reduces the time in processing thoughts and planning of how a story needs to be written. To the editors and gatekeepers, it allows a quick cut-off of content at the lower end of the story to fit the availability of space for print. To the readers, it allows quick content reading at a glance, with the gist of the story starting right from the beginning of the story, allowing them to move on to the next story even before the article is fully read.

For easier visualisation of how hard news is written, read my article on a court judgement at

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