How to Write a News Lead

Getting readers hooked on to a news story is the whole point of writing a news lead. Not all people have the skillset required to do so and it takes a lot of time and practice to perfect the art. Before the turn of the century, news leads were mainly for newspapers, and are still very important despite the entire shift of the niche from paper to internet.

Writing a solid news lead is crucial in making it stand out from others, prompting the readers to go through the entire article or piece.


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    Source Material

    In order to write a news lead, it is important to collect all the source material. This means having the right data at your fingertips so that everything can be verified. Facts are necessary because news cannot be made up, something which can become a major liability for whoever is publishing it. Keeping your reputation intact is  the key -  highly important for anyone in the field of journalism.

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    5 W’s

    Each and every lead should always answer the 5 w’s. These w’s are who, what, where, when and why. This is a the gateway to the entire story and will give the reader a summary of what they can expect as they continue reading on. It will also give them a reason to search ahead, discover the details of the story and fulfill that need.

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    Everything you write in the lead and a news piece should be in a coherent flow. A good flow of ideas will keep the reader attached and not have them looking around to where the head and feet of the story are.

    Using short and to the point sentences is highly important in journalism, along with keeping English at its elegant best, yet basic enough for all type of people.

  • 4


    After you have written the news lead, it is important to review it. This can mean the difference between pulling out minor spelling mistakes at the right time or having to reformat the entire story as a whole later.

    Not going over your work could result in a lot of problems which could have been caught, but were simply allowed to go through out of sheer laziness.

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