By Alexa Ball
The following analysis is on Washington state legislature votes to approve same-sex marriage by Tom Watkins, CNN.
The progression of information in the CNN Feb. 9 report on Washington lawmakers voting to legalize same-sex marriage in the state is structured in an inverted pyramid fashion like many breaking news stories.
The report begins with a lead, summarizing the most important facts from the news that is being covered. It gives a general description of how lawmakers have voted to pass a same-sex marriage bill in Washington State. The opening also gives us some information about how many other states that have adopted this law.
The second paragraph in the report is a long quote by the Governor of Washington. The quote from the Governor states the reasons why they should have the law. This is followed by a one sentence paragraph that states when the law would go into effect. The following paragraph gives details on what the exact votes from the House and Senate were.
Next we are given another quote, this time it is from a state representative. He gives his opinion about domestic partnership versus marriage and tells how he and his partner are thankful.
After this a quote from a State Representative who opposes the same-sex law going into place is given.
This is then followed by multiple paragraphs of people and organizations and their explanations for why the law should or should not be passed. Facts are given about other states, and battles involving the fight for same-sex marriage rights are discussed.
Again, the reporter organized this information in an inverted pyramid style. He chose to give the main and most important facts first off and follow with details and opinions later. I believe he did this because using the inverted pyramid is one of the most effective ways to get the news to the reader. All the facts are given right away, you know what the story is about and you know the news first off as the reader. The reporter probably did this because it is traditionally how hard news stories are written.
I think using the inverted pyramid method is very effective. It gives the reader the information they want to know right away, and gives you all of the details later. All of the necessary information is still given in the report. As the reader you are not obligated to find out all of the information if you do not want to either when reading a news story in this style. You can read the first sentence or two and know the basis of what happened.
Using the inverted pyramid is also easy to digest. It isn't confusing because the main points are given right away and then you peel away at them through the rest of the story.
Yes of course the story could have been written in many different ways. The reporter could have used a chronological order or started off with an emotional appeal or attention grabber to draw you in. For hard and brand new news like this topic, I feel that it is best to stick with the inverted pyramid style the writer chose.