Analysis: Lead in story about China and Japan's dispute over islands

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By Sarah Barchus

This lead is functional for a hard-news story. It covers the who, what, where, when and why in a concise sentence that gives readers a clear understanding of the story's direction.

The strong, active verbs capture attention and focus the story on the most important element of the lead, in this case the what.

The Central News Network describes the who first in order to create an active voice. The story says "thousands of Chinese protestors." This gives enough detail that the readers can grasp the general idea of the gathering, but doesn't distract them with unnecessarily precise figures.

The what is the action/event (the protest), and the main focus in the lead. CNN says protesters "hurled bottles and eggs." "Hurled" is a fitting verb that has more flavor than "threw." CNN details the types of objects thrown to further enhance the readers' picture of the scene.

CNN provides the where, "outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing," and the when, "Saturday," which allows readers to place the event. These details are clear but not so specific that they slow the story's speed.

Lastly, the lead touches on the why with the segment "amid growing tensions between the two nations over a group of disputed islands." This segment provides context for the protest and allows the writer to add more meat to the article later on by connecting the single event of the protest to the overarching issue of the islands dispute.

1 Comment

Great job on the blog, Sarah. Keep it up.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on September 16, 2012 11:00 AM.

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