by Sarah Harper
The progression of information in The Associated Press' news story "Occupy Wall Street Protesters March Against NYPD" is simple and straightforward.
The reporter's lead truly tells the whole story. The important action is recounted here.
The second paragraph refreshes the reader with what is essentially the same information. More details, including a proper name and a specific location are given.
The third paragraph provides more context and answers the "Why?" question.
The remaining paragraphs continue to give background information, context, and tangentially related information.
The reporter summarized the important elements in the first and second paragraphs. The rest were somewhat less important, but the way they were organized is logical and easy to follow. It makes sense to follow up the paragraph about criticisms of officers with a paragraph about criticisms of the media because they both describe the protesters' conflicts.
An interesting feature of the progression is the arrangement of the final three paragraphs. The reporter waited until the last paragraph to include information that Friday's march was peaceful and that there were no arrests. The paragraphs leading up to this revelation include reports of strife and dramatic conflict between police officers and protesters.
If the final paragraph preceded the paragraphs describing the conflict, it would have changed the way the conflict was interpreted. If a reader knows that Friday's march was peaceful, they might dismiss the conflict between protesters and the media and police as unimportant. By saving the peaceful news for the end, the reporter forced readers to care about the conflict.