By Lauren Regnier
The story about the death of a nine year-old boy in the Star Tribune is a perfect depiction of what a hard-news lead should look like.
It answers the questions who, what, where, when, and why without being too specific. In other words, the reader can get the full gist of the story just by reading the first sentence.
It generates proximity because it was the death of a boy from St. Paul and timeliness because it happened just this morning.
The most detailed information given in the lead is who it's about. This is most likely because it pertains to the death of a child that lives in the community.
The lead describes what happened in a general way and leaves more specific details for both why and how it happened in the second and later paragraphs.
It's the same situation with when it happened. The lead gives the reader a general idea when it happened, early Saturday morning, but the second paragraph takes it step further, stating the actual time the accident took place.