Analysis: How News Lead works in story about Oakdale Deaths

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by Sarah See

The news lead in a story by the Star Tribune about three people found dead in an Oakdale home was a straightforward hard-news lead.

The news elements that were in the lead were who, what, where, and when.

The reporter, Pat Pheifer, began with the most important information first and said what happened.

Pheifer also focused on the main news value and presented only the facts.

The girl and the three people found dead were detailed to an extent because the story said she was 6 years old, and two of the three dead were adult females, and one was an adult male.

The time was more general because the story said the incident occurred on Thursday afternoon, but it did not yet indicate the specific hour and minute in the lead.

The location was also general because the story said the scene of the incident was in an Oakdale home, but it, too, did not yet indicate the numbered address or street of the house in the lead.

The news lead adhered to the structure of the inverted pyramid in news writing and reporting and worked in the story to reflect the main event of the story.

It highlighted the news value by being general and specific enough to tell the story because the most important feature of the story was found and summarized.

Moreover, detail that was not critical was eliminated from the lead and put instead in the following paragraphs.

1 Comment

You are doing a very nice job on the news blog, Sarah. Keep it up.

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This page contains a single entry by seexx021 published on September 18, 2011 6:59 PM.

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