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Analysis: Leads

The news lead on a Reuters story reads: "HOUSTON (Reuters) - Texas mounted its biggest ever rescue effort as search teams searched through debris and flooded homes on Sunday after Hurricane Ike cut a swathe of destruction and left millions without power."

The lead covers most of the basic Ws. It tells readers what happened (Hurricane Ike hit Houston), when it happened (Sunday), and where it happened (Houston, Texas). The "who" is unclear, as the lead does not focus on exactly who did the rescuing or the specific numbers of those rescued. Instead, it is more general, simply referring to those involved as "search teams" and "millions [of people]."

It is a typical news lead because it covers the basic elements of the story. Readers get the overall account in one sentence, with numbers and other specifics later in the report.