Vice-president Hu Jintao made a televised speech on China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday condemning the US-led NATO attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade (Xinhua).
7 types of lead (p35-40)
Summary lead 概括性导语
Narrative lead 叙述式导语
Streamlined lead 简明扼要型导语
Contradicting lead 反差导语
Descriptive lead 描写式导语
Quotative lead 引语式导语
Questionary lead 设问式导语
Tips for writing a lead
1) A lead should contain the essence of the story.
2) A lead should begin with the most important elements of information. The readers should be able to obtain the essence of the story after reading the first half of the lead.
Before: A van collided with a truck last night at the intersection of Road 203 and Yanshan Street, killing two people and injured three.
After: Two people were killed and three injured as a van collided with a truck last night at the intersection of Road 203 and Yanshan Street.
3) A lead writer should use active voice if possible.
Before: A power outage last night was caused by a fuse blowout in Dormitory No. 12.
After: A power outage last night angered dozens of students in Dormitory No. 12 who lost files in their computers.
4) A lead should be positive. A lead beginning with “No changes” or “Nothing has changed” may be interpreted as meaning nothing worth reading about.
5) A lead writer should try to place the time element before or after the verb.
e.g. (×) A power outage angered dozens of students in Dormitory No. 12 who lost files in their computers last night.
6) A lead writer should try not to overwhelm the reader with too much detail.
7) A lead writer should always avoid editorializing and always indicate the source of information.
As a reporter, your job is to share information and let the readers make their own judgments. So, state facts only, and weed out anything indicative of your own opinion. If you are really dying to express your own opinion, write a separate editorial.
8) A lead should avoid mentioning names unfamiliar to the reader.
Usually the name is introduced in the second paragraph of the story when the readers are better prepared and start to wonder who that person is.
A maintenance worker plunged 20 floors down an elevator shaft Friday and suffered only a fractured ankle and hand cuts.
Glen Roberts, 39, of suburban Warren, was helping install an elevator at an apartment building under construction when he apparently slipped.
A: delayed-identification lead
Reporters use this kind of lead in most cases when the person involved has little name recognition, the who is not critically important.
B: immediate-identification lead
Reporters use this kind of lead when the who is someone important or someone whose name is widely recognized.
9) A lead should avoid abstract words and use vivid, concrete words that enable the reader to visualize the scene.
Before: The anxiety and excitement of students and parents overwhelmed the bank clerks on campus, only to be worsened after the collapse of all the ATM machines.
After: Long lines of students and parents waiting to apply for credit cards, plus those wanting to withdraw cash after all the ATM machines broke down, forced the bank clerks on campus to work overtime yesterday.
10) A reporter may choose to begin a lead with what is directly related to people’s everyday life.
Rules are made to be broken – as long as you have good reasons.
Beginning this semester, students getting up late in the morning do not have to miss their breakfast: they can have the meal in their rooms.
The dinning halls have now begun a new service of letting students order their breakfast and delivering it to their dormitories.