Types of Leads in News Writing (Various Patterns)
Summary/digest/Straight Leads It brings the central issue of discussions at first. It tells readers what they want to know in a creative manner If the reader only read the lead, he or she would have a solid grasp of the story. Example: Twelve persons were killed & at least 50 injured and hospitalized when a bus and car smashed into each other. “ bus got fire and collided with the car which resulted into this accident.‟ This mishap took place near gurgaon in the morning.
Question Lead Use when story has direct relevance or public interest to reader. Many editors dislike question lead on the basis that people read newspapers to get answers, and not to be asked questions if the question is provocative, it may be used as a lead. Example: What is the first thing that a woman buys when she is advised that she won $2,50,000 in a jingle contest? Mrs. Jane Roe, informed by XYZ Soaps that her entry took top prize in the nationwide contest, said that she will buy a rhyming dictionary that .
Punch, Capsule or Cartridge lead Short & punchy to attract the readers. Blunt, explosive statement to summarize article. Example: President Pratibha Patils foreign visits have cost the public exchequer Rs. 205 crore, surpassing the record of all her predecessors. Since assuming office as the countrys first woman President in July 2007, Ms. Patil has undertaken 12 trips covering 22 countries across four continents. She has four more months to go in her five- year tenure and a trip to South Africa is said to be on the anvil. (punch lead) Caught in a controversy over the Presidents travel expenses amounting to over Rs 200 crore, Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson on Tuesday said that comparisons of the number of foreign visits by various Presidents was misleading. President Pratibha Patils office also said that the visits were necessary to deepen bilateral cooperation.(Summary Lead)
Statement or Direct Quotation This lead can be extremely effective if quote is good and important. Then, paragraphs is used to explain the quote. This is lead is generally used in speech reporting.Example: “I will start looking for a secular state in India from Kashmir to Kerala excluding Tamil Nadu for me to reside and work. If am not able to find such a place in the country then I would seek a country that does entertain an artist like me. I could leave the country like MF Hussain, ”. Said the actor speaking to the press. Indias one of the finest actor and film maker, Kamal Hassan is disappointed. Lot of drama has been happening from few days and his latest movie Vishwaroopam is not yet released in Tamil Nadu.
Contrast lead Grabbing reader‟s attention by comparing extremes- the big with little, comedy with tragedy, old age with youth, past with the present and so on.Examples: A private is having funds in crores and international facilities where a municipal school is lacking in its basic need of teachers. The XYZ public school management has agreed that they have 28,00,000 is too high.(now, rest of the story will tell how the situation is there)Similarly, corruption in politics could be one reason.
Direct-Address or Direct-AppealLead This lead directly speaks to the reader. It addresses the reader directly as „you‟. It enhances the interest of the reader as it directly talk with them.Examples: You might not get relief from breezy wind as meteorological department said the weather are going to be same for next 15 days more. If you are one of 30 million Americans working for a company with a private pension plan, Congress has given you a new bill of rights. It is the Employment Retirement Income Security Act and it promises that if you have worked long enough to earn a pension, you will receive one at retirement age. Nothing -- including bankruptcy, plant closings, dismissal or resignation -- can stand in the way.
Descriptive Lead A descriptive lead describes how an event happened rather than simply telling what the event is about. Writer try to paint the event/place/person through words. This lead can help in creating mood of the story. Allahabad: At the Kanchi Shankaracharyas camp, a 24-hour mantra jaap (chanting of hyms) echoes across sector 6 of the 70-sq km large kumbh city. Adjacent to the Kanchi Peeth camp, the SGPC team at the kumbh prepares for the afternoon langar (community lunch). Hundreds of pilgrims, visitors and homeless at the kumbh have already queued up for the lunch. Across the road, the gate of new age dharma guru Asaram Bapus enclosure dwarfs the rest. Its gaudy like a poor commercial. Similar
Parody lead This lead attempts to play on proverb, quotation, song titles or phrase. Example: „Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar‟ Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi has won a convincing victory to secure a fourth successive term as chief minister of Indias Gujarat state. With all the votes counted, Modis Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 115 seats in the 182- seat assembly, the Election Commission says.
Historical or literary-Allusion Lead This lead draws attention on some characters or event in history or literature that is familiar to average readers. The religious books and literary works are used as reference points by writers.Example: Lastly, Nirbhaya died after 15 days struggle. She fought for the life like Jhansi ki Rani, But her life ended as the infection of body could stopped, said Doctor team member.
Staccato Lead Jerky, exciting phrases used if facts justify it. Short, clipped words, phrases and sentences, sometime separated with dashes and dots. To create certain mood in the story, often this is descriptive in nature. Example: “Midnight on the bridge…a scream…a shot…a splash…a second shot…a third shot.” Rohit has less learning ability. Rohit has severe problem in speech. Rohit is a autistic. But still he manages like a normal child.(rest of the story)
Suspended Interest/DelayedLead This lead work as a stimulators of interest among readers. After the lead, story runs in chronological order, so reader has to read the whole story to get the climax. The reader must get the story by reading to the end of the story.Example:Fourteen-year-old Akbars appeal to the judge to let him remain with his Hindu guardian instead of transferring him to his Muslim mother has shot Aiku Lal Sandil to national headlines. However, for the tea vendor from Baradari, Lucknow, taking in Akbar wasnt something he thought twice about. Having been raised by a Muslim man himself, Sandil couldnt just look away when he found the six-year-old lost boy in a Lucknow park eight years ago. (rest the story)
Circumstantial Lead This lead stress on the circumstances under which the incident took place. Generally, used in Human Interest Story.Example: An 60-year old retired bank employee raised his voice when 2 unidentified persons entered in his house for robbery in Shakarpur area. Fortunately, a police van was standing nearby. They reached at the spot and rescued the women.
Oddity or Freak Lead Begin with uncommon or odd statement. Unusual approach to attract the readers.Example: “„For sale: one elephant.‟ The City Park Commission is thinking about inserting that ad in the newspaper.”Wanted: Supporters from among the opposition parties who can vote for the NDA govt. to save it from a possible defeat in coming election in Uttar Pradesh.
Narrative or Sequence Lead This lead starts at the middle of an event. It carries the reader through the event and give a surprising twist at the end of the story.Example: He paused for a second to gaze upon it. Then slowly he reached down and laid his hand upon it feeling the skin. He turned aside and carefully selected the knife. Sweating now, he lifted it up and then, suddenly brought it down. Red, Red it was red everywhere.„Cut‟ shouted the director. Thus ended the first shot of Sanjeev Kumar. Three retakes later and it was done. And what followed is history.
Bullet Lead In this lead, short sentence or phrase is used in a straight forward manner. This is used in a important news. Since this lead hits the readers like a bullet.Example:Mahatma is no more.Indira Gandhi is shot dead.
Funny or Gag Lead This lead is written in funny way. This is written on rare basis depending upon the story. Generally, used in a feature.
Blind identification Lead If the person concerned is not well known in the community, his/her name is less important than other salient facts that identify the person. Example: 1)"a 80-year-old woman" instead of her name. 2)A police inspectors son was attacked with a knife by some miscreants on Mount Road this evening. The victim Pratap Daniel, 20, has been admitted to a private hospital and his condition is critical.