Newspaper Writing Help

Compare leads of the news stories about Syrian issuespublished on the front pages of MAJOR NEWSPAPERS in 2013 and critique the leads.


You will need to analyze the leads from at least 5 newspapers. Major newspaper means professional elite papers such as New York Times, Washington Post, AJC or Wall Street Journal. 


Please follow these instructions:


1.     Find a focus sentence (nut graph).


2.     Identify whether the lead is a hard-news lead or soft-lead. And further identify what kind of lead was used by the journalists. We learned there are summary leads, updated leads and descriptive leads, etc., depending on whether the lead is hard or soft.


3.     If the lead is a hard-news lead, change it into a soft lead.  In the case of a soft-lead, change it into a hard-news lead.


4.     Add your opinion about the five leads.

Now, let’s assume you are an editor of a newspaper. Based on the contents we covered in class, evaluate the leads. You need to decide whether to keep the leads written by the journalists without change or to make modifications or, in some cases, to write a totally new lead. If you decide you cannot use the leads for publication, suggest alternative leads. Of course, you must explain to the journalists why you want to make the changes.


Attach original copies of the articles with citations (date and publication name).  You can copy the original paper or printout articles from the web version of the article.   

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