Tashe's Blog

TOW 8: A Chemist in the Lead Lab
March 4, 2010, 4:23 am
Filed under: PRCA 3330 TOW

I took the NewsU course The Lead Lab and I can’t tell you how much it helped me. The Lead Lab was an interactive course to teach and help your practice writing leads. The lead is the most important part of a news release or a news article because it answers the five W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why and how). This is what readers read first and this can decide whether they continue to read the rest of the article.

I learned that you should make your lead exciting and enticing yet not too gaudy or untrue. I learned about the different myths that people believe about leads. For example, leads should not be started with a quote is a myth. I was shocked to find this out because I have always learned that the lead is supposed to answer the five W’s and H so I did not think that a quote followed those rules. Another myth is that leads should never be more than three or four lines long. If you follow this myth then you may one day cheat your readers of a very interesting detailed lead. Sometimes you have to write a longer lead to make your point.

I also learned the different types of leads: direct leads and delayed leads. Direct leads tell you information about the news and delayed news tells you a story.  I enjoyed the part of the lead lab that taught you how to write a better lead. There were very helpful tips.

 A good tip that the Lead Lab gave was to find the tension in your lead. Tension is when two forces compete with each other (not against).  Another tip from the Lead Lab is that a good lead provokes a question.

I recommend this course to anyone who is having difficulty writing leads.

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