Quiz for 9/29

Provide short definitions and purposes of the following:

– The lead.

++A lead informs the reader of the most important elements of the story all at once. It usually contains specifics such as the 5 W’s and an H. It tells the reader what happened in a very short, concise chunk of space. The purpose of the lead is to inform the reader of the important details while also hooking the reader, keeping them interested until the end of the story.

– Nut graph or billboard graph.

++This is usually about the 6th paragraph, and it contains the lead. I am really not sure what the purpose is. QUITE FRANKLY, I AM A LITTLE CONFUSED–I THOUGHT THE LEAD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE VERY BEGINNING AND SHORT?

– Delayed lead.

++This lead entices the reader, hinting at its contents, no revealing it all at once. It’s purpose is usually for features.

– Subject-verb-object sentence construction.

++The basic construction of the lead. The internal imperative is to direct the reporter to write with one main clause. It keeps leads short, which is often a readability requirement.

– Multiple element lead.

++I really have no idea what a multiple element lead is. I guess you mean a combo lead? direct and delayed? I’m not exactly sure because it was never explained to me this way. I could guess and say it is blending a direct and delayed..general sentences, then hitting the reader at the end. I AM UNCLEAR ON THIS ONE, TOO.


Choose a recent news event and discuss how coverage of it would have been guided by underlying principles of news value (timeliness, impact, prominence, proximity, conflict, the unusual, currency, necessity).

++In recent news, Pastor Jones, a small town minister with about 30 followers, threaten to burn copies of the Koran if plans to build a mosque near Ground Zer were not scrapped. The Koran is the most religious book of  the Islamic faith. I think this story carried with it a couple of pricnicples of newsworthiness. Mainly, timeliness, impact, proximity and conflict.

Timliness because this story came out right around 9/11, a trageic day in American History. Where Muslims blew up the world trade towers. This story was release because of its emotional proximity to 9/11. It being announced close to 9/11 was timely. It was emotional proximity because this was a very emotional day in American History. It affected alot of people, too.

I also thought there was prominence, because it related to a national news event. Everybody knew about this day, and its emotional baggage carried with it.  It was conflcting because a Christian Pastor is threatening to burn a holy book from another religion. Like he is blaming the entire Islamic faith for 9/11, not just on some crazy, mentally unstable muslims. That is very irrational and generated alot of ocverage.

Impact is influenced by proximity and therefore it impacted the lives of many Americans around the country. In addition, people around the world seem to take offense to the plans this Pastor had. And it got big over Twitter, the news media did not push this. So how can the news media determine if it is newsworthy? They can’t because it had already blown up virally.


Write a short, energetic lead for a story you know well (i.e. 9/11, historic moment, sports event).

+++I am gonna write my lead on Adrian Beltre and his doubles.

++Adrian Beltre, third baseman of the Boston Red Sox cracked his 49th double of the year last night off a fastball by White Sox ace, Edwin Jackson. A free agent at the end of the season, Beltre needs just one more double to join other Red Sox greats with at least 50 doubles in a season. Beltre would become the first Sox player since Dustin Pedroia hit 54 in 2008. .


Critique the story lead below. Explain what reporter may have been seeking to achieve in each of the numbered segments.


The New York Times
Is a football mainly for children? What about a Halloween costume or a model train? (1)

++It is the intro, I don’t really know what else to say. Maybe he was seeking to spark adult interest. It is a very confusing lead. But it seems as though, he is trying to say that adults can have fun too?

None of the above, manufacturers say, as a new federal crackdown on dangerous toys has left some in the industry crying foul and not wanting to play. (2)

++Ok, so he providing an anecdote for a bigger economic issue, such as improper handling of toys deemed unsafe for kids. Are the feds forcing manufacturers’ hands?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been swamped with requests to exempt playthings from the new regulations, put in place after extensive toy recalls several years ago. (3)

++Extensive toy recalls, he is bringing in impact here. Kids can’t play with toys because of new laws prompted by recalls. Requests for exemptions have become excessive, could it threaten the childhood for many children?

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 gave the commission the job of defining a “children’s product” — which includes such things as toys, clothing and household goods — and eventually enforcing the act. But coming up with that definition has become so difficult that the commission has postponed votes three times. (4)

++Postponing the votes for a definition of a children’s product has provoked conflict. Deferral of voting and lack of time spent trying to hammer out a definition. He is informing us of the problem with manufacturing toys these days.

Another vote is scheduled for Wednesday, but it is unclear if the five commissioners — three Democrats and two Republicans — can reach an agreement this time. A spokesman for the commission declined to comment. (5)

++Another vote is coming up. OK, so should the public want an answer to this problem by then? Also, by bringing in the fact that there are three democrats and two republicans, he seems to be implying that the problem is between political parties, rather than the commission’s inability to come up with an acceptable definition. I don’t think it is much of a political problem.

Critics of the crackdown argue that it heaps additional costs on small, American-based businesses that were not responsible for the tainted toys, many of which were made in China for large toy companies. So many manufacturers want out — even if their arguments may leave some children scratching their heads. (6)

++Ok so here we are seeing the conflict escvalate to be representative of small buisnesses vs. large buisnesses. Like an implied threat that small toy manufactures will leave the industry, leaving kids without an variety of toys to play with. The story has a lot of necessity as I feel that this issue will continue to rise if the toy market dries up. What will parents get for their kids?


OPTIONAL QUESTION: You are about to knock on the door of the home of a man killed in an accident at a dangerous intersection. How will you explain why family members should speak with you?

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