Posted by: Caitlin Cavanaugh | September 19, 2010

Are leads more important than headlines?

Another week has ended and I have learned even more about reporting. This week we were asked to attend the Call to Honor and write an article with a deadline of only a few hours. I had never been assigned anything like this before, so when I found myself staring at the clock I knew it was something I would have to get used to.

I noticed a difference in the way I took notes at the Call to Honor compared to the way I took them when Charlie Cook spoke. For one, I knew I would have to write an interesting article on the event and therefore I needed an interesting twist.

I am so glad that we were able to have the deadline as part of the assignment because it forced me to write an interesting article in a short amount of time, it’s a skill that will be have to learned over time though.

Reading Harrower definitely helps when taking notes and writing articles because it gives hints on how to do it effectively. I’m glad we have the Harrower assignments each week because it helps me learn how to become a better reporter.

The further we delve into reporting in this class the more I am able to understand about newspaper articles. As I read leads, headlines, etc. now I am picking up on what works versus what doesn’t.

The more I learn, the more I pick up on, and the more I want to read articles to learn how to write them better. It’s also really exciting to read an article that sounds similar to something I’ve written because it makes me feel like I’m on the right track. This year when I read about news writing I discovered that my favorite part of writing an article is the lead. It’s interesting, short, and can be funny. I like it because it’s clever and draws the reader in, while the rest of the article informs the reader, which I’m not as good at yet.

Although I am hoping that in the future I find writing entire articles as enjoyable as I find writing leads.


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