News Worksheet 7: Identifying 5 Ws and the H in Leads

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Analyze the following leads from The New York Times to understand how journalists use who, what, where, when, why and how to in building their leads. Not all elements may be present in every lead.

 

Example: Several dozen people were injured on Saturday in a crash involving two San Francisco light-rail trains at the West Portal Station, the authorities said.

 

                  Who?         Several dozen people

                  What?        were injured … in a crash involving two San Francisco

                                    light-rail trains

                  Where?      at the West Portal Station

                  When?       on Saturday

                  Why?         not apparent

                  How?        not apparent

 

A.  Federal transportation safety officials are investigating an incident involving a United Airlines flight on its way from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles that was forced to land in Denver on Tuesday because of turbulence. (July 22, 2010)

 

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

How?


B. B.  Fears that a fire had erupted inside the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday led several hundred visitors to flee its crown, observation deck, pedestal and base, officials said. (July 21, 2010)

Who? (The grammatical subject of the sentence – even if it’s not a person)

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

How?


 

C.  C.  The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States. (July 3, 2010)

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

How?

 


D.  D.  A proposal to create four large-scale marijuana factories in Oakland has touched off a turf war in the lucrative market for medicinal marijuana. (July 18, 2010)

Who? (The grammatical subject of the sentence – even if it’s not a person)

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

How?



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