News Worksheet 8C: Writing a Lead for a Politics Story

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Write a lead based on the following set of facts:

Who?         New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

What?        said he likely will seek to pass a ban on smoking at city parks and beaches

Where?      not clear

When?       Tuesday

Why?         Mr. Bloomberg said the ban made sense because it would cut the health risks of secondhand smoke and reduce littering by smokers. “We’re talking about banning smoking on beaches and in parks, and it’s partially because you can breathe the air,” Mr. Bloomberg said when he was asked about a ban. “It’s in the open air, but the air wafts in your direction. But it is also because people take their cigarette butts and the packages and just throw them away. … When you ask people in our parks and beaches … they say they just don’t want smokers there.”

How?         The mayor reportedly had been surprised and unprepared when the city’s health commissioner had first proposed the idea.









EVALUATE your lead by answering the following questions:


  • Are the 5 W’s and H stacked most important to least?
  • Is the lede free of unattributed opinion?
  • 30 words or less?
  • Active voice?
  • Free of unfamiliar proper nouns?