Figure 2-8.Diagram of a straight news story.
important incident, fact or detail, then the next
important, and soon, until reaching the least important
of all. At this point, the writer has reached the apex of
the inverted pyramid with material of least value. The
writer now knows that the makeup editor can slice one,
two or three paragraphs from the bottom of his story
without depriving the reader of the storys chief news
elements. Figure 2-8 shows a diagram of a straight news
A FINAL THOUGHT
that had appeared before only the names and places
For several years, there has been a trend among
civilian newspapers toward greater informality in news
presentation. This trend has become known as talking
a story onto paper.
Several years ago, an observant editor noticed that
a reporter would come to the city desk and describe a
story he has covered. The story would sound attractive
as he talked. Then the same writer would go to his desk
and write the piece, pouring facts into the established
newswriting mold. What had been interesting when he
related it verbally then sounded like every other story
Recognizing the value of the reporters
-conversational report of the story, the editor thereafter
encouraged his writers to use a more conversational
tone, coupled with simple language, in all their copy.
The main purpose of any news story is to
communicate the facts. To accomplish this
communication, the story must be read. When an
informal story presented in simple, everyday language
can accomplish this purpose, use it without hesitation.