Writing a Lede

The lede is the most important part of any story. It’s the first graf of a story; and is the determining factor of whether or not a reader will continue reading.

A good lede is engaging and compelling.

A good news lede must:

  • Get to the main point quickly. Attention spans are shorter and shorter. Readers want their news, and they want it now.
  • Be engaging
  • Be 35 words or less. Remember: Concise is nice.

So, what goes in a lede?

Remember the 5 “W’s” and the “H”? (Who, What, Where, When Why and How) Try to hit at least 3 of these in the lede!! But more importantly SO WHAT? You have to get the reader to care, so always answer the question of SO WHAT?

Check out a few (lede)-ing examples.