Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The inverted pyramid:
Over the past few weeks we've learnt that, when writing news articles and other forms of news media - for example a radio broadcast - we must apply the idea of the inverted pyramid, as shown above. As is apparent, the most important information goes at the beginning of each news piece, followed by other slightly less important details, and working its way down in descending order (including relevant quotes from sources) down to general and background information at the bottom. Unless absolutely guaranteed, the word count should not include a conclusion as they generally include vital information and quotes to tie the entire story together.
The inverted pyramid is applied because editors (or 'gatekeepers') may cut off the bottom - or even the majority - of the story depending on time, word capacity, etc, and it is of utmost importance to provide civilians with the most important information right off the bat in order to make for a well informed society.
As someone used to writing fiction, this is pretty heartbreaking for me, as I tend to see the evolution of a story as looking more like a complicated, exhilarating roller coaster than a pyramid, however it is an easy concept to understand the principle and adhere to the standards of when writing news stories.