Fall SAVY 2017, Day 2- Leads and Angles: Judging Journalism Through Analysis and Perspective (5th/6th)
Thanks again for a great day in Leads and Angles!
Our work today focused on the difference between “hard” leads and “soft” leads; those leads purposed to deliver immediate, hard-hitting breaking news, and those designed to lure a reader into a story that may be more human-interest based. I loved how it was put by one of our students, who said, “Hard leads punch you, and soft leads shake your hand.”
We covered the 5 W’s and the 1 H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How – and we clarified why only four of these questions must be answered by the lead!
We began our list of adjectives, as we attempted to consciously attune to the language we use when relating a story. And we checked in regarding the week’s big stories; it heartens me to know that each of you come to the room with perspectives on and opinions about what transpires in the world.
We put our skills to the test by going over to the Vanderbilt Commons Center to interview subjects about their mornings. After we gathered our information, we practiced writing hard and soft leads about the folks we had encountered. Using these leads, we compared how subtle differences in each lead altered the reader’s perception of the subject. This led us to a discussion of the differences between inferences and assumptions. (Inference is an assumption rooted in logical progression, while an assumption takes information for granted.)
Finally, we took to the daily papers, and examined how article placement and lead construction affected each story and how it was portrayed. We looked at the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today to analyze hard and soft leads and how each paper represented the same story in different lights.
We have a set of hard-hitting journalists in this class, and a collection of responsible news-consumers! I am so excited to continue our work together!
Have a good week,