A daily reading of at least one newspaper is essential to being well-informed on the events of the day. Getting the most out of a newspaper requires a little understanding of how it is put together. Whether it’s on paper or online, journalistic writing is structured to present the reader with the essential facts of a story as efficiently as possible. One way to do this is with headlines. Scanning the headlines will help prioritize which stories to go back to for an in-depth reading.
For the body of the story, an “inverted pyramid” model is used to describe the flow of information. Put the most important facts first, beginning with the “lead sentence.” A good lead sentence will include some or all of five basic facts, the “the 5 W’s,” who, what, when, where and why. Other pertinent information is written in descending order of importance. Once the reader learns what “the 5 W’s” are, the rest of the story is just supporting information. The entire story needn’t be read to get the gist of it. Knowing this helps the reader cover more material, getting the basic facts for a greater number of stories in the shortest amount of time.