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Journalism Contact Info

Journalism Director:
Jeanne Acton

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Department Phone:

Department Fax:

State Champions

News Questions and Leads

  •  The "who" lead - If the "who" is a person (place or thing) well known, it is usually the feature of the lead. The name alone attracts attention. Unless one of the other elements is particularly outstanding, the "big name" comes first.

Coach Bubba Steroid, who led Pine Valley to four consecutive district football championships, announced his retirement in order to sell used cars door to door.

  • The "what" lead - Refers to the happening or occurrence that makes an item worth reporting. The what might be the election of a public official, an automobile accident, a crime or the announcement of a decision or survey.

The Pine Valley School Board voted to suspend popular coach Bubba Steroid after he was caught last week trying to sell whole-life insurance and used cars to fourth graders.

  • The "where" lead - On rare occasions, the "where" is significant enough to overshadow the other W's. For example:

In the living room of his mobile home, Principal Seymour Skinner stood in front of his prized velvet painting of Elvis Presley and renewed his recommendation that courses in the study of "the King" be required in order to graduate from Pine Valley schools.

  • The "when" lead - Rarely is the time of an event the most interesting feature. However, circumstances may make it significant. For instance:

When football coaches gather to talk about the team these days, their cocktail of choice may be Maalox. As they debates how to fire up a team that hasn't won a game in three years, one outcome is virtually certain: something good better happen quickly or they'll all be looking for new jobs next year.

  • The "why" lead - The motive or cause of an event sometimes is the most important feature. Musician Shawn Phillips may not have had high school journalism in mind when he said, "Whether you're 14 or 114, one always needs to question the 'why' and the 'how' because otherwise you have died inside" but it makes a lot of sense.

In an effort to teach Shakespeare to sophomores, English teacher Gina Hatley and science teacher Phil Barnes reenacted the love scene between Romeo and Juliet. "It's the only thing I thought they'd understand," Ms. Hatley said.

  • The "how" lead - The method by which something is accomplished.

By flunking every course, missing 62 days of class and assaulting two teachers, Junior Snively gravely endangered his eligibility for high school basketball.

By Bobby Hawthorne
Former Director, Interscholastic League Press Conference
Please see that Bobby Hawthorne and the ILPC are appropriately credited.