THE “INVERTED PYRAMID”Journalistic stories can and do follow numerous formats, but one is basic. It is commonly called the “inverted pyramid” or “summary lead” story because it presents the pertinent facts in the earliest paragraphs. Its popularity and usefulness are evident in that it is used in approximately 90 percent of all news stories. The summary lead is widely used on Radio or television newscasts because it enables the broadcaster to give the fact concisely in the brief time allocated.
The analogy of the “upright” pyramid explains the format. A story or novel follows the format of an upright pyramid, where the base is at the bottom. The reader begins with preliminary or introductory facts, and in the case of a murder mystery, he finds out “who did it” in the last chapter. Invert the pyramid to create news style you learn the identity of the murderer (Presuming its known) in the first paragraph. The reader then continues to the preliminary or introductory facts that developed before the conclusion. The “summary lead” label is also given to the inverted pyramid format because important points in the story are digested or summarized in the first few lines.
To develop the techniques of writing summary or inverted pyramid leads, the journalist can pretend only the few lines which have been allocated for the entire story. Those few lines must summarize the vital points, since the reader will get no additional information. For example, in using the summary format to report a speech, the writer should not waste words on the master of ceremonies, the title of the talk, or the fact that
the speaker began by reviewing generalities. Instead, the reporter digest the startling or unusual remarks and later recapitulates the incidentals surrounding the gathering.
News-Story Pattern :
This triangle shows the basic of news story. First and the most important thing is “Fact” which means that the news should be factual, based on facts, actual happenings, situations, thoughts, occurrences. Otherwise, people will not take interest in it.
Second element is “Interest”. News should be interesting. It is the duty of the reporter to make facts interesting for the audience.
Third is “Audience”, while making a news a reporter should keep in mind that a successful news has the interest of great number of audience.
The importance of news depends upon the audience.
R.E. Wolsely in his book “Exploring Journalism” defines the news story pattern with diagram and calls it “The speed~up”. According to him. news account falls into one of three principal structural forms :
2. Chronological development