Exercise answers

Answers to writing the intro exercise

Here are suggested answers for the intro writing exercise. These are not the only way the intros could have been written from the information you were given. Your intros may be correct even if they differ from ours in some details. Compare your intros with the following suggested answers, to see if you can improve what you have written.

Story 1

A government scientist has produced the biggest pig ever to have been bred in Papua New Guinea.

Notice how we have put a human face on our story by starting with the scientist, even though the most unusual aspect is the pig. We do not give the scientist's name or details of the size of the pig. These can wait until later in the story.

Story 2

More than 30 children escaped serious injury when a school bus crashed in Suva today.

The main point of this story is obviously the children. This intro tells us just enough about what happened to interest our audience, without overloading it with details which can come later. We could have written an intro which said that 30 children were in a bus crash, but that alone would have been unfair to our readers or listeners if we know that they all escaped serious injury. This fact alone is newsworthy.

Story 3

A cleaner at the Nuku'alofa dog pound has been sacked for biting one of the animals in his charge.

This is the classic "man bites dog" story, but that alone would not be enough for the intro. We have included the fact that the cleaner was sacked for biting the dog because that is important human interest - the man is now out of work.

We have written this intro in a serious tone. However, it could also be written in a humorous tone, stressing the strangeness of the event:

A man whose job is caring for animals has been sacked - for biting one of them.

Story 4

A Majuro couple and their three children died when their pick-up collided head-on with a semi-trailer.

There is only one possible angle for this story - the fact that five members of a family have died in a road crash. Notice, though, how we gave this fact more impact by splitting the family into parents and children. The deaths of the children are especially tragic. Notice too that, apart from mentioning where the family came from, there are no other specific details to overload the intro.

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Index of exercises
  1. Writing the intro exercise
  2. Writing the news story exercise
  3. Robbery at Nuriz Pharmacy
Chapters associated with this exercise:
1. What is news?
3. The shape of the news story
4. Writing the intro - simple steps
5. Writing the intro - golden rules

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