Writing the intro exercise

For each of the following stories, decide what is the most important key point or points and then write the intro for the news story. Assume that all these events happened within the area served by your newspaper, radio or television station.

Although there is no single right answer, we provide a link to suggested intros for these stories to check after you have done the exercise.

Story 1

Dr Michael Kai is a scientist with the Papua New Guinea Department of Primary Industry. He has been working for ten years on a project to breed larger pigs. One of his pigs, an adult male, has been weighed at 350 kgs. This is the heaviest pig ever to have been bred in Papua New Guinea. Mr Kai hopes to use this animal to breed other very large pigs.

Story 2

A school bus ran off City Road in Suva, narrowly missed an electricity pole and came to rest in a garden. Most of the bus windows were smashed. There were more than 30 children on the bus. They were going to Martyr School. It was a 36-seater bus. All the children escaped serious injury. Some of them jumped out of the bus and grazed themselves. Eye-witnesses said the children were helped from the bus screaming and shouting and in a state of panic. This happened this morning.

Story 3

In July last year, Mr Sione Tuanuku went to work for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Nuku`alofa, cleaning out the dog pound and caring for the dogs. Yesterday he was sacked by the manager of the dog pound, Mrs Anita Chan. She said that he had mistreated one of the dogs.

Mr Tuanuku said: "The dogs always barked at me and sometimes they tried to bite me. I didn't like it. Yesterday I got fed up with one dog that tried to bite me, so I bit the dog in the leg to teach it a lesson. Now I have been dismissed from my job."

Story 4

Mr John Erikub and his wife, Laura, were driving to their home in Majuro yesterday afternoon, after shopping in Uliga. Mr and Mrs Erikub were in the front of their Toyota pick-up. Their three children were travelling in the back - Paul, aged nine; Rachel, aged seven; and Miriam, aged three.

Driving past the cemetery, they met a truck travelling in the opposite direction. This was a semi-trailer belonging to Pacific Earthmoving Inc, carrying a 12-ton bulldozer. The truck was driven by Mr Lewis Kili, who comes from Jaluit Atoll. The pick-up ran out of control and collided head-on with the semi-trailer.

Police and ambulance were sent for. Mr and Mrs Erikub and their two elder children died instantly. Miriam was taken to hospital with serious injuries and died later. The pick-up was a write-off. The semi-trailer suffered only minor damage. Mr Kili was also taken to hospital and treated for shock, but was later allowed home.

Police have interviewed Mr Kili. They say they are unlikely to charge him with any offence.

You can find suggested answers here:

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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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