Chapter 4: Download PDF

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Instructors:
Chapter 4
 

HOW DO YOU TELL A BASIC NEWS STORY?

 

Activities

Test questions & PDF

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In addition to the Chapter 4 synopsis and activiites, the PDF download includes the following quiz and exam questions and answers.

 

Quiz/exam questions bank

 

True/False instructions:  Please circle the correct answer.

 

1.  A lead (or lede) is typically the first paragraph of a news story.  (True or False)  Answer: True

 

2.  To avoid confusing audiences on multiple platforms, it’s best to tell most news stories in chronological order.  (True or False)  Answer: False

 

3.  A news lead should always include the full names of anyone to whom it refers.  (True or False)  Answer: False

 

4.  The most important part of a news story is its carefully crafted conclusion, which summarizes everything that has been in the story.  (True or False)  Answer: False

 

5.  A folo is a journalist whose main job is following a particularly important person, such as the president or other especially well-known politician or celebrity.  (True or False)  Answer: False

 

Multiple choice instructions:  Please circle the correct answer.

 

6.  Which of the following best describes journalism’s inverted pyramid?  Answer: D

a.  A story that is top-heavy with celebrity gossip.

b.  A story that begins with a few paragraphs of a well-told anecdote or description that lead up to the new or most important information in the story.

c.  A story that deals with the Egyptian coup.

d.  A story that starts with the newest or most important information and delivers the rest in descending order of importance.

 

7.  Which of the following best defines literary journalism?  Answer: B

a.  Journalism that is literally true, as opposed to figuratively or metaphorically true.

b.  Writing that blurs the traditional boundaries between fiction and journalism. 

c.  Journalism that always includes explicit references to literary figures.

d.  All of the above.

 

8.  A basic news lead usually does which of the following:  Answer: D

a.  Answers the basic questions:  who, what, where and when—and sometimes how and why.

b.  Is brief and to the point.

c.  Gets to the most important information right away.

d.  All of the above.

 

9.  Which of the following best describes how broadcast leads differ from print leads?  Answer: D

a.  A broadcast lead is more likely to include a throwaway line, one that announces the main topic for listeners who may be engaged in some other activity.

b.  A broadcast lead is more likely to be written in the present tense.

c.  A broadcast lead is more likely to use a conversational tone.

d.  All of the above.

 

10.  Which of the following is an example of the basic subject-verb-object sentence structure?  Answer: A

a.  A major earthquake struck Southern California.

b.  In Southern California, a major city was struck by an earthquake.

c.  Because scientists are yet to release a statement, there is no official confirmation of the size of the earthquake that hit Southern California.

d.  The governor says that, thanks to the many citizens who texted information to Sacramento, relief efforts have gotten underway much sooner than ever before.

 

Short answer instructions:  In three or four sentences, please answer the following questions.

 

11.  Describe three qualities of a lead in a news story.

 

Answer:  Students should include three of the following:

 

  • It answers the basic questions of who, what, when and where. If the most important

  • information centers on how or why, these may also be answered in the lead.

  • It is usually one sentence long.

  • It is brief and to the point, fewer than 35 words.

  • It gets to the most important information right away.

  • It uses a simple, direct sentence structure.

  • It captures an audience’s attention so they keep watching, listening or reading. 

 

12.  Describe three qualities of an inverted pyramid news story.

 

Answer:  Students should include three of the following:

 

  • It begins with the most important information for the audience.

  • It continues to order the information from most important to least important. 

  • It’s not chronological.

  • It uses direct sentences.

  • Paragraphs are short.

 

13.  For the following fact set, write an inverted pyramid lead emphasizing the what.

 

Answers will vary.

 

14.  For the following fact set, write an inverted pyramid lead emphasizing the who.

 

Answers will vary.

 

Long answer instructions:  In 10 to 12 sentences, please answer the following questions.

 

15.  For the following fact set, please a.) write an inverted pyramid story, including style and grammar corrections, and b.) identify one ethical dilemma you see.  Using the ethical principles, justify your decision about what to do in this situation.

 

Answers will vary.

 

Fact set A for questions 13-15:

 

  • There was a man from Farmington, New Mexico, who was driving southbound on US Highway 550 from Colorado to New Mexico. 

  • He was just south of Farmington Hill, which is near the border of Colorado and New Mexico.

  • He was driving a tractor-trailer full of oranges. 

  • This happened yesterday at about 5:06 PM. 

  • Basically, he lost control of the truck. 

  • He went off the right side of the road and then turned sharply to the left to return to the highway. 

  • The truck tipped over on its side. 

  • Oranges were all over the highway. 

  • He is 37. 

  • His name is Hugh Witt. 

  • Police are trying to determine how fast Hugh was going. 

  • Colorado State Trooper Ray Lee arrived on the scene at about 5:10 p.m. 

  • Hugh worked for A&B Trucking in Farmington and has worked there for 6 years. 

  • Hugh was uninjured.

 

Fact set B for questions 13-15:

 

  • Joanna “Jo” Kennedy has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in environmental studies.

  • She is the author of a recently published book called The Birds and the Bees: why we should help them thrive.

  • She is 29.

  • The focus of her book is how birds and bees interact with specific plants.

  • She is coming to campus to talk about which plants local people can put in their yard or in containers to attract birds and bees.

  • She will talk about why it’s beneficial to provide plants attractive to them.

  • She will focus on plants that grow well locally, but she’ll also give some general ideas about how plants, birds and insects work together.

  • Her visit is sponsored by the campus Leadership Center because she graduated from this college.

  • Her talk will be next Wednesday at 7 o’clock in the evening in the main campus auditorium. 

  • It’s free and open to the public.