News writing – Inverted Pyramid

For EMAC Basics of Reporting

REPORTER NOTES

Inverted Pyramid – writing a news story

Following the inverted pyramid model, use the following information to put together a news story. Remember to write a lead and determine what information is important to your story:

–       A fire destroyed much of the Central High School campus on Friday night

–       Police are looking into five students who might have ignited the fire around 10 p.m.

–       The city’s movie theater celebrated it’s one-year grand opening anniversary Friday.

–       Two of these suspected students are seniors, with three being juniors

–       The senior suspects are named John Johnson and Tom Thompson. Both are 18 years old. The juniors are minors, so their names were not released.

–       Nobody was injured in the fire.

–       Students finished standardized testing last Thursday at Central

–       Central principal Jack Jackson was out of town Friday night, but returned Saturday morning.

–       Both of the seniors’ parents denied their son’s involvement, saying both of them were at the football game against West High School at the time of the fire

–       “I love Central High School and would never do something like that,” John Johnson said. “I was at the football game with my girlfriend.”

–       School will be closed for at least one week as the damage is assessed and a plan can be made for the rest of the school year.

–       Central’s mascot is the Buffalos

–       One option is for students to be placed in neighboring high schools until the school is repaired.

–       “This is just a terrible situation. I hope these young men were not involved and the real arsonists will be found,” Principal Jack Jackson said.

–       Enrollment at the school is 1,500.

–       The school was built in 1985 and expanded in 2001.

–       Tom Thompson was suspended from school last year for breaking into a car in the parking lot.

–       No houses or neighboring business were damaged in the fire

–       Central defeated West in football Friday night, 28-14.

–       Some students remember seeing John Johnson and Tom Thompson at the game around 7:30 p.m. but do not remember seeing them during the game’s second half.

–       “I was so scared when I heard the school was on fire,” Freshman Anthony Tony said. “I was worried people were still in the building.”

–       The Central football team plays rival East High School next week.

–       Police hope to complete their investigation by Monday

–       Principal Jack Jackson said none of the five suspected students’ parents would return his phone calls.

–       Five empty gasoline cans were found two miles from the school in a dumpster behind the Foodway grocery store.

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