Lead style

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The lead style is a journalistic form of expression and describes the combination of information headline , subtitle , intro and report . It is commonly used in the newspaper . Better known is the lead, which, according to the principle of the inverted pyramid, takes on the function of summarizing the message content.


  1. Information headline, subtitle
  2. Opening credits (lead)
  3. detailed report

The information headline should arouse the reader's attention and curiosity and contain the message core.

The subtitle is intended to provide an overview of the individual components of what is happening.

In addition to the place and time, the event is explained in more detail in the opening (lead) (W questions: Who does what, where, when, etc.? ).

In the report details are given of the action.

The main thing is: Events are not described chronologically, but graded according to topicality and importance ( principle of the reverse pyramid ). The term lead comes from the American Journalism and originally meant " shoot-through ", later the visually highlighted bias at all.


According to legend, the lead style originated in the American Civil War (Civil War 1861–1865). Because the telegraph connections ( Morse code ) were not yet reliable at this time, often only the first part of a combat report reached the editorial office. In the first section, the motto, message header or lead, the most important W-questions (What happened? Where did it happen? ...) had to be answered. In the second section, the message body, the further detailed information followed. In fact, the new messaging structure had very little to do with the Civil War. In Germany, too, with the introduction of the telegraph from 1849, news journalists oriented more and more to the lead style. Telegraph transmission was just very expensive and forced journalists to put the latest at the beginning.


The newscast The Lead with Jake Tapper , broadcast worldwide on the news networks CNN and CNN International , was named after the lead style.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. cf. this website for German lessons
  2. am. Journalism Teaching Site
  3. Peha & Lester: Be a Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life !: Proven Tips and Powerful Techniques to Help Young Writers Get Started . Leverage Factory, 2006, p. 125.
  4. ^ Dietz Schwiesau, Josef Ohler: News - classic and multimedia. A Manual for Education and Practice. Springer VS. Wiesbaden 2016 http://www.gelbe-reihe.de/nachricht/online-plus/geschichte/