In our last outing, we listened to Rosa Mª Calaf talking about journalism and media literacy. In order to be critical readers, knowing how to read is not enough. we must be aware of how information is presented to us in the media. We have already discussed gender issues using news stories from El País, digital edition in English. Do you remember the article about a school head killed by Talibans? A news story has trapped our attention once more.It was published the 1st of December in El País. This time we’ll focus not only on its content, but on analysing the way information is presented in newspapers.
Headline, lead and byline are key words to understand how information is organised in any newspaper.
Headline: is text at the top of a newspaper article, indicating the nature of the article. The headline catches the attention of the reader and relates well to the topic. Modern headlines are typically written in an abbreviated style omitting many elements of a complete sentence but almost always including a non-copula verb.
lead: captures the attention of the reader and sums up the focus of the story. The lead also establishes the subject, sets the tone and guidesreader into the article.In a news story, the introductory paragraph tells the most important facts and answers the questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
Byline: gives the name and often the position of the writer.
Here you can see the headline, lead and byline of a news story that was published yesterday in El País digital edition .Now, see how headline, lead and byline fit at the top of the article.
After reading the headline and the lead sentence what kind of information do you expect to find? Do you have any previous knowledge on the topic? Can you anticipate part of the information you will find? Discuss.
- The article is likely/ is not likely to include
- The article might include
- The article will certainly /probably/include
- The article should/ought to include
- Information on driving lessons prices
- Information on accident rates
- Information on insurance prices
Here follow some of the sources that are cited in the article. Why did the journalist choose to include them in the news story?
- Consumers Union
- Laura Seara , Secretary of State for equality issues
- Carlos Bricio, president of Zaragoza Driving Schools Associtions. Owner of some driving schools that offered differentiated prices according to sex.
- José Miguel Báez, president of the National Confederation of Driving Schools
- The Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT)
- the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC)