Effective lead in The New York Times’ Florida shooting news story

The recent and unfortunate event of the Florida school shooting has been covered from all angles by different news outlets. Which story do readers notice themselves selecting to read first?

Google search gives many results to the Florida school shooting, which one should be read first or at all?


News stories with descriptive and concise ledes are the ones that attract readers. For example, The New York Times wrote a story,  “‘Is This the Day I Die?’: Teachers React to the Florida School Shooting,” on the Florida school shooting and the fear that exists within teachers all over the country in the midst of violence.

The lede reads, “After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, The Times heard from many teenagers in the United States who have grown up in an era of school gun violence. We wondered how this climate also affects teachers, the people we trust to protect our children.”

This lede focuses on the “5 W’s and H” which consists of the following:

Who: Teachers

What: How violent climate affects teachers

When: After Florida school shooting

Where: Parkland, Florida

Why: Understand affect on teachers because they are who we trust with our vulnerable loved ones.

How: The Times will listen to different teacher accounts (Implied because they “heard from many teenagers in the United States who have grown up in an era of school gun violence”).

The key to writing a good lede is to include as much as one can in the line without making it too wordy or confusing. Once there’s a good lede, then there are readers pulled in, and it leads to a story being read by many!

Florida high school shooting

The article, Former student opens fire at Florida high school, Killing 17, explained how the shooting happened and who is responsible for it. The shooting happened February 14 at 3:00 pm.


As described in the article, the suspect is a 19 year old former student, and he had been expelled from school last year. As a result of this shooting, 17 people where killed. As the article mentioned, this shooting is considered the “nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.”