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The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors, 13th Edition by Matthew Winkler, Jennifer Sondag

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Chapter 3The Four-Paragraph Lead

Bloomberg News stories have a structure as immutable as the rules that govern sonnets and symphonies. The structure begins with the lead. We have identified the ideal lead as having four paragraphs.

Here’s a guide to what belongs there. Learn how to apply this to stories—all stories—and you will know how to succeed.

Theme. This consists of two elements: the what and why, or sometimes the what and so what.

What: The information that the story will provide. Stories about economic indicators, corporate earnings and markets must convey a sense of direction: rose, fell or little changed. Include a comparison with historical performance, forecasts or published estimates to help show the surprise. Stories about companies ...

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