What is a lead? (Or a lede?)The lead sentence usually contains one idea and follows the subject‑verb‑object sentence structure for clarity. It should not exceed 35 words.Direct: This lead tells the reader or listener the most important aspect of the story at once. It is usually used on breaking news events.
The direct lead is the workhorse of journalism, the lead that is used on most stories. As we have seen, the direct lead focuses on the theme of the event in the first paragraph. The surest way to test a reporter's competence, editors say, is to see whether his or her leads on spot news events move directly to the point and are succinct and readable.
Delayed: This lead entices the reader or listener into the story by hinting at its contents. It often is used with feature stories.
The delayed lead is often used on features and news features, the kinds of stories that are not about developing or fast‑breaking events. The delayed lead usually sets a scene or evokes a mood with an incident, anecdote or example.