Understanding Intro in Journalism Jargon

Understanding Intro in Journalism Jargon

An intro in journalism jargon is a critical element in news writing that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the article. It is often referred to as the “lede,” which is spelled this way to distinguish it from the word “lead” which is used to refer to the metal. The intro is crucial in journalism because it aims to answer the 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) in a clear and concise manner.

Understanding intro in journalism jargon has evolved over the years with the rise of digital media and social platforms. Journalists now have to compete with shorter attention spans and a constant stream of information, making it even more imperative to craft engaging and informative intros. In today’s fast-paced world, capturing the reader’s interest within the first few sentences can make or break an article.

One solution to ensure a captivating intro is to start with a compelling statistic or a relatable anecdote that resonates with the audience. For example, studies have shown that readers decide whether or not to continue reading an article within the first 10 seconds. This highlights the importance of a strong intro in grabbing the reader’s attention and keeping them engaged throughout the piece.

With the ever-growing amount of information available at our fingertips, the ability to write an effective intro in journalism jargon is more important than ever. Journalists must adapt to the changing landscape of media consumption and master the art of crafting intros that not only inform but also captivate their audience from the get-go.

What is an “intro” in journalism jargon and why is it important?

In journalism jargon, an “intro” refers to the introductory paragraph of a news article or story. It is designed to grab the reader’s attention and provide a concise summary of the main points of the piece. The intro acts as a hook to draw readers in and give them a preview of what to expect in the rest of the article. To fully understand the role and importance of the intro in journalism, let’s delve deeper into its components and best practices for crafting a compelling intro that engages readers from the start.

What is an Intro in Journalism Jargon?

In journalism, an intro refers to the opening paragraph or section of a news story. It is designed to convey the most important information to the reader in a concise and engaging way. The intro should grab the reader’s attention and provide a brief overview of the key points of the article.

Elements of a Strong Intro

When crafting an intro in journalism, there are key elements that can make it effective:

  • Hook: A strong intro should start with a hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a shocking statistic, a compelling quote, or a dramatic statement.
  • Summary: The intro should provide a brief summary of the main points of the article, giving the reader a preview of what to expect.
  • Clarity: The intro should be clear and concise, avoiding jargon or overly complex language.
  • Relevance: It is important for the intro to be relevant to the article and to focus on the most important information.

Types of Intros

There are several different types of intros that journalists can use to engage readers:

  • Straight news intro: This type of intro provides the most important information in a straightforward manner, answering the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the story.
  • Anecdotal intro: An anecdotal intro uses a story or personal experience to draw the reader in and make the news more relatable.
  • Descriptive intro: A descriptive intro paints a vivid picture for the reader, using sensory details to set the scene.
  • Question intro: This type of intro poses a question to the reader, sparking curiosity and encouraging them to keep reading for the answer.


Intros are a crucial part of journalism, setting the tone for the rest of the article and drawing readers in. By following the elements of a strong intro and using different types of intros strategically, journalists can effectively engage their audience and communicate important information.

What is an intro in journalism jargon?

An intro, short for introduction, is the opening paragraph or first few sentences of a news article that provides a concise summary of the main points of the story. It is meant to grab readers’ attention and give them a quick overview of what the article is about.

Why is the intro important in journalism?

The intro is important in journalism because it sets the tone for the rest of the article and determines whether readers will continue reading. A well-crafted intro should be clear, engaging, and informative, drawing readers in and encouraging them to read on.

What are some common elements of a good intro?

  • Key information: The intro should include the most important facts and details of the story.
  • Hook: A compelling opening line or lead that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • Summary: A brief overview of the main points of the article.
  • Clarity: The intro should be clear and concise, avoiding jargon or unnecessary details.

How long should an intro be in journalism?

In journalism, intros are typically short and to the point, usually consisting of one to two paragraphs or around 25-30 words. The goal is to provide a quick summary of the article without overwhelming the reader with too much information.

How can I improve my intros in journalism writing?

  • Practice writing concise, engaging intros that capture the essence of the story.
  • Study the intros of professional journalists to see how they craft their opening paragraphs.
  • Get feedback from peers or mentors on your intros and make revisions as needed.
  • Experiment with different writing styles and techniques to find what works best for you.


In conclusion, understanding the importance of a compelling intro in journalism jargon is crucial for capturing the attention of readers and drawing them into the story. By utilizing strong hooks, clear language, and relevant information upfront, journalists can effectively engage their audience and provide a solid foundation for the rest of the article. Furthermore, the intro serves as a roadmap for the reader, giving them a preview of what to expect and why the topic is significant.

Overall, a well-crafted intro sets the tone for the entire piece and should be approached with thought and care. It is the first chance to make a strong impression and entice readers to continue reading. By incorporating key elements such as the five Ws, the inverted pyramid structure, and a compelling narrative, journalists can effectively hook their audience and keep them engaged throughout the article. Ultimately, mastering the art of writing intros in journalism jargon is essential for creating impactful and meaningful storytelling that resonates with readers.

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