Ms. Gokturk



Going From Chronological to Inverted Pyramid:

The 5Ws and How in News Stories


DIRECTIONS: Please read over this news story. Then, re-write it to follow the modern inverted pyramid format. Be sure to


  • include a newsworthy headline
  • follow the essentials of a solid news lead
  • have chosen a newsworthy focal point and one that is feasible to developed based on the information provided



This story appeared in The New York Times (April 17, 1865)



April 15, 4:10 am.


The President continues insensible and is sinking. Secretary Seward remains without change.


Frederick Seward’s skull is fractured in two places, besides a severe cut upon the head. The attendant is still alive, but helpless. MAJ. EDWARDS wound is not dangerous.


It is now ascertained with reasonable certainty that two assassins were engaged in the horrible crime, WILKES BOOTH being the one that shot the President, and the other, a companion of his, whose name is not known, but whose description is so clear that he can hardly escape. It appears from a letter found  in Booth’s trunk that the murder was planned before the 4th of March, but fell through then because the accomplice backed out until “Richmond could be heard from.” Booth and his accomplice were at the livery stable at 6 o’clock, last evening, and left there with their horses about 10 o’clock, or shortly before that hour. It would seem that they had for several days been seeking their chance, but for some reason it was not carried into effect until last night.


One of them has evidently made his way to Baltimore—the other has not yet been traced.




Before you re-write, ask yourself:

  1. What is the story providing the most information about?
  2. What is the newsworthy element?
  3. What are the less important details?