Date of this Version
In TNT 21 2013: Top Submissions to Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century, Volume 2 (published by Newspaper and Online News Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication), p. 3.
The goal is to help students learn to write clearly and concisely. It reinforces William Zinsser’s advice in “On Writing Well.” He said, “Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.” The exercise helps students learn to find the focus of stories. It helps editing students write concise, clear headlines that pull readers into stories. It also helps reporting students learn to summarize stories accurately and briefly — a skill they need as they craft their own ledes.