1. Home
  2. /
  3. Media
  4. /
  5. Media Resources
  6. /
  7. Reporting & Editing /...

Reporting & Editing / Inverted Pyramid Style

Inverted Pyramid Style is one of the most popular and common styles of writing in Newspaper.

  • Arranging facts in order of descending style.
  • Easy to cut from bottom – in print & TV
  • Informative and importance is being first.
  • Practised for over more than 50 years.
  • Popular for Accidents, Calamity, Debates, Sports etc…
  • Not for Interviews on various matters, Public Speech.
  • Not for Dramatic Stories, Adventures with Climax.



            Headline is the title of a news story. It is placed on the top of every news story to serve as the heading for the content written below.Headlines should be clear and specific.


            The top part is called the lead and as the name suggests contains the most critical information. It should mention by whom, when, where, why, what and how it all happened.


            The middle part is addressed as the body. They contain subsequent paragraphs giving additional facts related to the incident.


            The final part is known as the tail/conclusion. This section contains information regarding events that are occurring related to the incident.


  • ‘ SOME DIRECT QUOTES ’ – makes interesting.
  • Use transitions to link

Example: Also, meanwhile, on the other hand.

  • Effective of this style is Quantity of Language VS Quantity of Information.


Go for relevant factors from Personal, authoritative source…

Gather complete background of the News.

Submitted by Jebhan Samuel R.J with inputs from DR. Jayaprakash. CR on October 16, 2022.

5 thoughts on “Reporting & Editing / Inverted Pyramid Style

  1. How to Write in the Inverted Pyramid Style ?

    1.Identify your key points:
    What piece of information is the key fact you want your readers to know and effectively summarizes all the information that will follow.

    2.Rank secondary information :
    Outline the story details and supporting information, prioritizing the information that is most likely to be of interest to the broadest audience.

    3.Write well and concisely :
    Cut unnecessary information. Get to the point quickly. Use straightforward language. Use short paragraphs and bulleted lists.

    4.Frontload all elements of content with important information :
    The main headline should be descriptive. The story should start with the main point. Each heading or subheading should be descriptive. The first sentence of every paragraph should be the most important. The first words in each sentence should be information-carrying and indicate what content will follow.

    5.Consider adding list of highlights :
    Go a step beyond and add a summary or a bulleted list of key points to further emphasize the main takeaways of the content.

  2. The information is presented to the reader in descending levels of importance.

    Traditional wire service style. Useful for breaking news. Editors can cut from the bottom.

    Popularized by newspapers during the 20th century, the inverted pyramid is a main- stay of online news reporting. The most newsworthy information goes at the top of the story.

    The pyramid has to be big at the top because it must answer all the ques- tions that readers have. Remaining information is arranged in diminishing order of importance. The conventions of the inverted pyramid require the re- porter to summarize the story, to get to the heart, to the point, to sum up quickly and concisely the answer to the question: What’s the news? The pyramid approach addresses the most important questions at the top of the story. It states the thesis and then provides supporting material.

    Journalism has a love-hate relationship with the inverted pyramid. Its sup- porters consider it a useful form, especially good for breaking news. The in- verted pyramid, or at least its most substantial element-the summary lead- is used widely and is one of the most recognizable shapes in communications today. You’ll find it on the front and inside pages of most newspapers as well as in stories distributed worldwide by The Associated Press, Reuters and other news services. The inverted pyramid is also the dominant form in the news sections of America Online and on news sites elsewhere on the Internet.

    “The inverted pyramid organizes stories not around ideas or chronologies but around facts,” says journalism historian Mitchell Stephens in A History of News. “It weighs and shuffles the various pieces of information, focusing with remarkable single-mindedness on their relative news value.”

    Critics of the inverted pyramid say it’s outdated, unnatural, boring artless and a factor in the declining readership that newspapers have been grappling with for decades. The inverted pyramid, its critics say tells the story backward and is at odds with the storytelling tradition that features a beginning, middle and end. Rather than rewarding a reader with a satisfying conclusion, the pyramid loses steam and peters out, in a sense defying readers to stay awake, let alone read on. Despite the criticism, the pyramid survives.

  3. 1.Inverted Pyramid model is mostly used often for Straight News.
    2.The story is structured with most important information in the beginning.
    3.In this model, The story always starts with a summary lead like who, what, where, why
    4.The readers can get the crucial information quickly.
    5.Inverted Pyramid model is the primary structure for Breaking News.
    6.It is important for Online Journalism.

  4. Inverted Pyramid Structure

    The main idea of the inverted pyramid structure is to present information in descending order of importance so that the most important concepts and statements are located at the top of the topic.

    Why to Use Inverted Pyramid

    The inverted pyramid structure has the following benefits:
    • You can get user attention from the first line.
    • Users can quickly understand if they really need to read the whole text.
    • Users can stop reading at any point and still get the main idea.
    • If you apply the inverted pyramid structure to every paragraph, users can quickly scan through the text.

    How to Use Inverted Pyramid

    When planning the structure of a new topic, follow the next principles:
    1. Think of a heading as a summary for the topic. Add keywords to the heading.
    2. Identify essential statements that users must know before they proceed to other information in the topic. Include the most important keywords at the beginning of the topic.
    3. Outline secondary information. Move down the topic from more important to less important details.
    4. Provide context. Address related questions to bind topics together and make the document more useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *