The Lead Lab


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The Lead Lab

You’ll get some great tips on how to make your story the one readers choose to read.



SKU: NUSDT01-05 Category: Tag:


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Course summary

Whether you’re reporting news or telling a story, you know you have to entice your audience instantly. That’s the job of the lead. The lead of a story makes a promise to the reader of good things to come. Do you deliver on that promise every time you write a lead? Have you ever wondered how to craft better leads? This course is here to help.

The Lead Lab course material is drawn from Reporting and Writing: Basics for the 21st Century, by Christopher Scanlan, published by Oxford Univeristy Press.

You’ve written a great story? Well, now all you need to do is get people to read it. That means your lead has to be compelling enough to pull them in. So, come on in and poke around the Lead Lab. Hopefully, you’ll get some great tips on how to make your story the one readers choose to read.

What will I learn

  • Be able to craft better leads
  • Have refreshed your lead-writing basics
  • Dispel common myths about leads
  • Revise your own leads better

Who should take this course

This course is for anyone who wants to write better leads on news stories, but it’s also for people who just want to write more compelling copy. No matter what you are writing, you need a hook to get readers interested.

About self-directed courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.


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Chip Scanlan

Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member of The Poynter Institute. From 1994 until 2009, when he retired as senior faculty for writing, he directed Poynter’s writing programs, co-directed the summer fellowship in reporting and writing for college graduates, and taught and led multimedia seminars. He has coached journalists around America, Europe and Asia. His three self-directed News University courses, The Lead Lab, The Interview and Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision regularly rank among NewsU’s top courses.