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Exercise 3-3.1
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Exercises in Structuring News Stories > Why the inverted pyramid? Looking at an old story

The following appeared in the New-York Daily Times on Sept. 18, 1851.

For some weeks past, a feeling of jealousy has existed between a number of workmen employed in the smith shop of Mssrs. Marshall & Townsend, Stage Proprietors and others in the employ of the 5th-avenue Omnibus line, whom the former parties charged with waylaying them in the night time for no good purpose. On Tuesday night several of these rival mechanics met at the corner of 7th ave. and 22-st, and angry words passed, which no doubt would have resulted in a desperate and fearful conflict, had not a posse of the 16th ward Police reached the scene of disturbance, in a few minutes after the gangs had assembled. Three of the workmen employed by Messrs. M. & T., named John Green, Bernard Daly, and John Davie, made complaints against seven of their opponents, by the names of Bernard Matthews, Henry Mallowy, Martin Kehoe, Patrick McCourt, John Mathews, Hugh Matthews, and Dennis Broderick, all of whom were immediately arrested, conveyed before Justice Blakely, and committed to prison upon charges of assaults with intent to kill. The latter prisoner was armed with two large knives, and a deadly weapon, known as a "slung shot," and he was accordingly committed for "felony."


A. List the ways this story is different from a story that one might find in a modern newspaper. (Suggested procedure: Find copies of crime or police stories in a modern newspaper and read them carefully, noting differences between what you find there and what you find in the story above.)

B. Write a modern news lead based on the facts included in the article above.

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