To get a clear understanding of what I’m writing about, I shall explain the concepts summary lead and short report. The easiest way to identify a summary lead is by its sentence structure. The sentence is what’s known as a declarative sentence containing three parts: a subject, a verb and an object. The information is presented in such a way so that the information is a complete thought. A short report is created under three conditions: lack of time, space or information. That single sentence—sometimes accompanied by a few others—provides enough information to be considered an entire story. There are 4 types of short reports: broadcast and web bulletins, e-mail alerts, crawlers and news paper briefs. Using baltimoresun.com, I was able to point out examples that clearly explains both summary lead and short report.
An example of a summary lead exists in the article “Bride-to-be dies when tractor-trailer hits limousine.” It is the leading story under the Baltimore City news link. The lead is as follows: “About 4:30 a.m. yesterday, a tractor-trailer collided with the limousine in the 4000 block of E. Monument St., killing Sunshine Royston.” It has the three parts: a tractor-trailer (subject) collided (verb) with the limousine (object). If you click on the link it takes you to the full story.
An example of a short report can be found in a news article titled “Code Red heat alert issued for today.” It is written in the form of a newspaper brief. It is four sentences long briefly warning the public of the weather conditions, the locations affected and whom most vulnerable. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-md.briefs141sep14,0,3140283.story