Something important happened recently, which caused us to assign one of our increasingly scarce staff reporters.
This event had several important implications, which we would put here.
"This is where to put a good quote from a witness, investigator, or participant," said Source #1.
This event had several other important details, such as who else was involved, why it happened, and an exact date and location, which we were unable to wedge into the first two paragraphs, 'cause who wants to read really long opening paragraphs anyway.
"This would be an excellent place for a second quote from some other witness, investigator, or participant," said Source #2. "Unless, of course, the editors say we're short on space, in which case this quote gets cut first."
This event was part of some larger pattern, such as the culmination of a long process, the start of a new process, the first time, the last time, or maybe it was just plain weird.
"This is where to put dispassionate, big picture analysis from some uninvolved expert, professor, consultant, or politician," said Uninvolved Expert #1. "If all else fails, interview some little-known reporter from a niche publication who follows this kind of stuff intensively and is just glad to get some mainstream exposure so his mother knows he has a real job."
But there are always people who disagree with whatever he says, no matter how arcane and uncontroversial the topic at hand might be.
"This is where to put someone - anyone at all - who even tangentially disagrees with your first Uninvolved Expert," said Uninvolved Expert #2. "This is what we call 'balance.'"
Here is where to note that Experts who know something about your event are either still investigating the matter or else declined to comment on the controversy.
At this point, it would be useful to introduce some witnesses or participants, if you haven't already.
"I saw the event, yes I did," Witness #1 said.
And now would be a great time to detail efforts by relevant officials to encourage, discourage, or study the event at hand, with an eye toward causing it to happen again, or not to happen again, or move to some other place in the future.
"This is my top priority until some other significant event occurs," Relevant Official #1 said.
So now it's time to go back to the actual event that we talked about in the first paragraph. Perhaps it is time to say when the involved persons will go on trial, or maybe how long they remained in the hospital, or when the Guinness Book of World Records plans to visit.
"This final quote has no chance of making it in print, although it is a really great quote that totally sums up the entire article," Source #1, 2, or 3 said, "because the copy editors tend to cut from the bottom without regard to how artful and elegant the writer has been in picking a kicker quote."