One of the finalists for the job of Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC was part of a team that did a study of newspaper readers in the St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia) area.
The question: What writing style do readers prefer and benefit from most?
Hint: Not the famous inverted pyramid style that we’ve taught in J-schools forever. (according to the study)
Dr. Georgia Green, who is not the finalist BTW, did a through write up of the study and the findings in an article for the American Society of Newspaper Editors called “Structure, Goals, and Comprehensibility Revisited.”
Note: This study didn’t settle the ongoing discussion of inverted pyramid vs. storytelling or narrative.