There are actually two uses for the term kicker in the journalism world. In the first sense, a kicker is the lead's introduction, typically a few words or sentences leading into the main piece. It usually is formatted to stand out visually from the rest of the story, drawing in the reader's attention much like the header does. Secondly, a kicker can be the paragraph that closes up the entire article, summarizing the important parts and closing the piece up. Both uses of the term are crucial to journalism and it is vital that journalists become familiar with them.
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