First, let’s discuss the headline.
Who, what, why: who are the Yazidis?
For me it is ineffective. There are two ‘whos’ in it. A simple “Who are the Yazidis?”, or “The Yazidis: Who are they?”, or perhaps “Who, What, Why: The Yazidis” would do fine.
Now let’s see the lead:
Among the many victims of the advance of The Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East are a group of up to 50,000 Yazidis, who are trapped in the mountains in northwest Iraq without food or water. Author Diana Darke explains who these mysterious religious adherents are.
The lead only gives a small portion of background information about the Yazidis. This gives an idea for the reader about the subject, and will help them decide whether they want to read further or not.
Overall, the content already covers about who they are, their numbers, what they are facing, their stigma, where they live, and even their religion’s tradition.
From my analysis, the author tries to give readers a new perspective about the Yazidis, since there are a lot of misunderstandings about them. It constantly talks about the history and tradition of the Yazidis, and how the Islamic State or other groups misinterpret the Yazidis tradition as devil-worshippers. And I eventually think it works since I have a new and fresh understanding about them though I never knew them before. Basically, the author succeeded in walking the readers through a perspective changing story.