In journalism, a nut graph is a paragraph that explains the context of the story. The term is also spelled as nut graf, nut 'graph, nutgraph, nutgraf. It is a contraction of the expression nutshell paragraph.
In most news stories, the essential facts of a story are included in the lead, the first sentence or two of the story. Good leads try to answer who, what, when, where, why, and how as quickly as possible.
The nut graf, which often will start in the third, fourth, or fifth paragraph, will explain any additional context for why the story is important. For example, if the new story concerns a candidate for an upcoming election, the nut graph will state when the election is and may expand upon issues of the election. If the new story is part of an ongoing story, the nut graph will likely summarize other recent events related to the newest revelations. For example, a story published tomorrow about new discoveries related to the death of Jamal Khashoggi would have a nut graph detailing the circumstances of his death on Oct. 2, his role as a Saudi critic, and the shifting Saudi explanations for his death.