Analysis: China is leading the race lead.

| 1 Comment

"China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world's largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year." - The New York Times

This lead introduces the topic of the article fairly well. The story discusses how China is "vaulting past" other countries in green technology, but it also focuses on how the United States is falling behind.

However, the lead is a little misleading as it makes the reader believe Denmark, Germany and Spain would be discussed more in depth, but they aren't even mentioned.

Additionally, because China and the U.S. are the only ones mentioned, perhaps the lead is just aiming to be specific instead of just "China is vaulting past other countries..." It's good to be specific, but in this instance, I think it misleads the reader about the topic of the story.

When isolated, the lead works great. It flows well, entices the reader and gives good information according to the elements of news.

The words, "this year" give immediacy and "United States" proximity. Most importantly, it also gives impact. "World's largest maker of wind turbines" should bring about relevancy for Americans worried about the environmental issues and it also incites curiosity of how this title effects other countries.

1 Comment

I consider this to be a poor lead.

As a reader, I have little time to assimilate what happened last year. Besides, as an informed reader, I may consider it an insult to my intelligence if my newspaper is going to create content assuming I didn't read news in the previous year.

Consider my situation. I, the reader, have a few minutes in the morning to glance at the newspaper and I expect to be told in every lead what is the current position rather than what happened last year.

The lead is precise when it talks of China's leading position in wind turbines (I assume they mean equipment, not parts or turnkey projects) last year as compared to other countries including the US.

However---the new news peg---the current year's situation is vague. What can be better than No 1 position? As a reader I look for something additional. It could be comparative statistics as compared to competitors or ever as compared the country's own position, reflecting incremental growth!.

Such information paints a pen picture of the current year's situation and are the kind of pieces of information that readers look for.

I am sure you know many businesses base their business decisions based on the information supplied by newspapers. Now do tell me what kind of business-enabling information is there in this lead, which would help a businessman take informed decisions.

Frankly, an average reader may buy the NYT but if I were a businessman operating in the wind turbines sector, I doubt if I would buy the publication based on that terrible lead.
Janiye
http://umn.edu/home/gf023739

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This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Bissell published on January 31, 2010 1:44 AM.

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