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French President Sarkozy Wins

On May 6 Nicolas Sakozy was elected French president for 5 years. I read two stories one from the New York TImes and the other the Washington Post.

The Lead.

The Washington Post reporter John Anderson, talked about how the president's father is a Hungarian immigrant. That the president is promising a new generation of leadership to France and restore its self-respect and reinvigorate ties with the U.S. and Europe. I think Anderson could have left out that Sarkozy's father is Hungarian. It's sort of racist, the fact that he is of Hungarian decent is irrelevent. Anderson also used the present tense toward the end of the lead. Journalists should avoid using present tense in a lead because the event ended by the time I read it.

The New York Times reporter Katrin Bennhold, talked about how Sarkozy is an immigrant's son who had the French presidency in his sights for three decades, and won a victory that would keep him in power for the next five years. I think Bennhold wrote a better lead than Anderson because it grabed my attention better. First because Bennhold told an interesting detail--his father wanted him to be president for the past few decades. WOW! With that said I just wanted to keep reading. Bennhold also used the word immigrant rather than Hungarian, which I personally sounds much better.

In the second Paragraph.

Anderson from the Washington Post wrote, "Sarkozy, a member of the ruling party and France's former top law-enforcement officer, defeated Socialist Segolene Royal, who waged a determined battle to become France's first female of state." He also said that Sarkozy won by a 53 to 47 vote. In the first sentence Anderson did write the second most important information. I do that the way he writes it could have been more effective. The part of the sentence, "...who waged a determined battle to become France's first female..." Well I'm sure that it true, but Anderson doesn't know for sure if she was really that determined to become the first female, she could have been more determined to do something else. Rather than being the first female, maybe be the first to change France in significantly.

Bennhold wrote a much better second paragraph, although I do think it's too wordy. She writes, "With 86 percent of the vote counted, the consevative former interior minister won 53.3 percent...His socialist rival, recieved 46.7 percent, ending her quest to become France's first woman president and dealing a severe blow to her party. I like this lead because Bennhold actually writes the exact stats on the election, which I think is important when the race was so close. I also like how she used the word, "quest" when refering to Segolene Royal. It makes more sense than to say determined because any presidential nomminee is on a quest. I also like how she ended the second paragraph by saying, "severe blow to her party." Yes, it sounds melodramatic, but I still want to read on. Bennhold shows the conflict and ends it perfectly.

The first quote.

The Washingtion Post quotes Sarkozy. Anderson quotes Sarkozy, "voters have chosen to break with the habits and behavior of the past." This quote is great, I think it shows Sarkozy's real attitude and personality, which is important because a journalists is providing the reader with only a snap shot of reality. Anderson does a fine job capturing this.

Bennhold uses a superficial quote that does not grab the reader. She quotes Sarkozy, "I love France as one loves a dear being." This quote is weak and does let the reader see Sarkozy's real personality or attitude, it just sounds so political.