French UFO files released
France has posted its files from investigations of UFO cases online this week. Within three hours of the launch of the website, the server had crashed because of so much traffic.
This was picked up by a lot of news organizations around the world, because of the obvious novelty of the situation. The possibilities for leads are endless--with hundreds of supposed sightings able to catch the attention of any reader.
The AP picked up this story, releasing two different versions, one on Friday and one from Saturday.
The Friday piece gets to focus on the novelty of the story, using a delayed lead to suck the reader in. They tell of a specific incident that will grab readers attention.
The saucer-shaped object is said to have touched down in the south of France and then zoomed off. It left behind scorch marks and that haunting age-old question: Are we alone in this big universe of ours?
Then they go into discussing the news part of it. It was also interesting of them to note that the website crashed within three hours. This article also uses numbers effectively in the body, giving an impression of how many cases are hoaxes. The numbers do it better than just simply saying, a small number have been explained. They also use numbers to give more examples of incidents, using distances and size to tell the story. The Friday story was also much more in depth, including an interview with the head of the department that these files came from. The ending of this article gave the reader a nugget at the end, for those that stuck around to the end, ending with speculation about life on other planets.
So, do we have neighbors out there, after all?
"I don't have an answer to that," Patenet said. "Even if there is such a planet, given the size of the universe, what is the probability that two civilizations ... will meet or come across each other? I really don't know. It's very complicated. It's incalculable."
The second article was probably a brief written from this larger story. This article, written by Angela Doland, focused much less on the novelty and more on the harder facts of the story, emphasizing the numbers--including how many were solved, how many documents there are. She also doesn't use any of the colorful quotes from the first article even though she paraphrased the director.
In terms of novelty and exciting news writing, the first article was much more fun and interesting to read, but it was harder to pick out the specific facts. The second brief boiled it all down for the busy reader, though losing some of the fun quality.