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French Elections

The French are in the midst of their presidential elections and the event is getting a lot of media coverage. The first round of the run-off election has taken place and though pollsters are predicting left Segolene Royal and conservative Nicolas Sarkozy the likely winners with 25-26 percent and 29-30 percent, respectively.

There is a lot involved in this story, many actors and acting forces, including a large number of presidential candidates and a national mentality and history that most average Americans don’t know about.

The challenge of this story is to get all of this information across in a short news story, and to get the latest news to the public.

There were two versions released by the AP. The two writers used different styles to meet this challenge.

Elaine Ganley had a story picked up by the Kansas City Star. John Leicester had a story in the Houston Chronicle.

Both articles covered much of the same material, down to having the exact same paragraphs at the end. I found this odd because Ganley’s article cited AP writer Herve Brival as a source though Leicester’s article did not. The paragraphs are identical and its not clear where they come from. Am I missing something?

Leicester accomplished through clever writing. His sentences were jam packed with information. He used adjectives very freely and managed to pack a lot of information in without going into large paragraphs of background.

Ganely does exactly that. She uses longer paragraphs of background to help us understand. This method is effective, and a little more clear and easier to read than Leicester’s version.

I like both versions and I hope that I will be able to do both. Leicester’s way is especially useful in a space crunch.

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