Analysis #1: Leads

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In this CNN international news story about the Italian cruise ship, the lead was very straightforward.

"A woman's body was found Saturday in the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, Italian officials said, taking the number of people confirmed dead to 17."

The lead of a news story is very much the first impression of the article. Aside from the title, it's the reader's first idea of the seriousness of the story and who and what are involved. This particular lead would certainly be considered a "hard news" lead due to the lack of scenic detail, puns, and statistics.

The story utilizes the gender of the deceased, the day of the week, the name of the particular cruise ship, and where the officials are from. This lead isn't particularly detailed overall, but it gives just enough to interest the reader. The day of the week being mentioned may seem unnecessary because the story was written and posted on Saturday as well. It may be more fitting to leave that part out, but in this story it may have been done because the story was posted in the evening.

The gender of the deceased was mentioned, but not the age or where she was from. This information is not mentioned in the story itself, though, so it can be deduced that this information is not readily available yet. The story did mention that she was in a uniform and that it was suspected that she worked on the ship. This fact was uncertain and was probably left out of the lead for that reason.

The name of the cruise ship was mentioned and this was probably to avoid confusion: the Italian cruise ship story has been in the news for awhile. Still, people could assume that another cruise ship had gone down if both "Italian officials" and "Costa Concordia" were not mentioned.

Essentially, the purpose of this particular lead was to give the very basics, perhaps because the article is fairly long and goes into a lot of detail updating readers about new information involving the ship wreck.

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This page contains a single entry by Ally published on January 29, 2012 12:05 AM.

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