Analysis: A Lead that Catches the Eye

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A conversational style type of lead in a water bottle ban article in the Star Tribune really grabbed my attention.

"The College of St. Benedict used to like bottled water enough to affix its logo to the plastic and hand it out at alumni events. Macalester College did the same. But bottled water isn't welcome anymore.

The lead gave what was necessary for a reader to understand the content of the article in a short paragraph, the who and what, while adding a little flair to the style of writing.

This type of lead made me want to read more and interested.

The elements in a lead are the who, what, when, and where. Collectively, they act as the "why this article should be read." Some elements are more important to emphasize in certain stories which in this case the who and what: St. Benedict and Macalester Colleges and water bottles.

The who and what are specific. Instead of Minnesota colleges, they give the names of the schools and the water bottles are directly linked to the schools with affixed logos. However, the reporter doesn't explain until later that they mean disposable water bottles and not reusable ones; that is, if you are looking at the lead itself and not the headline nor the accompanying photographs.

The reporter, Jenna Ross, used this approach in writing her lead as a way to get the reader to wonder and then would have to continue reading the article in order to answer their questions.

1 Comment

Holly: You're doing a good job with the news blog. Keep it up. GG

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This page contains a single entry by olso5630 published on September 18, 2011 9:38 PM.

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