Lead in story about Taliban meeting with U.N. official

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The New York Times included four elements in their lead on a story about a U.N. official meeting with Taliban leaders: who, what, when, and why.
All of the information in the lead is general in the sense that all questions could be answered with more specificity.
The lead says that Taliban leaders met with a U.N. official, but does not name any names. The reader does not know which U.N. official met with what ranks of Taliban leaders.
The reader knows that what happened was that a U.N. official met with Taliban leaders, but doesn't know what happened to encourage the meeting to take place, what happened during the meeting, or what resulted from the meeting.
The lead says that they met in early January, but did not specify a date in January.
The lead includes why they met, which was to talk about the possibility of face-to-face peace talks with Afghanistan government.
The New York Times may have chosen to be broad and general because the results of the meeting were inconclusive. If the lead sounded specific and final, it might mislead people into believing that a conclusion had been reached.
The lead may also have been broad so the reporter could go into more detail later on in the story.

1 Comment

Generally good job on the blog, Brittany. Please create separate categories for Notable and Analysis. Those are separate tasks. Keep working. GG

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