The reporter followed a very simple approach when writing his lead for the Los Angeles Times story about the death of Rodney King.
The lead has five news elements, including timeliness, proximity, prominence, emotion and conflict. Proximity, prominence, and emotion are the three most obvious elements of this lead because King lived just outside of Los Angeles and was a victim of a notorious LAPD beating in 1992 that sparked riots throughout the city. Timeliness is present in any newsworthy story and some conflict exists due to the King's controversial past.
Since the story was about the death of King, who became somewhat of a celebrity after the beating, the reporter followed hard-news lead approach. The simple facts of the case, combined with King's celebrity status, made a compelling lead for the story. The reporter did not need to include any creativity in the lead to catch readers' attention.