By Brett Stolpestad
The New York Times reported on the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya on Sept. 12th and continued to follow the story the next day, giving more details as the story unfolded. The lead in the first story focuses on what happened and who was involved. The main focus of the first story was to report on the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and several other U.S. officials.
The second story added to the first by revising and adding detail, noting that the attacks were actually carried out in two separate waves, the first being spontaneous and the second being strategically planned. The lead in the second story focuses more on how the attacks happened and how they were carried out.
The second story advances the news by giving the reader a more detailed account of how the attacks were carried out and illustrating the nature of the attacks. The second story tells the reader that the initial spontaneous attack was followed by a second strategic wave of attacks, using heavy weaponry.
The main difference between the two leads in the stories is that the first lead focuses on the what (What happened?) and the who (Who was involved?). The second lead focuses more on the how (How was the attack carried out? How did the events unfold?)