Analysis: Lead in a story about American's release

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"Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- A jubilant American Sarah Shourd reunited with her mother in Muscat, Oman, on Tuesday after Iranian authorities released her from a Tehran prison where she had been held for 14 months."

One reason I chose to analyze this lead was the use of the word "jubilant" in the opening. While not incorrect, it's rare to see a word that some may consider editorialized. Not all news organizations would choose to use the word, but CNN apparently decided that it is acceptable in this situation.

There are several items in the lead that make this story newsworthy: timeliness, prominence, conflict and impact.

As far as the "W's" are concerned, the lead contains all the pertinent ones. Who? Shroud. What? Released and reunited with her mother. Where? Oman/Tehran. When? Tuesday following a 14-month stay in prison. The where and when require more information than the other two, and thus are a larger part of this stories' introduction.

Aside from the word "jubilant" (which I mentioned earlier is perhaps appropriate here), the lead is a hard-news lead and there was not a lot of leeway as to what could and could not be included.

1 Comment

You are doing a nice job on the blog. I would argue that "jubilant" was observed, something the reporter witnessed. I like that you are questioning word choice.

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This page contains a single entry by wetmo013 published on September 19, 2010 9:25 PM.

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