Best Lead in the History of Journalism

Cindy Lang never wanted to be leader of the Pittsburgh chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

The Editor is sorely tempted to send the author of that story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a note of congratulation. “Great work! Your piece about the murdered children made us laugh out loud.”

What do we learn from this example? Sometimes stating the blindingly obvious can be destructive. If we, your readers, are wondering why you thought you had to tell us that mothers don’t like it when their children are murdered, we’re not paying attention to your point any longer. You’ve lost us. The Editor, for example, never bothered to read the rest of that Post-Gazette story: he just ran off to tell everyone he knew that he had finally found the best lead in the history of journalism. He was being sarcastic.

Comments

  1. [...] paragraph inserted at the beginning of a news story to discourage readers from continuing. A classic example of a lead: “Cindy Lang never wanted to be leader of the Pittsburgh chapter of Parents of [...]

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