Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Favorite Lede

The Science Times consists of some interesting ledes grabbing New York Times' readers attention into the science world. The science journalist must capture the reader's attention, while creating a sense of urgency and concern for the new science discovery.

So what makes a good lede?

My Journalism professors have instilled certain values a good lede should contain. Here are some common elements that most have agreed upon:

  • The lede should be exciting and capture the reader's attention
  • It should explain what the story is about, and why we should care.
  • The five W's, and/or How if it is applicable, but also not to wordy
  • Should not start off with a quote, or question.

One particular lede in the Science Times, by John Tierney captured my attention:

"If you’re not rich and you get sick, in which industrialized country are you likely to get the best treatment?"

To read the complete article click here

This lede breaks most rules, but does so in a way that intrigues the reader to keep reading. The lede does not tell any of the five W's, but simply asks a question that the reader must ask themselves.