Morning hours spent with a paper and coffee is a time of sips and shuffles as we skim each article. What is it that makes us pause and commit our time to a story? It’s all in the lead. That first paragraph makes up my mind: bore or score?
This morning’s top three leads come from USA Today. For the sake of consistency and fairness, I am sticking to actual news stories (as opposed to opinion and feature stories). The first, entitled “Traffic deaths at lowest in 60 years,” captures me by presenting the surprise of the situation and the shock of the news, even from the Department of Transportation. It compels me to read on, discover the facts, and understand why it is happening.
The next great lead hits me in the report “China may relax one-child rule.” The lead opens with a bang, indicating where the decision is being made and on what basis. Punishment and enforcement procedures for the one-child rule shocks and entice me to read on. I want to know why such a dramatic overturn may be in the future.
Finally, the article “Obama, Republicans jostle over tax plans” presents me with the context and concern associated with this news. A list of general plans Obama noted in the address he gave on Wednesday is given as an overview. Although this lead does not creatively draw me in, its focus upon the relevance of the topic make it worthy.