Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No it isn't

How many more times? If your label hed can't point to something concrete and relevant that distinguishes today's product from yesterday's either write a new one or (preferred) get out of the label hed business altogether.

First up, the Daily Herald of "suburban Chicago."

Here's the lede that spawned the hed:
Super Tuesday voting placed history on hold -- leaving Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a race far too close to call and essentially making today the first day of the presidential campaign.

In a word, no and no. History is plodding ahead at the exact same pace as it was last week, which is exactly the same pace it would have reached if (implausibly) either of the Democrats had nailed down the nomination on Tuesday. History is a process. It doesn't stop and start at the command of hed writers who can't be bothered to tell me what happened. And from what planet with how many purple suns does it appear that the presidential campaign didn't begin until today?

Moral: If your writer turns in a resoundingly stupid lede, don't magnify it in the big type. Send it back for repair. Or gently tie a cinderblock around its neck and spike it.

Hard to top that one for cluelessness, but The State is going to give it The Old College Try. How many stories in the past six months (or in the upcoming three) could carry "Chasing the prize" with no change in meaning whatsoever?

Please. If you want me to buy the paper, start by telling me why it's not yesterday's paper.


Blogger Chance said...

"If you want me to buy the paper, start by telling me why it's not yesterday's paper."

This advice ought to be nailed to the wall of every newsroom in the country.

10:30 PM, February 06, 2008  

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