Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On minds and reading them

Some thoughts on determining and announcing the scope of a news story:

1) Don't talk about what "stuns the world" or doesn't unless you've polled the world

2) You haven't

Considering that in separate stories on the front, we have:

With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope has done in six centuries, stunning the world Monday by announcing his resignation and leaving the troubled Catholic Church to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter.

The news stunned the cardinals and Catholics from Michigan to Europe to South America and beyond. And with no clear favorites to succeed him, another surprise likely awaits the faithful when the cardinals gather to elect Benedict’s successor next month.

Holland, 72, like Catholics worldwide, was stunned Monday when Benedict announced he would resign Feb. 28 for reasons of health and stamina.

... you could be forgiven for detecting signs of autopilot anyway and thus banning "stun" for at least the next few days. But more broadly, if you feel the need to declare the planet "stunned" by some event or another, that might be a sign unto you that it's a big enough deal to spare the tiresome hyperbole.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it would have been so easy to find one of those local observers (probably not a Cardinal, but perhaps the editor of the local Catholic newspaper) and get them on record as saying that they were stunned.

10:25 PM, February 12, 2013  

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