Worst News Ledes, from MEDIAite, the buzzy new media blog on the scene (because we don’t have enough of those already), created by Dan Abrams of NBC.
Here’s an excerpt:
2. From Daily Mail, “The BNP councillor who drives a car with ‘Nazi’ number plate”:
A senior British National Party member has infuriated his opponents by driving in a car with a number plate that resembles the word ‘Nazi’.
BNP councillor Julian Leppert arrives at meetings in his black Ford Focus with a registration NA51 ZCY.
But the rising star of the far-right wing party insists he had no idea the number plate looked like ‘Nazi’.
This may be the most breathlessly written exposé yet about a government-assigned license plate that kind of looks like the word ‘Nazi.’ As one of the article’s commenters points out, under the British vehicle registration system, N stands for North, A for Newcastle, and 51 for the year 2001, “so a large number of cars registered in newcastle in 2001 will have the prefix NA51.” Apparently, they are all Nazis.
Abrams calls the site Huffington Post meets Gawker (whereas I thought Huffington Post was already Drudge Report meets Gawker, and The Daily Beast was Page Six meets Huffington Post slathered with a layer of Gawker, and Gawker itself was The New York Times letters page meets message board, so if anyone can trace back to the irreducible nut of internet ingenuity, let me know). But the site is pretty entertaining and informative, though it probably replaces “Idolator” as the hardest blog name to pronounce.
Plus it has a cross-platform job search tool so you can see across different career services just how many jobs that aren’t out there for you all at once!
For anyone who doesn’t know, ledes are notoriously hard to write. Sometimes they are self-evident, revealing themselves in a violent mashup of the day’s events and the victims involved. Sometimes you can spend a half an hour or hour crafting the right mix of information and intrigue that you know will draw the reader into the story, all in 30 words or less. Then you look at the New York Times and see their unadorned, simplistic ledes and wonder why you spent so much time worrying about it in the first place.
Ledes were never my strong suit. I’m much more of a nut graph kind of guy. Maybe I’ll start a media new blog in the coming days: NutGraphKindaGuy.blogspot.com.
The nut of the story. It’s where the information is. You know you want to read more about it.