Comment 1

NY Times, Lede Analysis

This article from The New York Times has an excellent example of a significant detail lede for two reasons:

1. This lede starts out by telling the larger story as well as details of the National Date Festival, and leads into the problem hinted at in the headline: a school’s Arab mascot drawing fire.

2. Because this lede describes a few stereotypical Arab occurrences (“camel rides,” “midriff bearing women in gauze and sequins,” “men in shiny billowy pants and turbans,”), it introduces tension in the article, which is a characteristic of a significant detail lede. The details this lede is using to set up the scene of the date festival introduce the tension that is to come later in the story about the Arab mascot and its discriminatory accusations (which are affiliated with the festival).


I think the length of this lede is ideal. At just two sentences, it introduces the scene of the festival with pointed descriptions and includes the who, what, when, and where elements that are important in any lede. This lede is timely in that the festival just began, and possibly exclusive because even though The NY Times is a nationally read publication, it is on the opposite coast of the location of the event taking place in the story. The NY Times may be one of the only east coast publications to report on this issue and incorporate direct quotes from locals who attend the festival and students who attend the high school.


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