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Writing the lede before the event

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ADifferentOkie, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. http://www.slate.com/id/2164819/

    "Why have a debate? AP has already written its lede: It's 3:15. The big South Carolina Democratic debate starts in 45 minutes. But you don't have to actually watch it. AP's Nedra Pickler has already filed her story, in the past tense.

    Democratic presidential candidates largely stood together Thursday in support of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and then sought to separate themselves on the details in the first primary debate of the 2008 race.

    Now that's reporting! ... The depressing thing is the debate is so predictable she probably got it right. ... "

    How do we feel about this -- writing, and apparently making available, at least a lede if not a story before the event happens.
    I mean, isn't this dwarf territory, or is there a difference here that I don't see?
  2. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    IMO, yes it is.

  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I see nothing wrong with writing this, the mistake is sending this to customers. As long as you go to the event and update, nothing wrong with being prepared.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Did she look around the venue, standing next to former candidates who vowed they'd be there for support, and see hundreds of supporters clad in Green and White?
  5. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    This is AP we're talking about. Isn't it possible she had to send an early to her subscribers before the debate? Doesn't AP have funny deadlines anyway?
    I mean, I would never lede a game story with "Jim Jones had 25 points to lead the Grills to a 90-80 win" but AP does it every time with its early stories....
    Same thing?
  6. I agree that sending it out before the event is the real problem. How can you make a story available before the event happens?
    How did the writer know the debate wouldn't be canceled? Or a sniper didn't show up? Or Obama and Hillary didn't have sex right there on the stage?
    You can't report the news before it happens.
  7. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    Isn't every State of the Union story written beforehand because copies are made available to ease reporters on deadline? Isn't it possible the talking points were given to this reporter... It seems this kind of reporting is different.
    (Disclaimer: Writing the lede before the story is bad. But I'm trying to understand this situation)
  8. But a State of the Union is different than a debate, because it is scripted. A debate is not.
    Even writing the SotU lede early is bad, but at least you have about a 99 percent chance of getting it right.
    You have no idea what's going to happen in a debate.
  9. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    I've written most of a lede before I go to games if I feel it's going to be a blowout. I just never PUSBLISH it until after the event.

  10. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Democratic presidential candidates largely stood together Thursday in support of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and then sought to separate themselves on the details in the first primary debate of the 2008 race.

    Obviously AP needs to send out an early lede as a place holder on an AM budget story like this. But it shouldn't have been written in the past tense. Seems like it could have been fixed by just saying, "Democratic presidential candidates were expected to largely stand together ... " Then you file your 1st Ld - Wriethru, Eds: DELETES 'were expected" in lede; UPDATES w/quotes throughout, etc.
  11. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Yeah, this is the key. Thinking about this more, I know I've written pieces in anticipation of what I thought was going to happen, I just haven't published them until I know that's what actually happened. It's nice to get your work done - or some of it - early, but you have to avoid the dwarf conundrum.
  12. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    Any word on whether Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson were there? Also were they wearing Michigan State garb and cheering on Barack Obama?
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