Leading Ledes: More Kvetching by the News Media

A commentary piece in this week’s Christian Science Monitor complains that reporters have abandoned the old-school inverted pyramid structure to begin stories for “pulp journalism” with fancy ledes and lame creative writing devices.

Have the tenacious seekers of truth fallen under the spell of “gas-blue skies” in a quest to connect with readers in order to halt sagging circulation figures?

Let’s put it to the test. I grabbed the ledes of the front page stories (excluding wire service reports) according to the 10:00 a.m. RSS feeds of Colorado’s top seven newspapers.

Colorado Springs Gazette

Old West meets new West
Woodland Park is drawing national chains; for local businesses, it’s sink or swim

Some merchants in this mountain town are fighting to establish a market niche as they brace for an influx of national chain stores, including Wal-Mart, a massive
downtown redevelopment project and other commercial development.

Others are surrendering.


FBI: Crime up in Fort Collins
Police chief says numbers are inflated; city uses different formula

Fort Collins residents had mixed reactions to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics that showed major crime in Fort Collins increased in 2006 compared to 2005 and that the city was the only large city in the state to have an increase.

Denver Post

Boots: Capitol Hill cowboys
By Anne C. Mulkern

The doors to the U.S. House chamber swing open after a vote and the congressmen stampede out, a herd garbed in dark suits and black dress shoes. But there are mavericks in the pack.

There, hitting the cobalt blue carpet, the first pair appears. Pointed toes. Block heels. Patterned leather.

Cowboy boots.

Grand Junction Sentinel

Drug unit cleaning up streets of GJ
Nearly 300 arrests made since it formed in January

Since its inception in January, the Grand Junction Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit has made nearly 300 arrests, recovered more than 17 pounds of marijuana, a quarter-pound of cocaine, an eighth of a pound of methamphetamine and seized nearly $3,000 in cash.

But raw numbers convey only a portion of the fallout created by the unit as it combats drug dealing in the Grand Valley.

Greeley Tribune

Neighboring states face irrigation well problems
By Bill Jackson

Colorado is not the only state dealing with the shutdown or curtailment of irrigation wells.

But neighboring states are addressing the problem at the state level and finding ways to mitigate present and future problems for the advantage of both surface and ground water users.

Pubelo Chieftain

Army to unveil latest Pinon plan
Fort Carson officials are expected to detail area for proposed expansion of maneuver site.

Fort Carson officials have scheduled a public meeting in Trinidad at 6 p.m. Thursday, to unveil their latest plan for the expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

During the two-hour meeting, Army officials will explain the process for conducting the required Environmental Impact Study.

Rocky Mountain News

Ex-tax supervisor accused of big theft showed two sides
Neighbors saw nothing; workers had complained
By Ann Imse and Alan Gathright

Former tax supervisor Michelle Lynne Cawthra is accused of cleverly stealing $10 million from the state treasury.

But until the day she was sent home on a paid disciplinary leave for unspecified reasons, nothing appeared amiss.

What say you? Are Colorado newsrooms awash in frustrated scriptwriters?

Comments are closed.