April 17, 2014

These bad ledes don’t need another one introducing them, so let’s keep it simple. We asked for your bad ledes. You sent them. Enjoy.

“My worst lede was my first lede,” Jim Morrison, a reporter with Wicked Local Newton in Massachusetts, wrote in an email.

The meeting began when a quorum was reached.

When he was a freshman sportswriter for the student newspaper, “I wrote this horrible lede in a story about a javelin thrower being behind the curve from the rest of the track team because she couldn’t compete during indoor season,” wrote Robby Korth, a journalism student at the University of Nebraska and an intern at the Lincoln Journal Star.

Mrs. Brady told her children not to play ball in the house. In the winter, the NCAA tells its competitors not to throw javelins.

This one’s from Andy Boyle, a news applications developer at the Chicago Tribune.

The house on 53rd Street and Huntington Avenue stood motionless. From the south side of the building, nothing looked out of the ordinary except for the police barricades that were set up.

“How does a house stand other than motionless, Andy?” Boyle wrote in his e-mail. “Can it dance? Perhaps sit at a funny angle?”

Rick Conrad, web editor of The Chronicle Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia, shared this in the comments section:

Even though I thought they fit the stories at the time, I’ll nominate two of mine:

Be-Leaf it or not. (on a story about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 1992 NHL playoff run)


Iguana, go home. (on a story written from a classified ad placed by a young couple looking for their lost pet iguana. Hyper-local before its time, people!) I still like “Iguana, go home.” But really, it was pretty bad.

Nigel Duara, a legal affairs reporter with the Associated Press, shared the link to this one on Twitter.

“1927-2003 Get It Done.” This sign hangs next to the wrestling practice room’s door, so every practice this week focused on reaching the same goal.

Finally, I pulled together a Storify of what we heard on Facebook and Twitter (warning, it involves chickens.)

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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