That was fun. Thanks for sharing your bad ledes, and I hope you enjoyed a few of ours.
Let’s take this thing one step further now and talk about good ledes. Luckily, Poynter faculty and staff have done good work gathering some now and then. If you’re particularly proud of a good lede of your own, or you’ve seen one that’s memorable, send it to me at email@example.com or @kristenhare on Twitter (with links if possible), and I’ll start a collection.
— In 2012, Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark shared tips for writing a good lede. As part of a live chat with that piece, Clark points out several good ledes, including this:
— In 2012, Steve Myers found a handful of great opening day ledes.
There may be no bigger New York Mets fan than Miriam Stone, and she has never even seen them play.
“For me, hearing is what seeing is,” said Ms. Stone, 60, on Wednesday, as she sat on her bed in her small studio apartment in Forest Hills, Queens, listening to the WFAN radio broadcast of the Mets-Yankees preseason game from Florida. “You’ve got to be able to hear everything going.”
Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times
— In 2003, Chip Scanlan gathered up ASNE award-winning ledes from several years.
Karubamba, Rwanda—Nobody lives here anymore.
Not the expectant mothers huddled outside the maternity clinic, not the families squeezed into the church, not the man who lies rotting in a schoolroom beneath a chalkboard map of Africa.
Everybody here is dead. Karubamba is a vision from hell, a flesh-and-bone junkyard of human wreckage, an obscene slaughterhouse that has fallen silent save for the roaring buzz of flies the size of honeybees.
“Only Human Wreckage Is Left in Karubamba” by Mark Fritz
Associated Press, May 12, 1994