Your thoughts, please, about this lede
An interesting discussion is going on the ACES board about the lede on this story
PLANO – Everyone has had a day where 24 hours just doesn't seem like enough time. So you rush. First work runs late. Then you realize you are out of dog food and have to run by the store before going home.
For a 42-year-old Plano woman, that busy day was near an end when she stopped to check the mail in her apartment complex. There, a man forced her into the back seat of her car and ordered her to say nothing. Then he raped her.
Your thoughts, please. But make sure you read the ACES discussion to get a little of the backstory. It does introduce an interesting perspective on what the paper was trying to accomplish. Given that, I tend to agree a hard-news lede might not be the best. But was there a better way?
This is what I suggested on the ACES board. Remember, we are not in total rewrite mode here; we've been told the assigning desk is not budging, and the slot agrees. So the point now is to minimize the damage - reduce dissonance and maybe signal to the reader straight out what we're trying to get him or her to understand:
PLANO – In just one moment, an otherwise ordinary day can change into a major trauma. And the story of how that happened to a 42-year-old Plano woman now has police concerned it may be the sixth attack by a serial rapist.
It had been one of those days we all seem to have: Twenty-four hours just doesn't seem like enough time. She was rushed. Work ran late.
She finally had gotten to her apartment complex and stopped to check the mail when a man forced her into the back seat of her car and ordered her to say nothing. Then he raped her.