Ledes: Why the extra words?
There seems to be in vogue among reporters the need to throw a few chosen extra words in ledes to "liven them up" or make them seem chummy.
To often, however, they just get in the way and just fuel the idea that the reporter has an agenda. Like this:
State Democrats clamoring for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Ken Ard might get some help from an unlikely source: Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson.Why is "an unlikely source" needed? Isn't that clear from specifying that Democrats might get help from a Republican? Actually, it would be more profitable if the writer had specified that Ard is a Republican, instead of making the reader connect the dots.
State Democrats clamoring for the resignation of Republican Lt. Gov. Ken Ard might get help from another Republican, Attorney General Alan Wilson.I think readers probably are smart enough with that to figure out it's unusual, dontcha think?