Thursday, December 18, 2008

Worst Lede (And Headline) Of The Day....

On "The Lede" blog last night, reporter Liz Robbins delivered this account of a Minnesota freight train collision that took place early Wednesday morning, and may have contaminated the area near the crash site:


by Liz Robbins

In the pre-dawn chill of southeastern Minnesota, a freight train of 93 cars and a short-haul train delivering 15 cars to a nearby rail yard were traveling on parallel tracks, but each was bound for the same single track.

Sounds like one of those word problems in math class where the best answer might be (C on Tuesday).

But it was Wednesday in Dresbach, Minn., on a snow-dusted embankment along the Mississippi River, and the resulting problem was more than just words.

An interesting approach for Robbins, who apparently felt that the idea of two trains colliding presented a perfect showcase for her cleverness. However, in hindsaight it might have been even more effective had she added the word BOOM! or KERPLOW! to the story, so as to better convey to readers what actually took place.

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