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Kraigmo's avatar

Do you ever skip the first couple paragraphs of a newspaper or magazine article to get past the introductory fluff BS?

Asked by Kraigmo (9119points) 1 month ago

The rule is pounded into our heads in school: “Always start with an introduction in your papers”.
It seems to me this concept has been carried way too far.
For example if a meteor hit Los Angeles, this is how the LA Times would form their lede:
“Thelma Burgess was washing dishes in her Laurel Canyon kitchen when a bright light appeared in the distance….”

Reporters are trained to “come up with a story” to “make it personal to the reader”.
I say this training is overthought crap. Just get to the point.
We don’t need introductory crap. We don’t need hard facts to be written in a story-style narrative. It may please newsroom editors, but it doesn’t please readers.
What do you think?

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8 Answers

janbb's avatar

Actually, reporters are trained to put the “who, what, where, why and when” in the first paragraph. You may be referring more to magazine articles than news articles.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Definitely.
Well. I speed read through, until I start seeing uh key words I guess, and then I will likely go back several paragraphs until the thesis is actually being pushed.

It’s perhaps relevant to mention, that I was diagnosed with ADHD. I believe that may be a variable in how I read.

If the subject I’m reading about requires I know it thoroughly, I will read every sentence, sometimes twice. It seems to be required that I read something carefully, or I will just read the words and not remember what I read.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yes, I often skip the fluff to get to the meat of a written piece.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. I skip all sort of fluff and introductions in all sorts of forms of media.

smudges's avatar

I read like @MrGrimm888 – interestingly, I have ADD (no hyper component) also. I have to really concentrate on what I’m reading or ultimately it’s just words. Can’t read around talking people, tv, radio, music or anything that might distract me. From around age 3 up to my early 30s I was an avid reader. Maybe it’s just age that’s making it more difficult. <<shrugs>>

@Kraigmo I’m that way with books, also. Get my interest right away and get rid of the descriptions of the countryside!

MrGrimm888's avatar

^When I was a young kid, in school I would read 5–6 pages of something, but I didn’t remember shit. I had to reread EVERYTHING.
I get caught drifting off in thought, even when I’m trying to concentrate on things I like.

Sometimes, I just skim through articles to find just one specific thing. Like a score in a game, or player stats.

That’s basically what SportsCenter is, a summary of the most interesting plays.

filmfann's avatar

I read the Washington Post, and instantly recognized that style of news reporting in their coverage. Yes, it is annoying.

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