An article that ran in the Boston Globe on April 11, titled “Romney’s binders, still full of women, are unearthed,” is an interesting example of unassuming ways to make a compelling story. The reporter took what may normally seem like a routine and uninteresting development — a former Mitt Romney aide released some binders full of files on people Romney had been considering for state positions — and turned it into something that, at worst, will get plenty of clicks from social media goers. The US, especially in the last decade or two, as become enamored with making fun of its politicians. This article took the signature SNL-fodder line of the 2012 presidential election, and brought it back to life with a (somewhat insignificant) new development.
Here are three examples of the Boston Globe using a nut graf after a lead:
Here’s why the bib number 261 at the Boston Marathon is so significant — printed on March 28 2017
This story, about the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon in 1967, begins with an anecdotal lead. The third paragraph is the following nut graf:
“Kathrine V. Switzer became the first woman with an official number to run the Boston Marathon on April 19, 1967, despite race director Jock Semple’s attempt to forcefully stop her near the two-mile mark in what became an iconic moment.”
This nut Graf, in a short, tidy sentence, tells who is involved, when it happened, and what the most crucial events were. It allows the reader to be drawn in by an interesting lead, but not have to read very long to get the main details.
Today is a terrible day to be a Falcons fan — Printed on March 28, 2017
This story, similarly, opens with an anecdotal lead about the nature of social media and sports fandom. Then comes the following, very descriptive, nut graf:
““Falcons day” refers to today, March 28th, or 3/28. If those numbers don’t look familiar, they should. That was the score in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, when the Patriots’ probability of winning did not look good. As a reminder, at one point during the fourth quarter, their odds of winning were at one percent.”
Thousands of fans lined the streets of downtown Boston last Tuesday for a parade celebrating the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI victory.
The win, the fifth championship in the franchise’s history, and fifth since 2000, sent New England fans into a frenzy. A few storylines fueled supporters’ enthusiasm, not the least of which was their quarterback, Tom Brady, winning his fifth title, putting him in rare company.
Brady now has the most Super Bowl victories of any quarterback all-time, a fact which many are using to anoint him as the greatest football player of all time. That distinction has been the subject of much debate in recent years, and many parade attendees think Brady’s Super Bowl success puts him over the top.
“The debate is finally over, Tom is the G.O.A.T. [Greatest Of All Time].” said Steve Kelly, a parade attendee. Kelly said that a lot of “haters” always used to tend to talk about spygate or deflategate, two scandals that ended with the Patriots being penalized by the NFL, but now many of those critics have been silenced.
Kelly’s sentiment about deflategate was shared by many at the parade. Fans reveled in the fact that the Patriots overcame discipline from commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of Tom Brady’s scandal involving using deflating footballs, a controversy that many in New England claim was a hoax and meant to bring down Brady. Feeling that they were the target of unjust prosecution, Patriots fans were all too happy to win a championship in the face of the commissioner who they were felt they were cheated by.
“Man, this is justice.” said Paul Severino, another parade attendee. “It’s one thing to win a Super Bowl. We don’t take that for granted. We’ve had four of those recently. But how sweet it is to celebrate this one right in Goodell’s face. He tried to put us down and now he can just watch us celebrate.”
The parade included several speeches by players, as well as head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick, who holds the record for Super Bowl wins as a head coach (he was at the helm for all five of the Pats’ wins), got a rise out of the crowd by pounding on one of his signature virtues.
“These players, they work harder than any team I’ve coached.” Belichick said. “They came to work every day, and there were no days off.”
The coach proceeded to lead the crowd in a chant of “No days off!”, which the crowd was all too happy to partake in.
Brady rounded out the event by addressing his people.
“One more! I told you we were going to bring this sucker home,” he said, as he held the Lombardi Trophy up for all to see, “and we brought it home. Thank you guys. We do it for you. These aren’t easy to do, but these guys gave it everything they had. That game was real hard. We’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives. We’ve got your back, and we know that you’ve got our back.”
An article in the Feb. 20 edition of The Boston Globe entitled “Congregations in Massachusetts preparing to shelter immigrants” is a perfect example of taking a prominent national — even international — issue and localizing it to the area in which a publication is widely read.
The article details how, in the wake of President Donald J. Trump doing his best to cause deportations of illegal immigrants, churches and synagogues in Massachusetts are giving some of them protection (similar to how Boston has been declared a sanctuary city by mayor Marty Walsh.
The deportation issue is important to essentially everyone in the country, and maybe the world. If somebody wanted to simply get the facts of the issue as it pertains to the nation, or the globe, they could read the New York Times, or an international paper of such standing. But, people in Massachusetts not only want to know about an issue. They want to know how it affects their region. They can only get that from the Globe, not the Times or the Post. This article fills that need.
It is both vital and unavoidable for performers to speak out on social issues, according to a former cast member of the broadway musical Hamilton who spoke at Northeastern Tuesday.
Renee Elise Goldsberry, who starred in the rap musical for its first year, was the keynote speaker at an event at Northeastern University Jan. 17. The event, part of a week-long series honoring Martin Luther King Jr., was titled “A Tribute To The Dream,” also included a musical performance by Goldsberry.
Goldsberry expressed her belief in an artist’s social responsibility, refuting the claim that performers should “shut up and sing,” as some put it.
“I think it’s impossible.” she said. “I think if you’re an artist and you’re any good at it, everything you believe is going to come out in your art. It’s an oxymoron to say ‘shut up and sing,’ because when I’m singing I’m just saying the same thing but louder and with notes and accompaniment […] I also believe that a lot of times, when your work is done well enough, you don’t really have to say anything other than that.”
She gave credit to Martin Luther King Jr. for paving the way for her success. The work that King did, and the fact that he sacrificed his life for it, has made her feel a responsibility to do a certain kind of work.
“I felt the need to be very responsible about what I was doing and the kind of story I was telling, and I believe the fact that he gave words to that and he gave an image to that makes it easier for me to do what I’m doing.” she said.
One factor she considers when choosing a role is whether or not she would approve of young black girls seeing her in them. She mentioned her role in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, in which she asked writers to re-work an ending in which a man would choose to save a white woman over her in a crisis situation. She didn’t mind being killed off from the show, but she did not want young black girls to see that racial symbolism on television.
Goldsberry spoke in front of a full house at Blackman Auditorium to much applause for many of her points. One audience member, freshman computer science major David Tandetnik, said that while he didn’t identify with the performing arts aspect of Goldsberry’s message, he liked what she had to say about social activism.
“I don’t know much about singing or musicals,” Tandetnik said, “But I do think it is important to stand up for social justice in whatever field you’re in. I’m glad she is doing that in the theater, because a lot of people are arguing over whether or not that is the right thing to do, and I think it is.”
“Boston Globe” article 1/31: Foxwoods Didn’t Stop Gambling Addict Who Asked To Be Banned — Until He Won
This Article in the Globe is a good example of a lead that isn’t necessary a summary lead but does draw in the reader in a captivating way. The reporter, Sean P. Murphy, uses the first two sentences to describe the nature of the subject’s issue — not in an entirely explicit way, but in a way that gives the reader a good feel for the tone of the problems discussed in the article. In the second paragraph, then, the author gets into more summary information. He describes who the subject is, and the problem he is facing. He did a good job of grabbing the reader’s interest with the lead and then keeping that interest with some hard information soon thereafter.
This article is relevant because it covers an issue that is relevant or meaningful to a lot of people: gambling addiction, and the gambling industry’s potential exploitation of gambling addicts. If a casino is taking advantage of a man who asked for help with his gambling issue, that should be robustly reported on. It is within the media’s scope of responsibilities to keep the public informed on serious matter such as this.
A Boston Globe article Tuesday perfectly illustrates how to use a summary lad when dealing with an urgent weather situation.
The article, “Nor’easter brings high winds, heavy rain, and potential for coastal floods”, by John R. Ellement, warns Boston residents of potential weather implications that they need to know about, rather than simple temperature predictions that don’t matter all that much.
The lead: “The storm that has generated strong winds, icy conditions north and west of the city, and heavy rains in around Greater Boston will weaken as the morning commute ends Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.”
The lead follows proper AP sentence structure, and gives readers the who, what, when, where, why, and how.