End of October 3 Column (No. 845)
This and That

Lousy Inverted Pyramid

Headline in the SF Chronicle: “Electric Cars Should Be Charged in Daytime.” Why on earth did I have to read to the 5th paragraph to find out the reason for the advice: because excess solar panel energy, currently wasted during the day, could do the job with less stress on the electric network than charging at night.

The lede was:

A new study from Stanford researchers suggests that electric-car drivers who plug in while they’re snoozing at night should eventually alter their charging behavior to protect California’s electrical grid.

It should have been: Electric-car drivers who plug in at night should charge during the day so California’s electrical grid can make better use of solar power, according to a Stanford study.

My lede is shorter and actually follows the standard of an inverted pyramid: most important information first, then less important information. Not to mention that a lede should include Who, What, When, Where and How, and sometimes Why.


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