“Suicidal Blonde” and other extra details

28 Feb

Chicago Murder Trial Begins for Former Model

When editing this story about a “suicidal blonde,” I noticed a lot of problems with it. Right off the bat, I saw that the headline was “Chicago Murder Trial Begins for Suicidal Blond.” I had a couple problems with this headline. First of all, blond should be blonde since she’s a woman. But even more importantly, I don’t think “suicidal blonde” is an appropriate headline for this piece. The fact that she is suicidal is relevant to the article but I don’t think the fact that she is blonde is a relevant part of the story.

It’s important not to focus on ¬†extraneous details when there are other important facts that need to be put in the headline. In this instance, the fact that she’s a former model seems to be more important than the color of her hair.

The journalist also waited to mention the model’s identity until the end of the article. I moved it up to the beginning and tightened up the lead. Other than that, I just cleaned up the writing and grammar. Some of the sentences were choppy and confusing. I cleaned up the copy as well as I could without losing the details or the flow of the story.

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