Author Archives: Bailey


The importance of a good lede is clear. It sets the stage for the rest of the story. But the writer must choose how to write it. They can be direct, often leading to a template style or they can be creative and potentially wait too long to introduce the topic. As Knight makes clear, there is no one right way to write a lede. It depends on the publication, story, and writer themself. However, the writer should do their best to choose the right lede for each story.

If the news is breaking, it might be wise to put most of the information at the very top. But one must make sure that the story is both readable and invites the reader into the rest of the story.

If the news is ongoing, there is plenty of room for creativity. The more legs it grows, the less information the audience needs to know up front. Lead with an anecdote or story that intrigues the reader. It can be easy for the reader to pick up on what the story is about, because they have been reading about it for the last few days, weeks or months. At this point, they might want to slow down and read into the story more than they would have on the first day that the news broke.

There are, of course, plenty of wrong ways to write a lede, but a good writer can often find a use for these methods, if they write with care. Ultimately, it is up to the writer to care about the story. The lede is where they show the reader that they care, because if the writer doesn’t care, then the reader won’t. But if the writer both cares and shows their care up front in the lede, then the reader is far more likely to do the same.

Reading Response 1: Just Write

I’m going to take the book’s advice and just write the lede. The lede should be simple and to the point. It should take advantage of the English Language, but avoid fillers when possible. Most importantly, it should tell the reader, and the writer, exactly what they are about to get themselves into. This style of writing also happens to be the exact opposite of what college students have written all their lives. Yikes!

I rewrote every sentence so far because I added words. I sounded smarter , but the lede suffered. Every paper I wrote from Middle school on had a page or word count. If I write a ten page paper, I might make my point on page six. A student that writes more than the requited words is considered a better student than the six page student. So, I learned to give as much detail as I could. It has its place, especially in scientific or academic writing, but not in journalism or in many professions that rely on clear and speedy communications. Word count does not equal quality.

A journalist avoids telling too many stories at once. I like to tell as many as I can in one paper. It fills space and I can tell the reader all my thoughts. Essays need this. But I never learn to simplify my statements. Otherwise, they stay complex and unclear, even to myself. I need a clear image of what I am writing about if I’m going to write like a journalist.

So, I’ll learn. I just hope that by learning to simplify my writing, I can still write a ten page paper for finals.

Bailey White: Wandering and Wondering

Bailey and his nephew, Jack, speaking at his sister’s Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

I’m not lost. I’m just exploring.

Looking back on my life so far, It looks like I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. In high school, I was in the Audition Choir, volunteered at summer camp, and dreamed of living in a van or tiny house traveling the country. In college, I no longer wish to cram myself into a house on wheels, but I am still in choir. Of course, I am a double major because I simply can’t choose. It is true, I have know Idea what I want to be.

There are, however, a few through lines in my life that have guided me.

Wether I am using my voice in performance or speech, behind a camera, or typing, I can often be found telling a story. In the winter of 2018, my sister got married and I found myself walking up to the podium, with my nephew, Jack, to tell the story of my relationship with her, while Jack gave me bunny ears (pictured above). This ended up being one of the most memorable and important moments in my life.

I can also be found in charge of a group of people, despite the fact that I am very much an introvert. In high school, I was a councilor at camp. Last summer, I worked an elementary school’s summer program. If I can make a possessive impact on a person or group of people, I will go out of my way to do so. The joy of seeing someone change, even slightly, in front of my eyes, is like no other.

Of course, I am an introvert. So, often my favorite person to be with is myself. I will intentionally spend hours upon hours simply sitting or walking, often outside. If I am on the Swanson Bridge, and I’m not on my way to class, this is what I’m doing. The world of the mind never ends, and so I find great joy in just exploring it. This has led to a love of hiking, climbing, astronomy, and photography, among others. I have even considered becoming a monk. Without the chance to just contemplate, nothing listed above could be possible. This dive into the mind is what gives me the passion to do everything else.

So, I have no idea what I want to do, not because I don’t want to do anything, but because I choose not to ever be boxed in. I wander around the world of the mind and the physical world, so I can keep wondering about the mysteries of life. There’s not really job with such description that I have been able to find.