It was well after midnight when I heard the voice in my head scold me: you just buried the lede!
The story was filed. A re-write was not in the works. Neither was on-the-fly editing.
After a fresh six hours, it was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind this morning – burying the lede. That is downright scary. Must have been the guilt speaking to me. It happens. Thankfully the drone of “daddy-daaaddy-daaaaaaddy” broke that spell.
Given the task of writing a feature story on the Milwaukee Bucks Michael Redd – a true class act -, I grabbed some time with Redd after the Bucks dropped a tough one at the Rose Garden on Monday night.
As we talked about his play this season, his amazing trip to the Olympics, and the Bucks postseason prayer in general, the interview moved towards a matter very close and personal to Redd: his faith.
As a rule of thumb with my current employer, editors prefer you avoid discussing politics and religion. But this was neither of those topics – this was about Redd’s faith, his belief – and yes, there is a difference between faith and religion. So Redd and I went there. Had this been an opinion piece, I wouldn’t have gone there. But because the story was truly to be about Redd, then I had to ask about Redd the player and Redd the person.
I wanted to inquire about the real Redd.
In the story however, that topic – Redd’s faith and how it plays out in his life – closed the story.
And in this case – at least for me writing about Redd – it was okay to bury the lede. I wanted to leave the impression of what really matters at the end of the day. So I did.
Goodbye journalism 101.
pic via: nike.com