Inverted pyramid, you're still the one.
A staple of news writing for more than a century, the inverted pyramid "puts the most newsworthy information at the top, and then the remaining information follows in order of importance, with the least important at the bottom."
For example, most news organizations went the straightforward, "who, what, when, where, why and how" route with Wednesday's news concerning the Mormon church sticking with the Boy Scouts of America.
From The Washington Post:
The Mormon church announced Wednesday that it will remain in the Boy Scouts, a month after the church expressed major concern about the Scouts lifting a ban on openly gay adult leaders.
From The New York Times:
The Mormon Church announced Wednesday that it would continue its close association with the Boy Scouts for now, ending speculation that it would sever ties because of the Scouts’s decision last month to let openly gay men and women serve as leaders.
From The Deseret News:
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church will continue to charter the nation's largest Boy Scout organization.
(CNN) The Mormon church will remain affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America despite the organization's decision to allow gay troop leaders, church officials announced Wednesday.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church announced Wednesday it will maintain its longtime affiliation with the Boy Scouts despite the organization's decision to allow gay troop leaders — preventing what would have been a thundering blow to the national association.
None of those ledes will win a Pulitzer. But they get straight to the point. And in a click-happy world, that's usually helpful.
But what might happen if a journalist tried a different approach?
Enter Godbeat pro Peggy Fletcher Stack of The Salt Lake Tribune:
For those who, like me, grew up watching "Sesame Street," do you remember the "one of these things is not like the others" feature?
Like a loyal Scout and a good Mormon, Stan Lockhart was prepared.
In this case, he was ready to leave behind a boys program that he loves — if his faith followed through on its threat last month to form its own system.
Lockhart, president of the Scouts' Orem-based Utah National Parks Council, learned Wednesday he won't have to do that after all — the LDS Church is sticking with the Boy Scouts of America.
"At this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward as a chartering organization of BSA, and as in the past, will appoint Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify church doctrine, values and standards," the church's governing First Presidency of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a news release. "With equal concern for the substantial number of youth who live outside the United States and Canada, the church will continue to evaluate and refine program options that better meet its global needs."
Stack managed to put a human face and a creative twist on Wednesday's news.
Even if -- as undoubtedly was the case with much of the Tribune's audience — I had already seen the inverted-pyramid version of the story, Stack's approach would have enticed me to keep reading. Nice job, Peggy!
Yes, you're still the one, inverted pyramid.
But occasionally, I like a cherry on top of my sundae -- er, news story.