January 30, 2011.
The Times of India’s Pune print edition has this long sentence as the lead of a front-page story:
After a prolonged delay of well over two months, followed by stringent observations of the Bombay High Court, the CBI on Saturday filed a criminal case against a section of army personnel, defence estate officials and retired and serving bureaucrats of the Maharashtra government for their alleged involvement in the multicrore Adarsh Housing scam.
Words in one single sentence of a single paragraph: 54. Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) was 4.7 and Flesch Kinkaid Grade level (FKG) : 26.
I felt the reporter was very anxious to provide the readers everything at one go, in one sentence. I cross checked if there was some attempt to edit in ToI’s e-paper and was pleasantly surprised that there indeed was editing for reading ease.
Have a look:
The CBI filed a criminal case against a section of serving and retired bureaucrats of the Maharashtra government, army personnel and defence estate officials for their alleged involvement in the multicrore Adarsh housing society scam on Saturday. The step, coming after a delay of over two months, follows stringent observations of the Bombay High Court over an FIR not being filed in the case.
FRE thus improved upto 32.9 and FKG to 16.6. The simple trick was the sentence was split into two sentences, and the story began with the operative part rather than with the background of the story.
This is how DNA reporter wrote the lead of the same story:
The CBI Saturday registered an FIR in the Adarsh housing society scam. Among the 13 accused were former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, former state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, three senior retired army officers, and an ex-collector, according to sources in the investigating agency.
FRE was 11.8 and FKG 16.9
And The Hindustan Times:
Ten days after the Bombay high court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) why it had not registered a First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the Adarsh housing society scam, the agency booked 13 persons in the matter on Saturday. Former chief minister Ashok Chavan’s name has been mentioned in the FIR, though he is not among the 13 accused, CBI sources said.
This single para has 65 words in two sentences. FRE:. 42.3 and FKG: 15.4.