I would definitely click on this headline because it is both interesting and informative. What is the Zika Virus? How does one get the virus? Is it curable? If so, how is it cured? Is it painful? What and where are the symptoms? I asked myself all of these questions after reading only the headline, and it made me want to continue reading to learn the answers. Additionally, the phrase “sexual transmission” is SEO-friendly because it directly affects people and their well-being, and therefore individuals will click on the headline.
Sandee LaMotte of CNN uses a delayed lead to begin her story. Her lead, “The news out of Dallas in early February exploded around the world: Zika can be transmitted by sex,” grabs the reader’s attention, and hooks him/her with the key information that the virus can be transmitted by sex. LaMotte introduces the eight-year-old case mentioned in the headline in her third paragraph, and relates the facts of her introductory statements to the story of Brian Foy and his wife, Joy.
The writer uses compelling language to pull the reader into the story. For example, the second paragraph begins by saying, “Suddenly, a virus that wasn’t supposed to be a game changer in the United States took on a whole new dimension.” LeMotte’s fourth paragraph is equally as enthralling: “The story of how microbiologist Brian Foy obtained Zika in Africa and passed it on to his wife, Joy Chilson Foy, when he returned home reads like a detective novel: frozen blood, false leads, a clever clue from Africa and finally success- laboratory proof that Foy had given a mosquito-borne virus to his wife during sex.” Finally, she uses six sub-headlines throughout the story to break up the writing, and further provide information about the mosquitoes and the effects of the virus.
The third paragraph serves as the nutgraph: “But here’s what is most startling: The Dallas case wasn’t unique. The first known case of sexually acquired Zika in the United States actually occurred eight years ago in northern Colorado after a husband and wife reunion.”
The story had four sources:
· Brian Foy, the microbiologist who obtained Zika in Africa in the summer of 2008
· Kevin Kobylinski, the graduate student who was in southeastern Senegal with Brian Foy
· Dr. Sanja Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent
· Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director
The video embedded at the top of the article tells the story the most effectively. In just over two and a half minutes, CNN completely summarizes and explains the virus as well as Brian and Joy’s situation, and it could definitely stand alone without the article. In addition, the images throughout the article are clickable links, and they bring the reader to either supplementary video coverage or a slideshow of additional images. I think a map of how the virus spread would be an interesting alternative method of “adding value” to the story. There is a design piece in the video that shows where Brian was infected, and I think it would be effective for that section to stand alone as an interactive image.