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The a-hed was a quirky profile or narrative, usually brilliantly reported, a master class in feature writing: Carrie Dolan on fainting goats, Barry Newman on a man who has a doctorate in bug gunk, or Tony Horwitz on going to work in a slaughterhouse.
Every day the front page featured two “leders” and the incomparable “a-hed.”
The a-hed seems to sink lower and lower on the front page every day, like a setting sun.
Reporters at TheJournal have always produced news stories off their beats, but they also pursued stories that other outlets did not, and the way to get ahead was to score with a leder or an a-hed on page one.
There was an a-hed story about this guy a few months ago in the WSJ.
Now, in quick succession, he invented the lead feature stories and the columns today known as "The Outlook" and the "Tax Report," standardized the front-page format, and added the spice of those quirky front-page stories known inside the paper as the "a-hed."
"I'd a-given a boot-top," said Joel, looking grimly at the precious bit of leather which Polly was rapidly stripping into little bits, "if I'd a-hed it; I don't have anything!"
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